Requiem for a Dauphin

DNA analysis reveals that the young heir to the French throne left to die in prison was no impostor

In 1795, after the terror had claimed the heads of his father and mother, Louis Charles--next in line for the French throne--finally earned his release from the Temple prison in Paris. He had suffered the dank filth, the coarse ministrations of a guardian cobbler and long periods of isolation before succumbing, at age 10, to tuberculosis. The prince was dead. Vive la Revolution!

Or was he? Rumors swirled that the son of Louis XVI and Marie Antoinette lived on: that he had escaped on his own, or been spirited away by royalists who replaced him with a commoner, or that Robespierre...

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