In 1787 and in 1788 he was a member of the Assembly of Notables called together by Louis XVI., and in 1788 presided over the assembly of the clergy.
Before the meeting of the notables in 1787 he had succeeded his father as duke of Orleans, and showed his liberal ideas, which were largely learnt in England, so boldly that he was believed to be aiming at becoming constitutional king of France.
The notables elect the provincial councillors in the proportion, usually, of one to every canton, and their delegates elect the chief of the canton, who voices the wishes of the natives to the government.
On the deposition of Charles the Fat in 887 he was excluded from the throne by his youth; but during the reign of Odo, who had succeeded Charles, he succeeded in gaining the recognition of a certain number of notables and in securing his coronation at Reims on the 28th of January 893.
In accordance with the consistent policy of inclusion and toleration by which the whole of his official life was characterized, he induced the council to call the assembly of notables, which met at Fontainebleau in August 1560 and agreed that the States General should be summoned, all proceedings against heretics being meanwhile suppressed, pending the reformation of the church by a general or national council.