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Marie Thérèse of Savoy: Wikis


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Marie Thérèse
Countess of Artois
portrait by Jean-Baptiste-André Gautier d'Agoty, 1775
Spouse Charles Philippe de France
Louis Antoine d'Artois
Sophie d'Artois
Charles Ferdinand d'Artois
Marie Thérèse d'Artois
Father Victor Amadeus, Prince of Piedmont
Mother Maria Antonietta, Princess of Piedmont
Born 31 January 1756(1756-01-31)
Royal Palace of Turin, Turin, Kingdom of Sardinia
Died 2 June 1805 (aged 49)
Graz, Austria
Burial Graz, Austria

Maria Theresa of Savoy, Countess of Artois ((French) comtesse d'Artois) (31 January 1756 – 2 June 1805), princess of Sardinia and of Piedmont, was the wife of Charles de France, comte d'Artois, the youngest grandson of Louis XV of France, who become Charles X of France in 1824.



Maria Teresa di Savoia was the fifth child and third daughter of Victor Amadeus III of Sardinia and his queen consort Infanta Maria Antonietta Fernanda of Spain. Her paternal grandparents were Charles Emmanuel III of Sardinia and his wife Polyxena Christina of Hesse-Rotenburg. Polixena was a daughter of Ernest Leopold, Landgrave of Hesse-Rotenburg. Her maternal grandparents were Philip V of Spain and his second wife, Elisabeth of Parma.

Born in Turin, the capital of the Kingdom of Sardinia on 31 January, 1756, she was the child of Prince Victor Amandeus of Savoy and his wife the Spanish Infanta Maria Antonietta of Spain. At the time of her birth her paternal grandfather, Charles Emmanuel III of Sardinia, was the King of Sardinia. As a result her parents were tiitled the Prince and Princess of Piedmont.

Her brothers included the last three kings of Sardinia from the mainline; the future Charles Emmanuel IV, Victor Emmanuel I and Charles Felix of Sardinia. Her youngest sister, Maria Carolina married the future King of Saxony.

Maria Theresa married the French Prince Charles Philippe de France. Charles Philippe had been titled the comte d'Artois since his birth in 1757. Charles Philippe had previously been intended to marry Mademoiselle de Condé. After having a Proxy ceremony at the Palazzina di caccia di Stupinigi, Maria Theresa travelled to France where her official wedding took place at the Palace of Versailles on 16 November 1773.

Maria Theresa's marriage was the second of three Franco-Savoyard marriages that would take place within 4 years. On 16 april 1771 her eldest surviving sister, Marie Joséphine Louise, had married his brother, Louis de France, comte de Provence, some two and a half years before. In France she was known as Marie Thérèse de Savoie.

Her marriage to a Petit-fils de France (Grandson of France) allowed her to take this rank. She was thus a petite-fille de France (Grand daughter of France) by marriage and was a member of the Royal Family (Famille du Roi). This rank, allowed to her to maintain the style of Royal Highness which she had had from birth being the grand daughter of a Sovereign.

This marriage to Marie-Thérèse failed to interest either bride or groom. She was one of the most disliked figures at the French court of the time, although she avoided the worst of the abuse directed at Marie Antoinette. Comte de Mercy-Argenteau, who corresponded with Empress Maria Theresa regarding Marie Antoinette, said that she was silent and was interested in absolutely nothing[1] Marie Thérèse was not regarded as a beauty at Versailles but her good complexion was a favourite.

Marie Thérèse was a cousin of Marie Louise de Savoie, princesse de Lamballe - great friend of the Queen Marie Antoinette. She was also a cousin of the Prince of Condé who later helped to organise and lead a large counter-revolutionary army of émigrés.

Roughly a year after Marie Thérèse's arrival at Versailles, she fell pregnant with her first child; it was Marie-Thérèse who gave birth to the first child of the new royal generation. Three weeks after the birth of the duc d'Angoulême, her sister in law Clotilde de France was married to Marie-Thérèse's brother the Prince of Piedmont[2] in a proxy ceremony at Versailles on 27 August 1775.

Marie-Thérèse painted by Alexander Kucharsky c.1790.

The next year she gave birth to a daughter Sophie who was known as Mademoiselle as the most senior unmarried princess at court. She died at the age of 6 in 1783. She was buried at the Royal Basilica of Saint Denis. Her second son was born in 1778. Her last child Marie Thérèse d'Artois, presumably named after her mother, died while the court was at Choisy-le-Roi aged just 6 months.

She fled France with her husband shortly after the storming of the Bastille (14 July 1789), which marked the beginning of the French Revolution. Some time after, she took refuge in her homeland of Savoy.

She died in exile at Graz (Austria) in 1805. Because she died before her husband became king of France, she remained comtesse d'Artois.

She was buried in the Imperial Mausoleum next to Graz cathedral.


Marie-Thérèse and Charles had four children, the last direct line of the Bourbons:


Titles, styles, honours and arms


Titles and styles

  • 31 January 1756 – 16 November 1773 Her Royal Highness Princess Maria Theresa of Savoy, Princess of Sardinia and Piedmont
  • 16 November 1773 – 2 June 1805 Her Royal Highness the Countess of Artois (Madame la Comtesse d'Artois)

References and notes

  1. ^ Fraser, Antonia, Marie Antoinette, The Journey, Anchor Books, (American edition, 2002): in Part One: Madame Antoine, p. 100
  2. ^ Her grand father, the thrice widowed Charles Emmanuel III had died on 20 February, 1773 making her parents the new King and Queen of Sardinia



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