Of all the old roses Comte de Chambord undoubtedly ranks as one of the best. Classed as a Portland Damask it is a tidy, well-foliated, upright shrub with an eventual height of 3-4 ft. The blooms exude a strong sweet fragrance and sit upon the leaves in small clusters. High-centred scrolled buds develop into full cupped, quartered blooms and finally reflex to reveal a boss of yellow stamens. The colour ranges from deep pink at the centre to a paler pink perimeter. It is also reliably repeat flowering. Such assets make them useful for growing both individually or en masse in the border, making a low hedge or as a pot grown specimen. It has been given an Award of Garden Merit from the RHS.
Although generally regarded as the creation of french breeder Moreau-Robert of France in 1863 there are some other theories being mooted. One is that it was bred by Daniel Boll of New York and sent to France where Moreau-Robert unscrupulously rechristened it as his own. Another suggests it was bred by a french supplier of Bolls called Joseph Boyau of Angers and introduced it as Mme Boll in the U.S. Most are of the opinion that Comte de Chambord and Mme. Boll are one and the same. Mme. Boll was the wife of Daniel Boll herself a keen rosarian and Comte de Chambord was Prince Henri who laid claim to title King of France from 1844 until his death in 1883. Others uphold that Mme. Knorr bred by Victor Verdier in 1855 is also the same. It seems that everyone wanted to lay claim to this superb rose!
More recently David Austin has used it as a pollen parent to breed some of his most iconic varieties including Gertrude Jekyll and The Countryman.