The history of the French monarchy is dotted with intriguing events and significant reigns. However, no other king has experienced such a short-lived reign as Louis XIX, who ruled over France for just 20 minutes. This fleeting reign is a direct result of the Parisian riots known as the "Three Glorious Days" and the political upheavals that shook France in 1830.
It all began with the reign of Charles X, an unpopular king whose political decisions sparked strong criticism among the French populace. The Parisian riots of July 1830, also known as the "Three Glorious Days," finally reached their climax when Charles X abdicated on August 2, 1830. This decision to relinquish the throne was motivated by the need to preserve the Bourbon dynasty in favor of his grandson, Henri d'Artois, who was only 10 years old at the time.
However, Charles X also requested his son, Louis-Antoine, the Dauphin, to countersign the act of abdication in favor of his grandson. Initially, the Dauphin appeared to resist this decision and hesitated to countersign the document. Yet, after some time, he eventually relented and abdicated as well, declaring that he renounced his rights in favor of his nephew, Henri d'Artois.
This precise moment, when Louis-Antoine countersigned the act of abdication in favor of his nephew, gave rise to a brief reign. Between Charles X's signature and Louis-Antoine's, a short period elapsed during which the Dauphin was considered, by Crown supporters, as the legitimate king under the name Louis XIX. This remains the shortest reign in all of French history, lasting only 20 minutes.
However, the swift transition of power did not stop there. Louis XIX's reign came to an end when the chambers proclaimed Louis-Philippe of Orléans as the King of the French on August 7th. The royal family was forced into exile on August 16th, marking the end of the Bourbon era.
Louis-Antoine, on the other hand, assumed the title of the Count of Marnes after his abdication and lived out the rest of his life in relative obscurity. His brief reign, though remarkably short, remained in the annals of French history as a unique and symbolic moment in the tumultuous transition between the monarchic dynasties that shaped the country for centuries.