Christine Marie of France: Wikis


Note: Many of our articles have direct quotes from sources you can cite, within the Wikipedia article! This article doesn't yet, but we're working on it! See more info or our list of citable articles.


From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Christine Marie of France
Duchess consort of Savoy
Christine Marie in 1633 holding onto the Savoyard Coronet; in the background is the Castello del Valentino where she lived from 1630
Spouse Victor Amadeus I, Duke of Savoy
Louise Christine, Princess Maurice of Savoy
Francis Hyacinth, Duke of Savoy
Charles Emmanuel II, Duke of Savoy
Margaret Yolande, Duchess of Parma
Henrietta Adelaide, Electress of Bavaria
House House of Savoy
House of Bourbon
Father Henry IV of France
Mother Marie de' Medici
Born 10 February 1606(1606-02-10)
Palais du Louvre, Paris, France
Died 27 December 1663 (aged 57)
Palazzo Madama, Turin, Savoy, Italy
Burial Basilica of Sant'Andrea, Vercelli, Italy

Christine Marie of France (Italian: Maria Cristina di Francia, Madama Reale), (10 February 1606 – 27 December 1663) was Duchess consort of Savoy and later regent of the Duchy of Savoy between 1637 and 1663.



Christine Marie de France was born in at the Palais du Louvre in Paris, she was the third child and second daughter of King Henry IV of France and his second wife, the Italian Marie de' Medici. As a daughter of the king, she was a Fille de France.

She was a younger sister of Louis XIII of France and Elisabeth of France. She was also an older sister of Nicholas Henri, Duke of Orléans, Gaston, Duke of Orléans and Henrietta Maria of France. Christine was a sister-in-law of Philip IV of Spain through Élisabeth and of Charles I of England through Henrietta Maria.

After the marriage of her older sister Elisabeth in 1615 to the future Philip IV of Spain, Christine took on the honorary title of Madame Royale indicating her status as the eldest and most senior unmarried daughter at the court of her father. After her marriage, the style went to her younger sister, the beautiful Henrietta Maria of France.

She married Victor Amadeus I, Duke of Savoy, on 10 February 1619 at the Louvre in the capital. He was a son of Charles Emmanuel I, Duke of Savoy and Infanta Catherine Michelle of Spain. Caterina Micaela was in turn a daughter of Philip II of Spain and Elisabeth of Valois. Elisabeth was a daughter of Henry II of France and Catherine de' Medici.

She was said to be volatile and frivolous. Educated at the French court, she introduced French culture to the court of Savoy; she later lived at the Palazzo Madama which she had rebuilt. She was also the driving force for the reconstruction of the Castello del Valentino as well as the additions to the Royal Palace of Turin. She would also later own Vigno di Madama Reale, old residence of her brother in law Maurice of Savoy.

She did as much as she could to ensure that her court rivalled in splendour that of her sister Henrietta Maria, wife of Charles I of England. The sisters would have some what of a rivalry. Christine Marie encouraged her husband to claim his right to the rather empty title of King of Cyprus and Jerusalem, a 'kingdom' which led to him being tagged as 'a king without a crown'. She did not keep it a secret that she would be a Queen rather than a Sovereign Duchess; she also wanted to transform the minor Duchy of Savoy into a little France.

Victor Amadeus became Duke after the death of his father in 26 July 1630.

Christine Marie of France, a strong, confident woman assumed the Regency for her two sons, Francis Hyacinth and Charles Emmanuel II. Both Prince Maurice and his younger brother Prince Thomas of Savoy disputed the power of their sister-in-law, and her French entourage. When the first heir Francis Hyacinth died in 1638, both brothers started the Piedmontese Civil War, with Spanish support. The two parties were called "principisti" (supporters of the Princes) and "madamisti" (supporters of Madama Reale). Christine Marie was notorious as much for her capricious rule as for her many lovers, a trait from her father Henry VI who was famed for his many lovers also.[1]

After four years of fighting, Christine Marie was victorious, thanks to French military support. Not only did she keep the Duchy for her son, she also prevented France getting too much power in the Duchy. When peace was concluded in 1642 , Maurice married his fourteen-year old niece Louise Christine, abandoning the title of cardinal and asking dispensation from Pope Paul V. Maurice became governor of Nice. Christine Marie of France stayed in firm control of the Duchy of Savoy, until her son could follow in her footsteps.

She lived an uninhibited private life and had relationships with the French Ambassador, Marini, her brother-in-law, Maurizio, and Count Filippo d'Aglié, a handsome learned and courageous man who remained faithful to her all her life.

On 4 March, 1663 she saw her son Charles Emmanuel marry her niece Françoise Madeleine d'Orléans in a proxy wedding. Françoise Madeleine was the youngest surviving daughter of Gaston, Duke of Orléans, her youngest brother.

She died at the Palazzo Madama, Turin in 1663 at the age of 57 and was buried at the Basilica of Sant'Andrea. She had outlived 4 of her seven children.

After Death

Françoise Madeleine died in 1664 and her son later married another cousin, Marie Jeanne of Savoy. Marie Jeanne would give birth to Victor Amadeus II of Sardinia who would later marry another French Princess (and member of the House of Orléans) Anne Marie d'Orléans.

17 years after her death, in 1680, her granddaughter Victoria of Bavaria via her third daughter Princess Henriette Adelaide of Savoy, would marry her older brother's grandson Louis de France known as 'the Fat' and Monseigneur. Christine Marie thus became a direct ancestress of the Spanish branch of the House of Bourbon via Victoria's second son Philip V of Spain.





  1. ^ Christine Marie de France
  2. ^ Robert Knecht, Renaissance France, genealogies; Baumgartner, genealogicl tables.
Christine Marie of France
Born: 10 February 1606 Died: 27 December 1663
French nobility
Preceded by
Elisabeth of France
Madame Royale
25 November 1615 – 10 February 1619
Succeeded by
Henrietta Maria of France
Italian royalty
Preceded by
Infanta Catherine Michelle of Spain
Duchess consort of Savoy
26 July 1630 – 7 October 1637
Succeeded by
Françoise Madeleine d'Orléans
Preceded by
Regent of Savoy
7 October 1637 - 1648
Succeeded by
Marie Jeanne of Savoy


Got something to say? Make a comment.
Your name
Your email address