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Princess Marie-Adélaïde of Savoy: Wikis


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Marie Adélaïde
Dauphine of France; Duchess of Burgundy
Marie-Adélaïde by Pierre Gobert, 1710, located at the Metropolitan Museum of Art
Spouse Louis of France, Duke of Burgundy
Louis, Duke of Brittany
Louis, Dauphin
Louis XV of France
Full name
French: Marie Adélaïde de Savoie
Italian: Maria Adelaide di Savioa
Father Victor Amadeus II of Sardinia
Mother Anne Marie d'Orléans
Born 6 December 1685(1685-12-06)
Royal Palace of Turin, Italy
Died 12 February 1712 (aged 26)
Palace of Versailles, France

Maria Adelaide of Savoy, "Duchess of Burgundy", Dauphine of France (Royal Palace of Turin, 6 December 1685 - Palace of Versailles, 12 February 1712[1]), was a Princess of Savoy by birth; she was the eldest daughter of Victor Amadeus II of Sardinia and of his first wife Anne Marie d'Orléans. Her maternal grandparents were Philippe de France, duc d'Orléans and Henrietta Anne of England. She married Louis de France, Duke of Burgundy, the eldest grandson of the King of France, Louis XIV, and became the mother of Louis XV.



Maria Adelaide of Savoy, Princess of Savoy and Piedmont was born at the Royal Palace of Turin in December 1685, the daughter of the Sovereign Duke of Savoy and Prince of Piedmont; her mother, Anne Marie was a princess of royal blood of France by birth, a Petite-Fille de France and a niece of Louis XIV. Her father's msitress was Jeanne Baptiste d'Albert de Luynes; she and the maréchal de Tessé helped bring about Maria Adelaide's great marriage.

She was the eldest of eight children (four of whom survived infancy). Her younger sister Maria Luisa of Savoy married Philip V of Spain in 1701; her brother Victor Amadeus of Savoy, Prince of Piedmont, died at the age of sixteen in 1715, and her younger brother would succeed her father in 1730 as Charles Emmanuel III, Duke of Savoy. Maria Adelaide was very close to her paternal grandmother Marie Jeanne of Savoy-Nemours, and the two remained in contact after Maria Adelaide left for France. She would stay at the Villa della Regina, favourite residence of her French mother Anne Marie. She later recreated the private atmosphere at the Menagerie at Versailles.

At the age of ten, Maria Adelaide was betrothed to her cousin Louis of France, Duke of Burgundy, the eldest son of Monseigneur, the Grand Dauphin, and of his wife, Maria Anna of Bavaria (1660-1690), which placed her future husband next in line to the throne of Louis XIV, right after his father.

This match was decided as part of the Treaty of Turin, which ended Franco-Savoyard conflicts during the Nine Years' War, and Marie-Adélaïde was sent to Versailles in order to learn her role as the future Dauphine and eventual Queen. Louis XIV declared that she was to be the First Lady of Versailles, and he loved his granddaughter-in-law dearly. In France she was known as Marie-Adélaïde de Savoie.

She reinvigorated the life of the aging king, and enchanted the court. She was doll-like, some courtiers referred to her as a "walking doll". It was said that Louis XIV never loved anyone as much as he loved Marie-Adélaïde. She was taught well on how to please the King and did her best to amuse him at all times. One anecdote says that she once sat on the lap of Madame de Maintenon, and told her: "Teach me well, I beg you, what I have to do to please the King" [2]. In her letters to her family, she frequently wrote of her love for the King and his kindness to her. Her closeness with Mme de Maintenon was demonstrated by her addressing her as ma Tante ("my aunt"), which could be considered a serious breech of etiquette at the Court.

The marriage of Marie-Adélaïde to the Duke of Burgundy, took place on 7 December 1697 at the Palace of Versailles.

The two were in love with one another, a rarity at the court of Versailles. Her close relationship to the King, was said to have annoyed her husband's aunts - the legitimised daughters of Louis XIV, the future Princess of Condé and Duchess of Orléans, daughters he had with the marquise de Montespan, and the Dowager Princess of Conti, his daughter with the duchesse de La Vallière.

The king, though very fond of the Princess of Conti, showed his preference in the young Duchess of Burgundy.

Due to arriving at Versailles after the death of her mother-in-law in 1690, and even before becoming the Dauphine, Marie-Adélaïde was regarded as first lady of the Kingdom.

Queen Maria Teresa, the wife of Louis XIV, having died in 1683, Marie-Adélaïde was given the queen's former apartments at Versailles. These were on the same floor as the King's rooms and those of the marquise de Maintenon. They apartments were redecorated to Marie-Adélaïde's taste.

Marie-Adélaïde knew a lot of important political secrets and decisions. According to the French historian Charles Pinot Duclos she allegedly abused her knowledge by informing her father about everything that could have been interesting for him. King Louis XIV is said to have found out this fact when the letters of Marie Adelaide were examined after her death.

On 14 April 1711, her father-in-law, the Grand Dauphin, died at the Château de Meudon. Her husband became the Dauphin and she the Dauphine. In less than a year, both of them succumbed to a Measles epidemic. Marie-Adélaïde died on 12 February 1712 in Versailles; soon after Louis XIV ordered the court to go to Marly for a while; her husband six days later at Marly, on 18 February.

Their second son died one month later, on 8 March 1712, also from the measles. It's believed that all three were bled to death by over-zealous court physicians. When she was dying, Marie-Adélaïde is said to have told Mme de Guiche:

Good bye, beautiful duchess. Today Dauphine, and tomorrow nothing.

Her death affected the king and his wife greatly. Full mourning was ordered at Court. The only survivor of the family, was the youngest son, the Duke of Anjou (later Louis XV). He was saved by the governess, Madame de Ventadour, who vigorously forbade any bloodletting of the child, keeping him in her rooms, and personally tended to him during his illness. Marie-Adélaïde was the subject of a statue held at the Louvre; she posed as the Greek Goddess Diana. The statue was made by Antoine Coysevox in 1710. Her fourth grand daughter Princess Marie Adélaïde of France was named after her.

Marie-Adélaïde died in her 26th year like her aunt Marie Louise d'Orléans (Queen of Spain 1679-1689), grand mother Princess Henrietta Anne of England and sister Maria Luisa of Savoy (Queen of Spain 1701-1714). She was buried at the Basilica of Saint Denis.



Titles, styles, honours and arms


Titles and styles


  1. ^ Maria Adelaide of Savoy, Dauphine of France
  2. ^ Fraser, Antonia, Love and Louis XIV, Doubleday Canada, 2006, p. 250. ISBN-10: 0385660626 ISBN-13: 978-0385660624



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