|Princess Palatine Elisabeth Charlotte|
|Duchess of Orléans|
|Born||27 May 1652|
Heidelberg Castle, Heidelberg, Electoral Palatinate, Holy Roman Empire
|Died||8 December 1722 70) (aged|
Château de Saint-Cloud, Île-de-France, Kingdom of France
Basilica of Saint Denis, France
|Spouse||Philippe I, Duke of Orléans|
|Father||Charles I Louis, Elector Palatine|
|Mother||Landgravine Charlotte of Hesse-Kassel|
|Religion|| Roman Catholicism |
Princess Elisabeth Charlotte : Prinzessin Elisabeth Charlotte von der Pfalz; nicknamed "Lieselotte", 27 May 1652 – 8 December 1722) was a German princess and, as Madame, the second wife of Philippe I, Duke of Orléans, younger brother of Louis XIV of France, and mother of France's ruler during the Regency. Louis invoked her hereditary claim to the Palatinate as pretext to launch the Nine Years' War in 1688. Her vast, frank correspondence provides a detailed account of the personalities and activities at the court of her brother-in-law, Louis XIV, for half a century, from the date of her marriage in 1672.(German
Princess Elisabeth Charlotte was born on 27 May 1652 in Heidelberg Castle, to Charles I Louis, Elector Palatine of the Simmern branch of the House of Wittelsbach, and Landgravine Charlotte of Hesse-Kassel.She is directly related to several iconic European monarchs. Her grandmother Elizabeth Stuart was a Scottish and later English princess, daughter of James I of England and granddaughter of Mary, Queen of Scots. Her first cousin became George I, the first Hanover King of England. Through her daughter, she was the great-grandmother of Marie Antoinette. In childhood she became known as Liselotte—a portmanteau of her names. Her parents were in an unhappy dynastic marriage and in 1653 her father began an affair with Marie Luise von Degenfeld, one of his wife's attendants. He purported to marry Marie Luise motu proprio as a prince-elector of the Empire, without benefit of a judicial divorce, and claimed to have done so to legitimise the bastard children. Liselotte was five years old when she was sent to live with her father's sister, Sophia, wife of Ernest Augustus, Elector of Hanover.
She always remembered her time with her aunt as the happiest of her life, although she became close enough to her younger half-sisters to correspond with them at least weekly after she married. In 1663, Liselotte had to move back to Heidelberg where she lived with her stepmother, fifteen half-siblings, and brother, the future Charles II, Elector Palatine. She had purportedly desired to marry her cousin William III of Orange, who would later become King of England, though her family believed that sacrifices needed to be made in order to make a more beneficial marriage with the recently widowed brother of the King of France, formerly married to her father's first cousin, Princess Henrietta Anne of England.
On 16 November 1671, she was married by proxy at Metz to Philippe I, Duke of Orléans. By prearrangement, after leaving her father's realm but prior to arriving in France, she formally converted to Roman Catholicism.The arranged marriage was conceived by the bride's aunt, Anna Gonzaga, a close friend of her future husband and his deceased first wife, who negotiated the marriage contract, including the secret Catholic instruction and subsequent public conversion of the fiancée. At the French court, her husband Philippe was known by the traditional honorific of Monsieur .
Described in the marriage contract as "the Electoral Princess Palatine of the Rhine" (Kurpfalzprinzessin), as Orléans' wife, Elisabeth Charlotte assumed the style of Madame .Elisabeth Charlotte was very close to her two stepdaughters Marie Louise and Anne Marie. When Marie Louise left France to marry Charles II of Spain in 1679, Liselotte accompanied her to Orléans. The homosexual proclivities of her husband were well known at court. Elisabeth Charlotte confided that he needed "rosaries and holy medals draped in the appropriate places to perform the necessary act" with her.
Elisabeth Charlotte objected to money spent on his favourites and the exercise of their influence with him to enrich themselves.She said on the subject:
I could put up with it if Monsieur only squandered his money in gaming, but sometimes he gives away as much as 100,000 francs at one swoop, and all the economies fall upon me and the children. That is not at all pleasant, besides putting me in a position where, as God is my witness, we would have to live entirely on the King's charity, which is a miserable thing.
Elisabeth Charlotte had apartments at Versailles, use of the Palais-Royal in Paris, and her favourite residence, the beautiful Château de Saint-Cloud on the outskirts of Paris, which was the couple's main residence when not at the Palace of Versailles. Liselotte also had an apartment at the King's private residence, the Château de Marly. In her dowager years she would stay at the Grand Trianon built by her brother-in-law. The marriage at first proved to be comfortable enough, with the birth of two male heirs. The couple had three children. After the death of the couple's first son, the Duke of Valois, she experienced depression and worried about her third pregnancy (with Élisabeth Charlotte d'Orléans). After this birth, the relationship between husband and wife was never as close as it had been. After the birth of their daughter Élisabeth Charlotte, the couple mutually agreed to cease conjugal relations. Philippe turned to his lovers, and Elisabeth Charlotte to writing.
Her letters to her aunt, Sophia of Hanover, and others, created not only a vivid picture of life during the reign of Louis XIV, but also of the regency era of her son, Philippe.
As the king's only brother and sister-in-law, the couple were expected to be in usual attendance at court, where her husband's rank as a fils de France ensured her precedence before all save the queen, the wives of the king's son and grandsons—and his maîtresse-en-titre .
Madame de Montespan's youngest daughter, Françoise Marie de Bourbon, would eventually marry her son. No inducements ever reconciled Elisabeth Charlotte to the marriage. When she discovered that her son had agreed to it at the king's insistence, she slapped his face (her son's face?) in front of the whole court, and turned her back on the king as he greeted her with a bow. Later, writing on the subject she admitted:
If, by shedding my own blood, I could have prevented my son's marriage, I would willingly have done so; but since the thing was done, I have had no other wish than to preserve harmony.
After the king transferred his affections from La Montespan to La Maintenon, Elisabeth Charlotte became obsessively resentful toward and suspicious of the latter. In her correspondence, Elisabeth Charlotte refers to her as the "King's old drab", the "old witch", and the "old whore".
In addition to letters to her aunt Sophia and her morganatic half-sisters the Raugravines, she also corresponded with the former's courtier Gottfried Leibniz, although they never met. After he died, she insisted that the Académie des Sciences , of which he had been a member, honour his passing. The resulting eulogy to Leibniz, by Fontenelle, was the only one ever delivered anywhere. When the Simmern branch of the Wittelsbach dynasty became extinct in the male line with the death of her brother Karl II in 1685, Louis XIV sent troops to claim the Palatinate in his sister-in-law's name, initiating the War of the Palatine Succession (1688–1697), which would decimate much of the Rhineland.
On 9 June 1701, her husband, just under 60 years old, died of a stroke at the Château de Saint-Cloud. Earlier, he had a heated argument with his brother at the Château de Marly about the conduct of his son — who was also the king's son-in-law. After her husband's death, Elisabeth Charlotte feared that the king would send her to a convent, as stipulated in her marriage contract. Instead she was confronted with secretly-made excerpts of her all-too-candid letters to correspondents abroad. She was warned to change her attitude toward Madame de Maintenon.
She remained welcome at court. She was allowed to keep her apartments at all the royal residences and retained her rank. From her husband, she inherited 40,000 livres a year. Louis XIV added 250,000 livres, and her son promised her another 200,000.
Some time after Philippe's death, she wrote:
If those who are in the next world could know what was happening in this one, I think His Grace, the late Monsieur, would be most pleased with me, for I have gone through his boxes to find all the letters written to him by his boyfriends and have burnt them unread, so that they will not fall into other people's hands... then ...I receive great comfort from the King, otherwise I could not endure my position. When the King speaks about Monsieur he is quite moved.
In 1715, Louis XIV died aged 77 at the Palace of Versailles. In his will, he divided the regnal prerogatives among relatives and courtiers, allocating to his legitimised son, the Duke of Maine, guardianship of the new king, Louis XV, who was 5 years old. The Parlement of Paris overturned the will's provisions at the request of Elisabeth Charlotte's son, Philippe II, who thus became regent. In her memoirs, Elisabeth Charlotte describes the new era of the Regency. Although no longer outranked by any woman at court and freed from the imagined persecutions of Madame de Maintenon, she did not cease daily complaints to her correspondents about the antics of what she regarded as an increasingly decadent court, about which she wrote:
I believe that the histories that will be written about this court after we are gone will be better and more entertaining than any novel, and I am afraid that those who come after us will not be able to believe them and think they are just fairy tales.
Elisabeth Charlotte died at age 70 on 8 December 1722, at the Château de Saint-Cloud, near Paris. She and her husband, the Duke of Orléans, were the founders of the modern House of Orléans. Their only surviving son, Philippe II, Duke of Orléans, was the Regent of France during the minority of Louis XV of France. She became the ancestress of Holy Roman Emperor Francis I, Queen Maria II of Portugal, Emperor Pedro II of Brazil, and France's Citizen-King Louis Philippe.[ citation needed ] Through her daughter, the Duchess of Lorraine, she was the paternal great-grandmother of Marie Antoinette, Queen of France.
Elisabeth Charlotte was described as stolid and mannish. She possessed the stamina to hunt all day, refusing to wear the mask that Frenchwomen were accustomed to use to protect their skin while watching their men hunt. Her face developed a ruddy and weather-beaten look. She walked too rapidly for most courtiers to keep up, save the king. She had a "no-nonsense" attitude. Her hearty appetite caused her to gain weight as the years went by, and when describing herself she once commented that she would be as good to eat as a roasted suckling pig. Raised a Protestant, she was not fond of lengthy Latin masses. She remained virtuous and at times outraged by the open infidelity practised by the aristocracy. Her views were frequently the opposite of those prevalent at the French court.
She is known by different names and styles in different languages with:
The dynastic titles to which she was entitled were Countess Palatine of the Rhine at Simmern and Duchess of Bavaria. At the royal court of France she was known, prior to marriage, as the Princess Palatine Elisabeth Charlotte, and afterwards, although her official title was "Her Royal Highness, Madame, Duchess of Orléans", she was entitled to and invariably accorded the unique designation of Madame as wife of the king's younger brother.
She was played by Renate Müller in the 1935 German film The Private Life of Louis XIV , Heidelinde Weis in the 1966 West German film Liselotte of the Palatinate , Paula Paul in the 2014 British film A Little Chaos and Jessica Clark in the BBC series Versailles in 2017.
|Alexandre Louis d'Orléans|
Duke of Valois
|2 July 1673 –|
16 March 1676
|Born at the Château de Saint-Cloud and died at the Palais-Royal before his third birthday, his death being attributed to the bloodletting by the Orléans family's doctors; last person to carry the title Duke of Valois.|
| Philippe d'Orléans |
Duke of Orléans
|2 August 1674 –|
2 December 1723
|Born at the Château de Saint-Cloud he was titled the Duke of Chartres from birth becoming Duke of Orléans in 1701; Married his first cousin Françoise Marie de Bourbon and had issue; died at the Palace of Versailles; Regent of France and Navarre during the minority of Louis XV of France—the era was known as la Régence .|
| Élisabeth Charlotte d'Orléans |
Duchess of Lorraine and Bar
Princess of Commercy
|13 September 1676 –|
23 December 1744
|Born at the Château de Saint-Cloud and married Leopold de Lorraine, Duke of Lorraine in 1698 and had issue; became the Sovereign Princess of Commercy 1737; she died at Commercy; known as Mademoiselle de Chartres, a title given her at birth; grandmother of Queen Marie Antoinette.|
|Ancestors of Elizabeth Charlotte, Madame Palatine|
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Elisabeth Charlotte of the Palatinate .|
Philippe II, Duke of Orléans, was a member of the royal family of France and served as Regent of the Kingdom from 1715 to 1723. Born at his father's palace at Saint-Cloud, he was known from birth under the title of Duke of Chartres. His father was Louis XIV's younger brother Philippe I, Duke of Orléans, his mother was Elizabeth Charlotte of the Palatinate.
Louis Philippe d'Orléans known as le Gros, was a French prince, a member of a cadet branch of the House of Bourbon, the dynasty then ruling France. The First Prince of the Blood after 1752, he was the most senior male at the French court after the immediate royal family. He was the father of Philippe Égalité. He greatly augmented the already huge wealth of the House of Orléans.
Philippe, Duke of Orléans was the younger son of Louis XIII of France and his wife, Anne of Austria. His older brother was the "Sun King", Louis XIV. Styled Duke of Anjou from birth, Philippe became Duke of Orléans upon the death of his uncle Gaston in 1660. In 1661, Philippe also received the dukedoms of Valois and Chartres. Following Philippe's victory in battle in 1671, Louis XIV added the dukedom of Nemours, the marquisates of Coucy and Folembray, and the countships of Dourdan and Romorantin. During the reign of his brother he was known simply as Monsieur, the traditional style at the court of France for the younger brother of the king.
Duchess Sophie Charlotte Augustine in Bavaria was a granddaughter-in-law of King Louis Philippe of France, the favourite sister of Empress Elisabeth of Austria and fiancée of King Ludwig II of Bavaria.
The Régence was the period in French history between 1715 and 1723, when King Louis XV was a minor and the country was governed by Philippe d'Orléans, a nephew of Louis XIV of France, as prince regent.
Fils de France was the style and rank held by the sons of the kings and dauphins of France. A daughter was known as a fille de France.
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 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 royal House of Habsburg-Lorraine.
Louise Henriette de Bourbon, Mademoiselle de Conti at birth, was a French princess, who, by marriage, became Duchess of Chartres (1743–1752), then Duchess of Orléans (1752–1759) upon the death of her father-in-law. On 4 February 1752, her husband became the head of the House of Orléans, and the First Prince of the Blood, the most important personage after the immediate members of the royal family.
Anna Gonzaga was an Italian French noblewoman and salonist. The youngest daughter of Charles Gonzaga, Duke of Mantua and Montferrat, and Catherine de Mayenne, Anna was "Princess Palatine" as the wife of Edward of the Palatinate, a grandson of King James I of England and uncle to King George I of Great Britain. She bore Edward three children, all daughters. Had Anna not converted Edward to Catholicism, the English throne might have passed to their descendants.
Françoise Marie de Bourbon, légitimée de France was the youngest illegitimate daughter of Louis XIV of France and his maîtresse-en-titre, Françoise-Athénaïs de Rochechouart, Marquise de Montespan. At the age of 14, she was wed to her first cousin Philippe d'Orléans, future Regent of France during the minority of Louis XV. Through four of the eight children she bore him in an unhappy marriage she became the ancestress of several of Europe's Roman Catholic monarchs of the 19th and 20th centuries, notably those of Belgium, Italy, Portugal, Spain, and France.
Louise Diane d'Orléans was the sixth daughter and last child of Philippe d'Orléans, Duke of Orléans and his wife, Françoise Marie de Bourbon, the youngest legitimised daughter of King Louis XIV of France and his mistress, Madame de Montespan. She was born during the Regency of Philippe d'Orléans, the Regent of Louis XV of France. The Princess of Conti by marriage, she died in childbirth at the age of twenty. Some sources refer to her as Louis Diane.
Louise Élisabeth de Bourbon was a daughter of Louis III de Bourbon, Prince of Condé, and his wife, Louise Françoise de Bourbon, légitimée de France, a legitimised daughter of King Louis XIV of France and his famous mistress, Madame de Montespan.
Louise Adélaïde d'Orléans was the third daughter of Philippe d'Orléans, and Françoise Marie de Bourbon, a legitimised daughter of Louis XIV of France and his mistress, Madame de Montespan. She was Abbess of Chelles.
Philippine Élisabeth d'Orléans known as Mademoiselle de Beaujolais was the daughter of Philippe d'Orléans, duc d'Orléans and his wife, Françoise-Marie de Bourbon, the youngest legitimised daughter of King Louis XIV and his mistress, Madame de Montespan. As a member of the reigning House of Bourbon, and of the House of Orléans, Philippine Élisabeth was a Princesse du Sang. She died of smallpox at the age of nineteen.
Marie Anne de Bourbon was a princess of the blood at the French court of Versailles. She was the first wife of Louis Henri de Bourbon and as such was the Duchess of Bourbon and Princess of Condé by marriage. She died childless during the Regency of Philippe d'Orléans. She was known as the younger duchess as opposed to her mother-in-law, the older duchess. Despite her husband being the Prince of Condé, he continued to use the title of Duke of Bourbon, the title by which his wife was known.
Anne of the Palatinate known in France as Anne of Bavaria, Princess Palatine was a Princess of the Palatinate and Countess Palatine of Simmern by birth and was the wife of Henri Jules de Bourbon eldest son of Louis, Grand Condé. Following her father-in-law's death, her husband succeeded as Prince of Condé, a purely honorary title, but one of the highest ranking in France. She was also the Princesse of Arches and Charleville in her own right from 1708.
Philippe de France, Duke of Orléans was the brother of Louis XIV of France and the younger son of Louis XIII of France and Anne of Austria.
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.
Henrietta of England was the youngest daughter of King Charles I of England, Scotland and Ireland and his wife, Henrietta Maria of France. Fleeing England with her governess at the age of three, she moved to the court of her first cousin Louis XIV of France, where she was known as Minette. After she married Philippe I, Duke of Orléans, brother of King Louis XIV, known as Monsieur, she became known as Madame. Her marriage was marked by frequent tensions. Henrietta was instrumental in negotiating the Secret Treaty of Dover, in June 1670 – early in the same month as her unexpected death. Jacobite claims to the throne of Great Britain following the death of Henry Benedict Stuart descend from her through her daughter Anne Marie, Queen of Sardinia.