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Marie Anne Victoire
Dauphine of France
la Grande Dauphine
Maria Anna holding the coronet of the Dauphine of France, Posthumous portrait, François de Troy
Spouse Louis, Dauphin of France
Louis, Dauphin of France
Philip V of Spain
Charles, Duke of Berry
Full name
Maria Anna Christine Victoria
House House of Bourbon
House of Wittelsbach
Father Ferdinand Maria, Elector of Bavaria
Mother Princess Henriette Adelaide of Savoy
Born 28 November 1660(1660-11-28)
Munich, Bavaria
Died 20 April 1690 (aged 29)
Palace of Versailles, France
Burial Royal Basilica of Saint Denis, France

Duchess Maria Anna Christina Victoria of Bavaria, Dauphine of France (28 November 1660 – 20 April 1690) was Dauphine of France as spouse of Louis, le Grand Dauphin, son and heir of Louis XIV of France, and thereafter was known as Dauphine [Marie Anne] Victoire or la Grande Dauphine. She is an ancestor of Prince Henri the Count of Paris, Orléanist pretender to the French throne. Also Juan Carlos I of Spain, Albert II, King of the Belgians, Henri, Grand Duke of Luxembourg and of Vittorio Emanuele, Prince of Naples, a pretender to the Italian throne.



She was the eldest daughter of Ferdinand Maria, Elector of Bavaria and his wife Princess Henriette Adelaide of Savoy. Her maternal grandparents were Victor Amadeus I, Duke of Savoy and Christine Marie of France. Christine Marie was the second daughter of Henry IV of France and Marie de' Medici.


Born in Munich in modern day Germany, Maria Anna was betrothed to the Dauphin in 1668, at the age of eight, and carefully educated; she could speak several languages, namely her mother tongue German as well as French, Italian and Latin. She was said to look forward to the fate of becoming Dauphine of France. Maria Anna was very close to her mother who died in 1676. Maria Anna grew up seeing the construction of the Nymphenburg Palace which was began in 1664 after the birth of her brother Maximilian.

Her husband was her second cousin. Her siblings included Violante of Bavaria, future wife of Ferdinando de' Medici; as well as the future Maximilian II Emanuel, Elector of Bavaria.

Prior to the marriage to Louis, she had a proxy ceremony in Munich on 28 January 1680; the couple would meet for the first time on 7 March 1680 in Châlons-sur-Marne. She was the first Dauphine of France since Mary, Queen of Scots, who married Francis II of France in 1558.

Upon her marriage she took on the rank of her husband which was a Fils de France (Son of France); this meant that she was entitled to the style of Royal Highness and the form of address of Madame la Dauphine.

When she arrived in France, she made a good impression with her good French. At her arrival in Strasbourg, she was addressed in German, but interrupted the greeting by saying: "Gentlemen, I speak French!" The impression of her appearance, however, was not as good, and she was called "terribly ugly".

Others said, that although she may not have been beautiful, she did have personal charm.

From her arrival in France, she was the second most important women at court after her mother in law, the dull Maria Theresa of Spain. The Queen died in July 1683 putting Maria Anna at the top of the hierarchy at Versailles. As such, she became the most prominent female at court and was given the apartments of the late Queen. The King expected her to perform the functions of the first lady at court. Her ill health made her unsuitable for such duties, and she lost the favour of the King, who thought that she failed to do her duty.

Her husband took mistresses, and she lived an isolated life in her apartments where she spoke with her friends in German, a language her husband could not understand. She was very close to a fellow German, Elizabeth Charlotte of the Palatinate; Elizabeth Charlotte was the wife of Philippe, ( who was Louis XIV's younger brother ) and thus sister in law of the King.

She was said to suffer that she was not beautiful in a court where beauty was important, which made her depressed. She died in 1690.

Her husband predeceased his father. She was buried at the Royal Basilica of Saint Denis. She was the aunt of Joseph Ferdinand of Bavaria, Prince of Asturias (possible candidate for the Spanish throne which her second son later filled) and Charles VII, Holy Roman Emperor.





  • Simone Bertière, Les Femmes du Roi-Soleil, Éditions de Fallois, 1998, ISBN 2-253-14712-5

Titles, styles, honours and arms

Titles and styles

  • 28 November 1660 – 7 March 1680 Her Serene Highness Duchess Maria Anna of Bavaria
  • 7 March 1680 - 20 April 1690 Her Royal Highness the Dauphine of France (Son Altesse Royale Madame la Dauphine)



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