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The Arctic voyages of Louis-Philippe-Robert, Duc d’Orléans
Barr, W. (2010). The Arctic voyages of Louis-Philippe-Robert, Duc d’Orléans. Polar Rec. 46(236): 21-43.
In: Polar Record. Cambridge University Press: Cambridge. ISSN 0032-2474; e-ISSN 1475-3057, meer
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  • Barr, W.

    Louis-Philippe-Robert, Duc d'Orleans (1869-1926), the Orleans claimant to the French throne, mounted four private expeditions to the Arctic, in 1904, 1905, 1907, and 1909. During the first of these, on board his private yacht, Maroussia, and accompanied by his wife, Marie Dorothee, he visited Svalbard where he hunted reindeer while his wife, an accomplished amateur artist, executed a number of delightful paintings. In 1905 lie chartered the ice strengthened Belgica and employed Adrien de Gerlache de Gomery as her captain; lie also recruited an impressive group of scientists. He again visited Svalbard then pushed west through the pack ice to cast Greenland. He was able to penetrate further north along that coast than his predecessors, the Germans, under Koldewey in Germania, had in 1869-1870, and discovered and named Ile-de-France and the Belgica Bank. He shot large numbers of polar bears. In 1907, again on board Belgica, and again with de Gerlache in command of the ship, and again with a contingent of scientists on board, Orleans headed out into the Kara Sea from Matochkin Shar. Belgica soon became beset in the pack ice and drifted slowly south with the ice to emerge through Karskie Vorota after a very frustrating month. Thereafter an attempt to reach Zemlya Frantsa-losifa was foiled by heavy ice. Finally, in 1909, again on board Belgica under de Gerlache's command, Orleans visited Jan Mayen, east Greenland, Svalbard and Zemlya Frantsa-losifa, with hunting as his primary aim. From all four expeditions Orleans brought back substantial numbers of skins of birds and mammals that were Mounted and displayed in his private museums. On his death they were bequeathed to the French people and exhibited in the specially built Musee du Due d'Orleans in Paris and later in the Musee National d'Histoire Naturelle. The scientific data and specimens collected by the scientists on the 1905 and 1907 expeditions resulted in a substantial number of scientific reports in their various fields.

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