The Chantilly estate and its famous Grandes Écuries are the subject of a conflict which arouses the attention of the Times taking into account its protagonists: the Institut de France and Jean d’Orléans, claimant to the throne of France, who asks that the property be returned to him.
“James Bond walks the sumptuous gardens of the Château de Chantilly, a flute of champagne in hand, before being introduced to Max Zorin, the owner of one of the most imposing estates in France who is incidentally determined to dominate the world. ‘I must congratulate you Mr. Zorin, states Bond in Dangerously yours. Your stables are magnificent. ‘”
Today, the largest stables in Europe are “Equally beautiful” in the eyes of Times. But it is not only for the pleasure of evoking the famous secret agent that the British daily examines the domain of Chantilly. It is above all that he is “At the heart of a conflict between a contender for the throne of France and an owner who wishes to transform it into a hotel”.
The Château de Chantilly, completely destroyed during the Revolution, was rebuilt in the XIXe century by Henri d’Orléans, tells the daily. He was Duke of Aumale and son of Louis-Philippe d’Orléans, the last to reign over France as king, from 1830 to 1848.
In 1886, the entire estate was donated by the Orléans family to its current owner, the Institut de France, “An organization which brings together the most eminent academies of the country”. However, clauses framed the legacy, specifies the Times. The architecture of the estate would never be altered and the goods never lent or sold – notably the collection of paintings by Raphaël, Van Dyck, Ingres and Delacroix.
Precarious financial situation
Jean d’Orléans, count of Paris and pretender to the throne, now demands that the domain be returned to him. According to him, the Institut de France did not respect the wishes of his ancestor by approving the plans to create a luxury hotel – € 760 per night, with spa and starred restaurant – in the Pavilion of Enghien , annex of the castle. The project is currently on hold on suspicion of fraud in the tender process, but for Jean d’Orléans, whatever happens, the institute has shown itself to be unfit to manage the estate. A recent very critical report from the Court of Auditors indeed evokes a very precarious financial situation since the Aga Khan, the main donor in the field, stopped subsidizing it.
For the Count of Paris, the legacy should therefore be annulled and the castle returned to his family, and with him his hundreds of acres of land, his collections of works of art and his Grandes Écuries, which, says the Times, “Were built for an aristocrat who thought he would reincarnate as a horse”.