Charlotte of Savoy

Last updated
Charlotte of Savoy
Charlotte de Savoie.jpg
Portrait of Charlotte of Savoy, c.1472
Queen consort of France
Tenure22 July 1461 – 30 August 1483
Died1 December 1483(1483-12-01) (aged 42)
Amboise, France
Notre-Dame de Cléry Basilica, Cléry-Saint-André, France
Louis XI of France
(m. 1451;died 1483)
Issue Anne, Duchess of Bourbon
Joan, Queen of France
Charles VIII of France
House Valois
Father Louis, Duke of Savoy
Mother Anne of Cyprus
Religion Roman Catholicism

Charlotte of Savoy (c. 1441/3 – 1 December 1483) was queen of France as the second spouse of Louis XI. She served as regent during the king's absence in 1465, and was a member of the royal regency council during her son's minority in 1483.

Louis XI of France Valois king of France

Louis XI, called "Louis the Prudent", was King of France from 1461 to 1483. He succeeded his father Charles VII.



She was a daughter of Louis, Duke of Savoy [1] and Anne of Cyprus. [2] Her maternal grandparents were Janus of Cyprus and Charlotte de Bourbon-La Marche. Her maternal grandmother, for whom she was probably named, was a daughter of John I, Count of La Marche, and Catherine de Vendôme. She was one of 19 children, 14 of whom survived infancy.

Louis, Duke of Savoy 15th-century Duke of Savoy

Louis I was Duke of Savoy from 1440 until his death in 1465.

Anne of Cyprus Italian noble

Anne of Cyprus was a Duchess of Savoy by marriage to Louis, Duke of Savoy. She was the daughter of King Janus of Cyprus and Charlotte of Bourbon; and a member of the Poitiers-Lusignan crusader dynasty.

Janus of Cyprus King of Cyprus and Armenia

Janus of Cyprus was a King of Cyprus and titular King of Armenian Cilicia and Jerusalem from 1398 to 1432.


On 11 March 1443, when Charlotte was just over a year old, she was betrothed to Frederick of Saxony (28 August 1439- 23 December 1451), eldest son of Frederick II, Elector of Saxony. [1] For reasons unknown, the betrothal was annulled. Less than eight years later on 14 February 1451, Charlotte married Louis, Dauphin of France (future Louis XI), eldest son of Charles VII of France and Marie of Anjou. [3] The bride was nine years old and the groom twenty-seven. The marriage, which had taken place without the consent of the French king, [3] was Louis' second; his first spouse, Margaret of Scotland, had died childless in 1445. Upon her marriage, Charlotte became Dauphine of France.

Frederick II, Elector of Saxony Elector of Saxony (1428–1464) and was Landgrave of Thuringia (1440–1445)

Frederick II, The Gentle was Elector of Saxony (1428–1464) and was Landgrave of Thuringia (1440–1445).

Charles VII of France 15th-century king of France

Charles VII, called the Victorious or the Well-Served, was King of France from 1422 to his death in 1461.

Marie of Anjou queen consort of France

Marie of Anjou was Queen of France as the spouse of King Charles VII from 1422 to 1461. She served as regent and presided over the council of state several times during the absence of the king.

Louis reportedly neglected her. When the news upon his succession to the throne of France reached the couple at the Burgundian court, he immediately abandoned her in Burgundy to secure his inheritance, leaving her dependent upon Isabella of Bourbon to borrow the carts and entourage necessary to travel to France to join him.

Isabella of Bourbon French noble

Isabella of Bourbon, Countess of Charolais was the second wife of Charles the Bold, Count of Charolais and future Duke of Burgundy. She was a daughter of Charles I, Duke of Bourbon and Agnes of Burgundy, and the mother of Mary of Burgundy, heiress of Burgundy.


On 22 July 1461, Charlotte became Queen of France. The following year, she became seriously ill and was close to death by August 1462. Although she recovered, her health was weakened.

Louis XI did not keep much of a representational court life. He had Queen Charlotte and her household kept secluded at the Château of Amboise, where she spent her days with her sisters and courtiers, supervising the education of her daughters (her son was educated by the king), playing chess and marbles, listening to her lute player, doing needlework and fulfilling her religious duties. On rare occasions she was asked to fulfill ceremonial tasks as queen such as greeting foreign guests, for example in 1470, when the king took the powerful Earl of Warwick and the Duke of Clarence from England to Amboise to visit her. Charlotte was interested in literature and praised for the taste and excellence of her personal library. [2] She left a collection of about one hundred manuscripts, which would become the genesis of the Bibliothèque nationale of France.

Richard Neville, 16th Earl of Warwick 15th-century English noble

Richard Neville, 16th Earl of Warwick, known as Warwick the Kingmaker, was an English nobleman, administrator, and military commander. The eldest son of Richard Neville, 5th Earl of Salisbury, he became Earl of Warwick through marriage, and was the wealthiest and most powerful English peer of his age, with political connections that went beyond the country's borders. One of the leaders in the Wars of the Roses, originally on the Yorkist side but later switching to the Lancastrian side, he was instrumental in the deposition of two kings, which led to his epithet of "Kingmaker".

George Plantagenet, 1st Duke of Clarence 15th-century English noble

George Plantagenet, Duke of Clarence, KG, was a son of Richard Plantagenet, 3rd Duke of York, and Cecily Neville, and the brother of English Kings Edward IV and Richard III. He played an important role in the dynastic struggle between rival factions of the Plantagenets known as the Wars of the Roses.

Charlotte was regarded as virtuous. A contemporary noted that "while she was an excellent Princess in other respects, she was not a person in whom a man could take any great delight"; [2] However, after the birth of her last child in 1472, Louis swore that he would no longer be unfaithful, and according to the chronicler Phillip de Commynes, he kept this vow.

Charlotte served as regent in September 1465.

Queen dowager

Charlotte was widowed on August 30, 1483, upon which Louis XI was succeeded by their son Charles VIII, who was still a minor.

Louis XI did not make Charlotte regent if his son should succeed him while still a minor; he did in fact not formally appoint a regent at all, but he did leave instructions for a royal council to govern during such a minority, in which Charlotte, alongside Duke Jean de Bourbon II and their two sons-in-law Louis d'Orleans (married to their daughter Jeanne) and Peter II, Duke of Bourbon (married to their daughter Anne), were made members. In practice, her daughter Anne took control over France as regent during the minority of Charles.

Charlotte died on 1 December 1483 in Amboise, just a few months after her spouse's death. She is buried with him in the Notre-Dame de Cléry Basilica [4] in Cléry-Saint-André (Loiret) in the arrondissement of Orléans.


Charlotte became the mother of eight children, but only three survived infancy. These were Charles VIII, who became king of France, Anne, who acted as regent of France for Charles, and Joan, who became queen of France as the spouse of Louis XII.

Upon the death of her daughter, Anne, Charlotte's line became extinct; her granddaughter, Suzanne having died in 1521 without surviving issue.


Related Research Articles

Charles VIII of France King of France

Charles VIII, called the Affable, was King of France from 1483 to his death in 1498. He succeeded his father Louis XI at the age of 13. His elder sister Anne acted as regent jointly with her husband Peter II, Duke of Bourbon until 1491 when the young king turned 21 years of age. During Anne's regency, the great lords rebelled against royal centralisation efforts in a conflict known as the Mad War (1485–1488), which resulted in a victory for the royal government.

The French lordship of Montpensier, located in historical Auvergne, became a countship in the 14th century.

Marie Leszczyńska Queen consort of France

Maria Karolina Zofia Felicja Leszczyńska, also known as Marie Leczinska, was a Polish noblewoman and French queen consort. The daughter of King Stanisław Leszczyński—Stanislaus I of Poland –and Catherine Opalińska, she married King Louis XV of France and became queen consort of France. She served in that role for 42 years from 1725 until her death in 1768, the longest service of any queen of France, and was popular due to her generosity and piety. She was the grandmother of Louis XVI, Louis XVIII and Charles X of France.

Anne of Brittany Duchess of Brittany and twice Queen of France

Anne of Brittany was Duchess of Brittany from 1488 until her death, and queen consort of France from 1491 to 1498 and from 1499 to her death. She is the only woman to have been queen consort of France twice. During the Italian Wars, Anne also became queen consort of Naples, from 1501 to 1504, and duchess consort of Milan, in 1499–1500 and from 1500 to 1512.

Isabella, Duchess of Lorraine French duchess

Isabella was suo jure Duchess of Lorraine, from 25 January 1431 to her death in 1453. She was also Queen of Naples by marriage to René of Anjou. Isabella ruled the Kingdom of Naples and her husband's domains in France as regent during his imprisonment in Burgundy in 1435-1438.

Peter II, Duke of Bourbon

Peter II, Duke of Bourbon, was the son of Charles I, Duke of Bourbon, and Agnes of Burgundy, and a member of the House of Bourbon. He and his wife Anne of France ruled as regents during the minority of Charles VIII of France.

Suzanne, Duchess of Bourbon French noble

Suzanne de Bourbon was suo jure Duchess of Bourbon and Auvergne from 1503 to her death alongside her co-regent and spouse Charles de Bourbon.

Gilbert, Count of Montpensier Count of Clermont-en-Auvergne and Montpensier and Dauphin dAuvergne

Gilbert de Bourbon, Count of Montpensier was the son of Louis de Bourbon and Gabrielle La Tour, Count of Montpensier and Dauphin d'Auvergne. He was appointed to the Order of Saint Michael by Charles VIII in October 1483.

Jeanne de Bourbon, Duchess of Bourbon French noble

Jeanne de Bourbon was a daughter of John II, Count of Vendôme and Isabelle de Beauvau. Through her daughter Madeleine, she was the maternal grandmother of French queen consort Catherine de' Medici and the great-grandmother of French Kings Francis II, Charles IX, and Henry III.

Louise of Savoy Mother of King Francis I of France

Louise of Savoy was a French noble and regent, Duchess suo jure of Auvergne and Bourbon, Duchess of Nemours, and the mother of King Francis I. She was politically active and served as the regent of France in 1515, in 1525–1526 and in 1529.

Joan of France, Duchess of Berry French duchess who entered religious life, became a nun and later an abbess who founded the Sisters of the Annunciation of Mary (canonized 1950)

Joan of France, was briefly Queen of France as wife of King Louis XII, in between the death of her brother, King Charles VIII, and the annulment of her marriage. After that, she retired to her domain, where she soon founded the monastic Order of the Sisters of the Annunciation of Mary, where she served as abbess. From this Order later sprang the religious congregation of the Apostolic Sisters of the Annunciation, founded in 1787 to teach the children of the poor. She was canonized on 28 May 1950 and is known in the Roman Catholic Church as Saint Joan of Valois, O.Ann.M..

Anne of France Regent of France

Anne of France was a French princess and regent, the eldest daughter of Louis XI by Charlotte of Savoy. Anne was the sister of Charles VIII, for whom she acted as regent during his minority from 1483 until 1491. During the regency she was one of the most powerful women of late fifteenth-century Europe, and was referred to as "Madame la Grande". Between 1503 and 1521, she also acted as de facto regent of the Duchy of Bourbon during the reign of her daughter Suzanne, Duchess of Bourbon.

Charlotte Aglaé dOrléans

Charlotte Aglaé d'Orléans, was the Duchess of Modena and Reggio by marriage. She was the third daughter of Philippe II, Duke of Orléans, and of his wife, Françoise-Marie de Bourbon. She was born a princesse du sang. When a married woman, she had ten children.

Élisabeth Charlotte dOrléans French duchess

Élisabeth Charlotte d'Orléans was a petite-fille de France, and duchess of Lorraine and Bar by marriage to Leopold, Duke of Lorraine. She was regent of Lorraine and Bar during the minority (1729–1730) and absence of her son (1730–1737), and suo jure Princess of Commercy 1737–1744. Among her children was Francis I, Holy Roman Emperor, a co-founder of the House of Habsburg-Lorraine.

Margaret of Savoy, Countess of Saint-Pol Princess of Savoy, marchioness consort of Montferrat

Margaret of Savoy, also known as Marguerite de Savoie or Margherita di Savoia, was the eldest surviving daughter of Louis I, Duke of Savoy. She was the wife of Margrave John IV of Montferrat, and later the wife of Peter II of Luxembourg, Count of Saint-Pol, of Brienne, Marle, and Soissons. Margaret's numerous descendants included Mary, Queen of Scots and King Henry IV of France.

Jacqueline de Longwy French countess

Jacqueline de Longwy, Countess of Bar-sur-Seine, Duchess of Montpensier, Dauphine of Auvergne was a French noblewoman, and a half-niece of King Francis I of France. She was the first wife of Louis III de Bourbon, Duke of Montpensier, and the mother of his six children. She had the office of Première dame d'honneur to the queen dowager regent of France, Catherine de' Medici, from 1560 until 1561.

Charlotte of Albret Wife of Cesare Borgia

Charlotte of Albret, Dame de Châlus, was a wealthy French noblewoman of the Albret family. She was the sister of King John III of Navarre and the wife of the widely notorious Cesare Borgia, whom she married in 1499. She was the mother of his only legitimate child, Louise Borgia, to whom she acted as regent following the death of Cesare.

Princess Anne Charlotte of Lorraine French royal

Anne Charlotte of Lorraine was the Abbess of Remiremont and Mons. She was the thirteenth of fifteen children of Leopold, Duke of Lorraine, and his spouse Élisabeth Charlotte d'Orléans. Her mother was the niece of Louis XIV of France and sister of Philippe II, Duke of Orléans and Regent of France during the minority of Louis XV.


  1. 1 2 Joachim W. Stieber, Pope Eugenius IV, the Council of Basel and the Secular and Ecclesiastical Authorities in the Empire, (E.J. Brill, 1978), 254.
  2. 1 2 3 Sharon L. Jansen, Anne of France: Lessons For My Daughter, ed. Jane Chance, (Boydell & Brewer, 2004), 2-3
  3. 1 2 Richard Vaughan, Philip the Good, (The Boydell Press, 2010), 353.
  4. "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2006-07-20. Retrieved 2006-08-26.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
French royalty
Preceded by
Marie of Anjou
Queen consort of France
22 July 1461 30 August 1483
Succeeded by
Anne of Brittany