Louis XVIII, known as "the Desired", was a monarch of the House of Bourbon who ruled as King of France and Navarre from 1814 to 1824 except for a period in 1815 known as the Hundred Days. Louis XVIII spent twenty-three years in exile, from 1791 to 1814, during the French Revolution and the First French Empire, and again in 1815, during the period of the Hundred Days, upon the return of Napoleon I from Elba.
Until his accession to the throne of France, Louis held the title of Count of Provence as brother of King Louis XVI. On 21 September 1792, the National Convention abolished the monarchy and deposed King Louis XVI, who was later executed by guillotine. When the young Louis XVII, Louis XVI's son, died in prison in June 1795, Louis XVIII succeeded his nephew as titular King.
During the French Revolution and Napoleonic era, Louis XVIII lived in exile in Prussia, the United Kingdom and Russia. When the Sixth Coalition finally defeated Napoleon in 1814, Louis was restored to what he, and the French royalists, considered his rightful position. Napoleon escaped from his exile in Elba, however, and restored his French Empire. Louis XVIII fled and a Seventh Coalition declared war on the French Empire, defeated Napoleon, and for a second time restored Louis XVIII to the French throne.
The English, a spirited nation, claim the empire of the sea; the
French, a calmer nation, claim that of the air.
[Fr., Les Anglais, nation trop fiere
S'arrogent l'empire des mers;
Les Francais, nation legere,
S'emparent de celui des airs.]
Quotes, by Louis XVIII , Source: said in 1783 when he was Comte de Provence during period of Montgolfier aeronautical experiments