Louis Philippe Joseph II, Duke of Orléans
D'Egalite in insignia as the grand master of the French freemason lodge.
He served in the American Revloution as an officer in the French Royal Navy but hid in the his ships hold during the battle off d'Ouessant (Ushant) in 1778. This act of cowardice earned his removal as well as the disgust of Marie-Antoinette.
As many of the liberal sect he engaged in a life of luxury, while doing just enough for the poor in order to curry their favor. While never himself getting dirty as it were. His visits to Great Britain, and his desire for those things English, from liberalism to horseracing. Elena Maria Vidal relates in her well researched tome "Madame Royale" (a sequel to Trianon) that his jockey colors were used as the basis of the new French flag the tricolor, blue, white and red.
Before the Assembly of Notables in 1787 he had succeeded his father as Duke of Orléans, and showed his liberal ideas in a bold manner, leading to suspicions that he was preparing to become constitutional king of France. In November he again showed his liberalism in the Lit de justice, which Étienne de Brienne had made the king hold, and was again exiled to Villers-Côtterets.
At the convocation of the Estates-General he joined the Third Estate, the citizens, while he was also a member of the second estate which he headed the liberal minorty.
The summer of 1789 brought him to new heights of betrayal as he was as near the the source of every adjitation and every riot. He was most certainly involved in the storming of the bastille, and the subsequent murder of the warden there, and realized that the bastille would provide the tocsin to prpoel the country into revolution. Anything he could do to bring down the King and Queen where within his realm of hatred.
Phillipe d'Egalite was the 18th century model of a gangland boss. His desire for power knew no bounds. His treachery was without parallel.
His most infamous act.
After accepting the title of Citoyen Égalité, conferred on him by the Commune, he was elected twentieth and last deputy for Paris to the National Convention, where he again had no notable contribution other than the mandatory one of voting in the king's trial - he gave his deciding vote for the execution of Louis XVI, his own cousin.
This compliance to republican rules did not save him from suspicion, which was especially aroused by the friendship of his eldest son, the duke of Chartres, with Charles François Dumouriez. When the news of the desertion of Chartres and Dumouriez became known in Paris, all the Bourbons left in France, including Égalité, were ordered to be arrested on April 5. He remained in prison until October, and the beginning of the Reign of Terror. One of the most likely victims, Louis Philippe was shortlisted for a trial on October 3, and effectively tried and guillotined in the space of one day. Not a record for that court.
VIVE LE ROY!