A portrait of Henry Freeman's maternal grandfather (in fancy dress):Son Excellence, Monseigneur Henry de GALARD de BRASSAC de BÉARN, comte et prince de Béarn, prince de Chalais et grand d'Espagne de première classe, prince de Viana, duc de Cantabrie, comte de Brassac et de Marsan, marquis d'Excideuil, baron de La Rochebeaucourt, comte d'Empire, camérier secret de cape et d'épée de S.S. le pape Pie XII, conseiller d'ambassade, chevalier d'honneur et de dévotion de l'Ordre souverain de Malte. XXè Gouverneur de l'Ordre Équestre Apostolique de Saint-Georges de Bourgogne en 1923, mort en 1947.
Also Chief Administrator of the OSLJ's Grand Priory of France in the critical post-war years, 1944-47, when so many of the members who had collaborated with the German occupiers and profited from the war (including Galard's predecessor as Chief Administrator) went into hiding, and so many incriminating files were spirited out of Europe for safe-keeping:En 1939, éclata le deuxième conflit mondial. Au début des hostilités, les membres de France lancèrent un appel en vue de constituer des comités de secours. Il fut organisé un service d'ambulance pour le front « l'Anglo-américan-Corps » arborant la croix de l'Ordre de Saint- Lazare et l'appellation « Service Hospitalier de l'Ordre de Saint-Lazare », celui-ci sera opérationnel jusqu'à l'armistice de juin 1940.
A partir de 1942, pendant l'occupation allemande fut organisé un Corps de Volontaires Secouristes de l'Ordre de Saint-Lazare, pour porter secours aux blessés lors des bombardements, celui-ci sera en service jusqu'à la libération en 1945. En 1947 l'Etat marquera sa reconnaissance envers ce Corps, par la remise d'une citation à l'Ordre de la Nation.
En 1944, le Comte et Prince de Béarn et de Chalais, Henri de Galard de Brassac, Grand d'Espagne, comte de Brassac et de Marsan, chevalier de Malte et Camérier secret de SS, fut placé à la tête du Grand Prieuré de France et en assura la charge.
L'action hospitalière se développa encore par la création d'un dispensaire qui fut donné à la paroisse de Saint-Ambroise de Paris et par l'aide à la construction d'un pavillon de chirurgie à l'hôpital Saint-Joseph de Paris. Le Grand Prieur Prince de Béarn et de Chalais décéda le 26 avril 1947.
Humorous aside, not really a propos of anything in particular, Prince Henri de Galard and his American wife, heiress Beatrice Winans of Baltimore and Newport, were married (religiously) on 24 June 1905 at the Basilica of Sainte-Clothilde in Paris:BEARN-WINANS WEDDING
Baltimore Girl Married to the French Prince in Paris.
PARIS. June 24.--The marriage of Prince Henri de Béarn et de Chalais and Miss Beatrice Winans, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Ross Winans of Baltimore, Md., was celebrated at noon to-day in the Church of Ste. Clotilde
. There was a large and fashionable attendance, including Ambassador and Mrs. McCormick and many members of the old French aristocracy. The bridegroom is the head of the ancient family of Béarn-Brissac.
A wedding breakfast followed the ceremony. The Prince and Princess received many beautiful presents.
The Prince de Béarn was formerly an attaché of the French Embassy in Washington and was recently appointed a member of the Embassy in St. Petersburg. In the last few days Paris has been discussing a quarrel between the Prince and Prince Hélie de Sagan, who attacked M. de Béarn's right to the title of Prince de Chalais. There has been talk of a duel, but so far none has been fought.
In a statement defending his right to his second title the Prince de Béarn said:
"The title of Prince de Chalais, to which the rank of Grandee of Spain of the first class was attached by Philip V. by a cedula dated Oct. 1, 1714, in favor of Daniel Marie Anne de Talleyrand-Périgord, was recognized in France by Louis XIV., and was submitted to royal ordinance Aug. 29, 1774, regulating the transmission in France of the rank of Grandee and other Spanish honors as a consequence of an agreement between the royal houses of the two countries.
"The title was transmitted without interruption to the descendants of Daniel de Talleyrand-Périgord as far as Hélie de Talleyrand-Périgord, who died in 1883 without issue.
"The titles in the female line of this branch then reverted by virtue of the stipulation mentioned above to Cécile de Périgord, the last heir of the elder branch of the Talleyrand-Périgord family.
"She married, in 1873, Gaston de Galard de Béarn, my father, who died in 18[??], and then I inherited in my turn these titles and honors, which were recognized by a royal cedula under date of April 7, 1904, and published more than a year ago in official historical publications."
The following day Prince Hélie de Sagan published a reply in which he said:
"The Prince de Béarn purposely confuses matters in regard to the title 'Prince de Chalais' and that of Grandee of Spain, which latter distinction undoubtedly passes through the female line. The title of Prince de Chalais is much older and dates from the end of the twelfth century in François de Talleyrand and since then has never left his direct male line.
"I fail to see why it should now, contrary to all the laws and customs of France, be diverted from the legal course."
New York Times, 25 Jun 1905
There was another ugly row around 1966 when some American upstart pointed out that Galard's other princely title - Prince de Béarn, by this time borne by his son Gaston, Henry Freeman's first cousin - wasn't the family's title by right of descent from the House of Foix either, but was rather the gift of a grateful ex-Queen of Spain with a ravenous sexual appetite in 1868. Worse still, the upstart dared to state that the Galards' descent from the Counts of Foix was via illegitimate means, as the Foix princes always gave their bastards the surname of Béarn. Threats of legal action for defamation ensued, though were never carried out.
Anyway, the Basilica of Ste. Clothilde de Paris was, of course, the church where Pierre Plantard's uncle, the Abbé Plantard, was said to have served as vicar. Curious.