During the 18th and 19th century, under the guidance of the head of the family Cheikh Abou Naufal el Khazen and later on his sons the next consuls combined administrative responsibilities with the function of French consul. The Khazen were successful in spreading the message of the Maronites in Lebanon. They played a unique role in supporting the Clergy and strengthen the relationship of the Maronites with France at the time. This has resulted in nominating the Khazen as "Consul de France" and refering to them by as "Prince of Maronites" by the kings of France including Louis XIV, Louis XV and Louis XVI/
Please refer to the below documents:
A gift from Louis XIV to the Prince of Maronites
The letter below is a message from the King of France Louis XIV to Cheikh Abou Naufal el Khazen thanking the Khazen Family and referring them as "Prince of the Maronites". The King was displaying his gratitude to the Khazen's maintaining safety in Mount Lebanon and their support to the Maronite community and Clergy .
The letter below was sent from The Duc D'Orleans thanking the Khazen for their generosity and mutual love btw them. The Duc D'Orleans refer to the Khazen as "Prince"
The below certificate was offered to Cheikh Hosun el Khazen by the Princess De Lusignan, thanking the "Prince Hosun el khazen" famly for their donations.
The below letters were sent by King of France Louis XV thanking the Khazen family for their warm wishes that he received from them earlier in the year. He refers to the family as "Prince of the Maronites"