Announced text in French with video in English (the speech given was slightly shorter than the announced speech).
Eminence, ladies and gentlemen, dear friends,
First of all, thank you for giving me the opportunity to speak on the subject of the family at the opening of this international symposium. This subject is important to me and to my wife. Indeed, we live in our Western societies, a crucial moment regarding the role and place given to the family institution, faced with many assaults.
You need to know how to resist the attacks that the traditional family is facing. They are numerous: raising a large family, praying, leading political action, social or legal, and always paying attention and constant vigilance. Conferences like this contribute to this spirit of resistance by facilitating exchanges and sharing knowledge. Together, it is easier to discern the stakes and the risks and to think of ways to remedy this situation which, if it were to continue, would lead to ruin of the society, even to that of the Civilization.
Speaking at the opening of this congress, it is up to me to pose the problems as I see them, and this in three aspects: as head of the House of Bourbon and successor of the kings of France; as head of a family, as a person engaged in social life.
First of all as Head of the House of Bourbon, I find myself heir to a family that has reigned for more than 800 years in France and which, especially, as all historians recognize, has made a small field a powerful and radiant state in Europe and beyond.
This work was possible because it was that of a family, the royal family. Thus, the fundamental laws of the kingdom, the Constitution of the time, which allowed its development, were originally a family law. For the greater collective good, these laws organized the transmission of royal power from male to male in order of primogeniture. They thus guaranteed the stability of power and ensured a national dynasty. Such is the "Capetian miracle". It was family and social law. At the same time since it was based on an order and resulted in natural hierarchies between people. If all did not have the same duties, all had to contribute to the common good. How not to express better this practice, how much the King and his family are at the service of the society.
Beyond this, the king, head of the family, also symbolized the unity of society by being the model of all families. The bond which united the French to each other was, first and foremost, a family tie from the humblest to the king. Far from being an object of law, each Frenchman was above all a subject, that is to say a person with inalienable rights. This link between the social body and the head is currently lacking. This organic connection is perhaps the most important element that the dynasty, the royal family, could bring. These principles were understood, lived and admitted from the great Louis IX whose Church made a saint at the end of the 13th century. They have not changed for centuries because they gave meaning to life in society, the latter being much more than a set of individuals held by laws and regulations but a real community committed to the same collective destiny. That is why France was not only an international political success, but above all a model of civilization to share.
But I would like to come also to a second point, if the Head of the House of Bourbon incarnates the royal family and its values, he is also a head of family like all of you. This family I feel in my being, deep within me. This family is those who preceded me and to whom I must be who I am. You see, there is not a day when I do not think of my ancestors who have left me a story that sometimes exceeds me; where I do not think of my brother too soon lost, my father, who died when I was too young, my grandparents, my dear grandmother who died a few months ago. Of them all, I am indebted for what I am, a small link in a huge chain. It is absurd to want to believe that one would be orphaned individuals who would have everything to rediscover or expect from the state. Of course, if this applies to those who have gone before us, this is even more true for those who are now at my side, every day, every moment. What would I be without my wife, my dear children and among them I include the fourth who is announced for in a few months, but who is already a person in our family. This spiritual aspect is at the heart of my family and part of its mystery. The family is an entity in itself, just as the couple is more than the husband and the wife. Thus attacking the family is ruining the natural balance, it is breaking the chain of generations that goes from the origins of the world to what will be its end. This dimension of the family is essential and to question it is to attack the greatest foundation of human society. It is up to us parents to defend it.
This defense of the family goes through that of life, from its conception to natural death and, beyond that, by the respect due to the dead who should not become issues of power; it passes through the transmission of values and especially through education that cannot be limited to instruction.
You see, and this will be my third point about the social role of each of us. It is based on the experience of history and recent events. When some seek to break the social pact, if they first fight those who oppose it with ideas or weapons, very quickly and always they try to break families. Let us think of the Vendee, where women and children were killed even more than the combatants themselves in atrocious ways; remember the Armenians and the genocidal policies that followed and in many parts of the world continue; as we have seen, there is still little for the Christians of the East. Each time, under the reign of red, brown and now green totalitarianism , families are worried for what they represent, each time there are forced separations, the grip on the children to make them child soldiers, and enslavements for girls and women. On this point the royal families paid their taxes. Remember Louis XVI murdered with wife, son and sister; Nicholas II with wife and children.
This shows how the family despite all its fragility remains for some the main enemy. It is therefore the duty of all, especially those who aspire to religious, social, political but also cultural functions, to defend the family, that is, life.
So, finally, after drawing your attention to the connection between royal family, natural family and social family, I will make a proposal: why not propose to UNESCO to include in World Heritage, the model of the traditional natural family, a father, a mother, and children, a model that has proved its worth. Would that not develop a real dynamic in the family institution by making it a model with irreplaceable values for tomorrow?
Thank you for listening to me. May Saint Louis, my grandfather, the king of the eleven children, protect our families. Thank you.