The Kingdom of Araucania and Patagonia


Subjects of the so-called Kingdom wearing the regalia of their own bogus Order.

Firstly, I’ll start this article with a short history lesson. The “Kingdom” of Araucania and Patagonia began in 1860 when an eccentric French lawyer and adventurer, Orélie-Antoine de Tounens, decided it’d be fun to declare himself King of somewhere (after all, it was quite the fashion to do so in France at the time.) Anyway, de Tounens quickly found an unclaimed piece of territory in South America which, as he tells it, was “occupied” by the Republics of Chile and Argentina (even though this country never actually existed). He was then (allegedly) elected King by his country’s indigenous people.

But, Orélie was nothing more than a historic fake. Dubbed insane by the French Consul, he was not the de facto nor the de jure ruler of the area he claimed, and therefore the Chilean government didn’t take kindly to his Declaration of Independence. After being deported, he spent the rest of his life “exiled” in his birth country, France. Having left no children, one would think this peculiar little Kingdom would’ve quietly faded into obscurity. Well, it didn’t.


The Kingdom’s most esteemed statesmen… (Apparently)

According to one website, the Kingdom’s “Regency Council”, has continued to  elect monarchs up until the present day. The current claimant, who calls himself Antione IV is shown above (centre), who also claims the title Baron of San Pedro de Hueyusco. To his left, is Antoine’s Chancellor, who usually refers to himself as Baron Raoul de Lavalette de Saint Genies, Duke of Boroa. Interestingly enough, no such Dukedom, nor Barony has ever existed. The man on the far right, Klaus-Peter Pohland, claims the title “Count of Coronel”. Hilariously, even their photographer, self-styled Viscount Franz Quatreboeufs de Malimensu, claims his own title.

Of course, no fake monarchy would be complete without fake Regalia and the inevitable self-styled Orders of Chivalry. As well as the standard nick-nacks, His Royal Highness Antoine is known to hand out a number of shiny trinkets to his friends, varying from commemorative medals to self-styled Orders. Shown below is one of the many awards given out by the Kingdom, the “Order of Queen-Laure-Therese”, which looks more like a child’s happy meal treat than the insignia of an Order of Chivalry.





2 thoughts on “The Kingdom of Araucania and Patagonia

  1. The important part of this story is that there continue to be Mapuche people — the aboriginal people of Araucania and Patagonia — who support the claims of the kingdom. While the kingdom clearly failed — Orelie-Antoine was not able to accomplish his goal — there are Mapuche who remember this episode in their history as an example of the exercise of their sovereignty. That’s why the kingdom was and is important. In the 1930s, there was another attempt by the Mapuche to form a sovereign state — that time a republic — but it, too, failed. I appreciate those who point out false titles and orders — particularly when the victimize people who buy that junk — but I think, in this case, you’ve missed the essential question.

  2. You cannot mention the Kingdom of Araucania, and its survival into the 21st century, without mentioning that it is owed mostly to the French writer Jean Raspail, author of the book : “Moi, Antoine de Tounens, Roi de Patagonie” (a must-read).

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