PALAIS ROYAL GROUP, Parisian workers sympathetic to the regime of Napoleon III, active in the early 1860s; named after the residence of Prince Napoleon, who inspired and facilitated much of the group's activity. Also influential were former Saint-Simonians like Michel Chevalier and publicists like Adolphe Guéroult ( 1810-1872). The Palais Royal workers regarded the Empire as the best source for reform of workers' conditions. They included paid government agents and other bonapartist loyalists, as well as republicans who had been alienated by the conservative bourgeois leadership of the Second Republic. Their views converged with those of the erstwhile revolutionary republican, Armand Lévy ( 1827-1891), who had also rallied to the Empire in the name of reform favoring workers. Prominent in the group were printing workers, such as J. J. Blanc and A. Coutant, and the anti-clerical tinsmith Chabaud, its leading spokesman. Chabaud headed the Workers' Commission, which organized a delegation of workers to the London Exposition in 1862. This exercise in government-funded working-class representation was repeated in 1867 at the Paris Exposition, where Chabaud also had a role. Chabaud refused to run as a workers' candidate in the 1863 general elections to the Corps Législatif but announced his candidacy in the 1864 by-election to oppose that of Henri Tolain and, according to one interpretation, to discredit Tolain's candidacy among republicans. Thereafter he and Tolain, another leader of the workers' delegation of 1862, parted ways, Tolain to emphasize an autonomous labor movement and Chabaud to stress reform through petition to the government.
Palais Royal workers wrote pamphlets, brochures ouvrières, published with orange covers, as well as numerous articles and letters for L'opinion nationale and for the "Chroniques ouvrières" of the pro-government newspaper Le pays. In these they expressed their views on social questions. Their most famous pamphlet was their first, entitled Le peuple, l'empereur et les anciens partis, written in 1861 in response to the duc d'Aumale's ( 1822-1897) Lettre sur l'histoire de France, circulating in factories, which compared the bonapartist regime unfavorably with that of the July Monarchy. The Palais Royal authors--Chabaud, B. V. Viguier (a proofreader), Berthelemy (a printer), Coquard (a bookbinder) and Leroy (a printing worker)--argued that Napoleon III had demonstrated sin-