Tue, Jan 10, 2006 - Page 16 News List

France's king without a crown in India

Descended from the French royal family, Balthazar-Napoleon Bourbon has got used to living the life of an ordinary person in Bhopal


For the Bourbons now, their name and Roman Catholic faith are the family's only legacies of their French past. Bourbon does not speak French, though his children are learning the language.

"I'm totally Indian, I have to live in this country, I was born here, I was bred here and I have to suit my place," says Bourbon. "I have to earn my bread, I can't rest on my fortunes, which anyway are gone."

In November, Bourbon finally met a relative from a European branch of the family, Prince Michael of Greece, who lives in France.

"Daddy was just delighted," says daughter Michelle, 16, recalling the visit. "It was the first time he met another Bourbon."

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