The chapel is built in whitewashed stone, and the ‘roof is domed and the four wings are castellated so that the design appears to combine the Byzantine and Gothic styles of architecture’. R. R. Langham Carter’s monograph on the church (1969) notes that the Orleans Chapel has a glass dome, with panels of stained glass, a stained glass east window and a pavement of blue, red and white tiles. The tomb was mounted on a simple Gothic stone tomb chest and the walls were set with tablets recording ‘the many losses and sorrows of the House of Orleans’.
Grade II* (England and Wales)
Louis Philippe, King of the French, abdicated in 1848 and moved to England where he lived with his family at Claremont, Esher. They attended mass at the chapel of St Charles Borromeo in Weybridge, and between 1850 and 1869 eleven members of the Orleans family were buried in the crypt there. When, in 1871, the fall of Napoleon III made it possible for the family to return to France, arrangements were made to have the royal remains transferred to the Orleans mortuary chapel at Dreux in Normandy.
The only coffin not returned to France was that of the beautiful Duchesse de Nemours which remained at Weybridge at the express wish of her husband. In 1881 the chapel nave was extended, and in 1883 a chapel was built to house the tomb and white marble effigy of the sleeping princess, the latter carved by the noted French sculptor Henri Michel-Antoine Chapu. But the tomb is now gone. In 1976 the Diocesan Council of Administration decided to close and sell St Charles Borromeo. Three years later, the remains of the duchesse were exhumed and sent to Dreux. Then, in 1994, the effigy was sold by Sothebys to the Walker Art Gallery in Liverpool, where it is presently on display.
The church, after years of neglect, was acquired by the Korean Methodist congregation. The present condition of the chapel is not known (2006).
BoE: Surrey (1971), 517;
R R Langham-Carter, The Church of St Charles Borromeo, Weybridge, The Walton and Weybridge Local History Society Monograph No.7, November 1969;
M E Blackman, and J S L Pulford, A Short History of Weybridge (1991), 6-7;
St Charles Borromeo, Weybridge [n.d] leaflet;
R R Langham-Carter, The French Royal tombs at Weybridge, The Walton and Weybridge Local History Society Monograph No. 24, September 1975.
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RC Church of St Charles Borromeo,