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Louis Alexandre
Prince of Lamballe
The family of the Prince (L-R); his father, the duc de Penthièvre; prince de Lamballe; his wife; his sister and his grandmother, the comtesse de Toulouse, (by Jean-Baptiste Charpentier le Vieux, 1768)[1]
Spouse Princess Marie Louise of Savoy
Full name
Louis Alexandre Joseph Stanislas de Bourbon
Father Louis Jean Marie de Bourbon, Duke of Penthièvre,
Mother Princess Maria Teresa Felicity of Modena
Born 6 September 1747(1747-09-06)
Hôtel de Toulouse, Paris, France
Died 6 May 1768 (aged 20)
Château de Louveciennes, France
Burial Chapelle royale de Dreux France

Louis Alexandre de Bourbon (Louis Alexandre Joseph Stanislas; 6 September 1747 – 6 May 1768) was the son and heir of Louis Jean Marie de Bourbon, grandson of Louis XIV by the king's illegitimate son, Louis Alexandre de Bourbon, Count of Toulouse. He was known as the Prince of Lamballe from birth.

He was the husband of Princess Maria Teresa Luisa of Savoy, who after his death became a close friend and confidante of Queen Marie Antoinette. She was to be brutally murdered during the French Revolution. He pre-deceased his father, and died childless. He was the last-born male of the House of Bourbon-Penthièvre.



Louis Alexandre was born on 6 September, 1747, at the Hôtel de Toulouse, the Paris townhouse of his family. His father, the Louis Jean Marie de Bourbon, duc de Penthièvre, was the only legitimate child of Louis Alexandre de Bourbon, the youngest legitimised son of Louis XIV of France and Madame de Montespan. His mother, Princess Maria Teresa Felicity of Modena, the daughter of the Duke of Modena, also a descendant of Madame de Montespan, and related to the House of Orléans. The prince de Lamballe, as he was known all his life was the couple's only surviving son. His siblings were:

At the death of his older brother Louis Marie de Bourbon, the Prince of Lamballe was expected to inherit the Penthièvre fortune, much of which had been extorted by Louis XIV from his childless cousin la Grande Mademoiselle, and bestowed upon one of Louis XIV's illegitimate sons, the Louis Auguste de Bourbon, duc du Maine.

He was a Prince du Sang, this allowed Louis Alexandre the style of Serene Highness.

His title, prince de Lamballe, was taken from one of the seigneuries owned by his father; it was neither a sovereign princedom nor a legal title. Rather, it was simply a titre de courtoisie.[2]. His mother died in childbirth in 1754 at the age of twenty-seven.



His father chose his bride, the Italian born Princess Maria Teresa Louisa of Savoy. The wedding celebration lasted from 17 January, 1767, until 27 January with parties in Turin and Nangis. Prior to the wedding, Louis Alexandre eager to see his future bride, went to where Maria Teresa was staying. He met her disguised as a simple country servant and offered her a bouquet of flowers in his "master's" name. During the wedding ceremony the next day, the princess was shocked to discover that the humble man from the previous day was in fact the prince himself. After the ceremony, Louis Alexandre and his bride stayed at the Château de Nangis for a honeymoon. His father had specifically chosen Maria Teresa as his son's wife due to her renowned piety and beauty. He thought that such a spouse would help make his son change his libertine lifestyle.

Princess Maria Teresa was the sixth child of the Prince of Carignan and his German wife Landgravine Christine Henriette of Hesse-Rotenburg, the sister of the the late Princess of Condé.

After three months of happiness, Louis Alexandre, a jaded hedonist, soon tired of his young wife and resumed his life of débaucherie. He eloped with Mademoiselle de La Chassaigne, an opera dancer, five months into his marriage. At one point, Louis Alexandre even sold his wife's diamonds to raise money to pay his debts. After a wild yet short life, Louis Alexandre died on 6 May, 1768, sixteen months after his marriage. He died of a venereal disease at the Château de Louveciennes in the arms of his ever dutiful wife. He died without any issue.[3],[4].

After his death, his younger sister, Louise Marie Adélaïde de Bourbon, became the sole heiress of his father. All of the Penthièvre wealth and land holdings were inherited by her upon the death of their father in 1793. She had previously married Philippe d'Orléans, duc de Chartres, one of her mother's Orléans cousins in 1769. She became the duchesse d'Orléans upon the death of her father-in-law in 1785, almost ten years after the death of her brother.

At his death, his father requested that the Gazette de France post a small note for the deceased prince:

Louis Alexander Joseph Stanislas de Bourbon, Prince de Lamballe, first huntsman of France, died at the Château de Louveciennes, near Versailles, the 6th of this month, at half-past eight o'clock in the morning, aged twenty years and eight months. He was born the 6th of September, 1747. He was married the 17th of January, 1767, to Marie Therese Louise de Carignan. We cannot too highly commend the sentiments of piety and resignation and the courage which this prince showed during his long illness, up to the last moments of his life. On account of his death the court will wear mourning for ten days.


He was buried at the chapel in Rambouillet near the Château de Rambouillet, his father's favourite residence. His siter later had him moved to the Chapelle royale de Dreux.


Titles, styles, honours and arms

Titles and styles

  • 6 September 1747 – 6 May 1768 His Serene Highness the Prince of Lamballe (Monsieur le prince de Lamballe)


  1. ^ This 1768 painting by Jean-Baptiste Charpentier le Vieux, is called in French Le duc de Penthièvre et sa famille, dit La tasse de chocolat.
  2. ^ Baron Barclay de Latour, Jean Léon Barclay Dupuy (1967) (in French). Paradoxe de la Noblesse Française. in collaboration with Joseph Schermack. Paris: Éditions Émile-Paul. pp. page 100. 
  3. ^ Lenotre, G., Le Château de Rambouillet, six siècles d'histoire, Calman-Lévy, Paris, 1930, reedited by Denoël, Paris, 1984, chapt. Le prince des pauvres
  4. ^ de Decker, Michel, La Princesse de Lamballe, mourir pour la reine, Librairie académique Perrin, Paris, 1979
  5. ^ Full text of Madame de Lamballe; Bertin. Georges, 1901, New York, GODFREY A. S. WIENERS

See also


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