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Louise Marie de France
Princess of France
Later portrait of Madame Louise by François-Hubert Drouais
Full name
Louise Marie de France
House House of Bourbon
Father Louis XV of France
Mother Maria Leszczyńska
Born 15 July 1737(1737-07-15)
Died 23 December 1787 (aged 50)
Convent of Saint-Denis
See also Louise-Marie of France (1812-1850), Queen of the Belgians.

Louise Marie de France[1](15 July 1737 - 23 December 1787) was the youngest of the 10 children of King Louis XV of France and his wife, Queen Maria Leszczyńska. As a daughter of the king, she held the rank of a fille de France, and was known as Madame Louise. She outlived her father, mother, and all of her siblings except for her two older sisters, Madame Adélaïde and Madame Victoire.



Louise Marie de France was born at Versailles on 15 July 1737, and was known as "Madame Septième"[2] (one of her seven older sisters died before her birth) or "Madame Dernière", later "Madame Louise"[3]. She was brought up at the Abbey of Fontevraud with Louis' three other youngest daughters, adame Victoire, Madame Sophie and Madame Thérèse (who died at Fontevraud at the age of eight). None of her father's projects for her marriage came to fruition, and she sought sanctuary from the world in her religion. In 1748, there were rumours that Louis would have her engaged to Charles Edward Stuart (also known as Bonnie Prince Charlie, the Young Pretender to the throne of England). She said:

N'ai-je pas sujet d'être bien inquiète puisqu'on me destine un époux, moi qui n'en veux d'autre que Jésus-Christ?" ("Shouldn't I be anxious when I am destined for a husband, when I don't want any other than Jesus Christ?).[citation needed]

She returned to the court in 1750, a court that was ruled by her father's lust for his maîtresse-en-titre, Madame de Pompadour. She stayed at the court of Versailles for another twenty years, experiencing there the death of her older sister, Madame Henriette, in 1752; the births of her nieces and nephews; the assassination attempt on her father in 1757; the introduction of Madame du Barry; the construction the Petit Trianon; the death of her older sister, Madame Infante, in 1759, and, finally, the death of her mother, Queen Maria Leszczyńska in 1768.

The year she left (1770), she saw the marriage of her nephew Louis-Auguste to Archduchess Marie Antoinette of Austria. In 1770, to general amazement, Louise asked her father to allow her to become a Carmelite nun[4][5]. She believed that becoming a nun would compensate for her father's lax morals.[citation needed] She joined the convent at Saint-Denis[6], where the order's rule was obeyed strictly, taking the name Thérèse of Saint Augustine.

She became Mother Superior of the convent[7], and interceded with her father to allow Austrian Carmelites persecuted by the Emperor Joseph II to enter France. While at the convent, she tried her best to make sure that the other nuns treated her as an equal rather than the daughter of a king.[citation needed] As a child, she had had an accident which had affected her knee. As a result, she found it difficult to kneel and when offered assistance, she refused.[citation needed]

She died at Saint-Denis, suffering from a stomach complaint. Her last words were:

Au paradis! Vite! Au grand galop!" ("To heaven! Quickly! At the gallop!)

Along with other royal tombs at Saint-Denis, her remains were desecrated during the French Revolution. Pope Pius IX declared her Venerable on 19 June 1873. Her life is celebrated on 23 December.



  1. ^ Achaintre, Nicolas Louis, Histoire généalogique et chronologique de la maison royale de Bourbon, Vol. 2, (Publisher Mansut Fils, 4 Rue de l'École de Médecine, Paris, 1825), 154.
  2. ^ Ravel, Jeffrey, Studies in Eighteenth-Century Culture, John Hopkins University Press, 2007, p. 125, ISBN 0801885981
  3. ^ Gratay, Alphonse-Joseph-Auguste, "Henri Perreyve", Pvi, C. Douniol, 1872.
  4. ^ Hare, Augustus John Cuthbert, North-Eastern France, Macmillan, 1896, p. 143.
  5. ^ Markham, Jacob Abbott, A History of France, Harper & Brothers, 1863, p. 143.
  6. ^ Baedeker, Karl, Paris and Environs with Routes from London to Paris, Dulau, 1898, p. 348.
  7. ^ Leathes, Stanley, The religion of the Christ, its historic and literary development, Oxford University, 1874, p. 356

Further reading

  • Zieliński, Ryszard (1978). Polka na francuskim tronie. Czytelnik.

External links

Princess Louise Marie of France
Born: 15 July 1737 Died: 23 December 1787
Religious titles
Preceded by
abbesse de Saint Denis
Succeeded by


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