The count of Carolais, Charles de Bourbon was the prince whom Louis XIV clearly detested. And yet this fact would not affect the prince’s popularity at the Court of Versailles. The great displeasure of the Sun King was due to the prince’s flight from Versailles to fight the Turks in Hungary. Back in France as a great hero who had distinguished himself at the battle of Belgrade, our prince was quickly forgiven.
In the days of Regency, Charles de Bourbon is more renowned for his debauchery and has a distinguished police file. He beats up a coach driver of the Spanish ambassador for parking in the spot reserved for the princes and inspires Marquis de Sade with a good number of escapades involving kidnapping and love-slaves. He is summoned by the Regent to give a full account of a murder of an innocent man who simply gets into the prince’s way. Philippe of Orleans has no choice but to forgive him, “I forgive you,” says the Regent, “as I forgive the man who may one day kill you.”