HISTORY MEME - FRANCE VERSION ♛ [08/09] kings/queen : Marie Leszczynska (23 june 1703- 24 june 1768)
Queen consort of France. She was a daughter of King Stanisław Leszczyński of Poland and Catherine Opalińska. She married King Louis XV of France and was the grandmother of Louis XVI, Louis XVIII, and Charles X. She was the longest-serving queen consort of France. Maria was on a list of 99 eligible European princesses to marry the young king. The marriage by proxy took place on 15 August 1725 in the Cathedral of Strasbourg, Louis XV represented by his cousin the Duke of Orléans, Louis le Pieux. Louis and Marie first met on the eve of their wedding, which took place on 5 September 1725, at the Château de Fontainebleau. Marie was twenty-two years old and Louis fifteen. The young couple was reported to have fallen in love at first sight. The announcement of the wedding was not received well as the royal court; as the father of Marie had been a monarch for only a short time, she was thought to be a poor choice. There were rumours before the wedding that the bride was ugly, epileptic and sterile. However, Marie was popular among the people from the beginning, such as when she handed out money on her way to her wedding in Fontainebleau. After the difficult birth of Princess Louise in 1737, which nearly took her life, Marie had no more children. In 1738, she refused Louis entrance to her bedroom, and after this, their private relationship ended, though the formal marriage continued in spite of her husband’s infidelities. Louis XV was a notorious womaniser. Several of his mistresses, particularly Madame de Pompadour, who was introduced at the court of Versailles in 1745 on the occasion of the marriage of the Dauphin Louis, eventually eclipsed the Queen’s social status. Most of her husband’s romantic affairs were conducted with her knowledge, and she either simply accepted them, or was powerless to stop them. Throughout, she displayed an attitude of discretion and dignity and maintained a civil relationship towards Madame de Pompadour. Queen Marie never managed to acquire political influence. She made an attempt to involve herself in politics at the very beginning of their marriage when she, in 1726, asked Louis to appoint the unpopular Prince of Condé as a Cabinet minister, despite her father’s warnings. King Louis took her attempt to become involve in politics very badly, and after 1726 she was completely separated from affairs of state and any political influence on Louis. Marie Leszczynsaka was truly a people’s queen. Her death on 24 June 1768 at the age of 65 was a huge blow to the French monarchy. She was buried at the Basilica of St Denis and her heart deposed at the Church of Notre-Dame-de-Bonsecours in Nancy.
On the 1st of september 1715, died the Sun King.
"After a week of slow agony, Louis XIV passed away in Versailles on 1 September 1715 at 8.15 in the morning, just before his 77th birthday. A reign of 72 years ended, the longest in the history of France. Another reign almost as long began: that of Louis XV (1715-1774).
Worthy of a tragedy of Racine, the death of Louis XIV began on 10 August 1715. On his return from hunting in Marly, the king felt a sharp pain in his leg. His doctor Fagon diagnosed sciatica and never budged from this position. But black spots soon began to appear: the sign of senile gangrene. Despite the atrocious pain, the king continued with his usual occupations without flinching. He intended to carry out his functions until the end. The old oak seemed ineradicable and won the admiration of all. But on 25 August, his feast day, he had to take to his bed. He was not to leave his bedchamber.
The gangrene then affected his bones the next day. The doctors felt helpless. The king received on the same day his great-grandson, aged 5, the future Louis XV, to give him advice. He recommended him to relieve his people’s suffering and avoid war as far as possible: “it is the ruin of peoples!” Aware of having failed on this point, he asked him to remain a “peace-loving prince”
But his death took longer than expected. The king made his adieux to Mme de Maintenon three times and twice to the Court. A Provençal named Brun was allowed to approach the royal bed on 29 August: he claimed to have a miraculous cure. In fact, the king did feel better. But the disease was still there and making progress. Louis XIV finally went into a semi-coma lasting the next two days. He died on 1 September in the morning. His body was on view for eight days in the Mercury salon. He was transported to Saint-Denis on 9 September.
The Duc d’Orléans, nephew of Louis XIV, became Regent of the kingdom until the majority of the future Louis XV. The family quarrels began: on 2 September, the Regent persuaded the Parliament of Paris to annul the testament of the king which confiscated some of the assembly’s prerogatives. He governed from his residence in the Palais-Royal and installed the future king in the Tuileries palace on 9 September. The Court left Versailles. Philippe V of Spain, however, had not totally abandoned his claims to the throne of France in spite of the Treaty of Ryswick in 1713. A new war was on the way and with it a new combination of alliances in Europe…”
Metamorphoses of Goddesses: Henriette Marie de France (1609-1669)
When the fifteen year-old French princess Henriette Marie de Bourbon landed at Dover in June 1625 — after an unfortunate twelve-hour channel crossing which later resulted in a by-word in the Stuart family as “Mam’s ill luck at sea” — to join her husband Charles I, no one had thought it necessary to teach the new queen of England even a few words of English. The Dover castle was too Medieval, England was too unwelcoming, and her bridegroom too unimpressive: his manner awkward and stiff. What wasn’t a good start to begin with was soon to be worsened — Henrietta refused to be crowned with the king, and the marital discord reached a climax when Charles sent her French retinue back to France.
Shortly after the assassination of the Duke of Buckingham, king’s all-powerful favourite, however, the matters improved dramatically — Charles immediately transferred his emotional dependence to his wife, and one of the greatest love stories of English history began to unfold. For the next ten years, with a doting husband at her side, Henrietta could afford to ignore the Puritan disapproval over her perceived extravagance and frivolity. “…not only had I every pleasure the heart could desire;” she wrote later to Madame de Motteville, “I had a husband who adored me.” However things changed with frightening speed in the early 1640s, when Charles was finally forced to summon the parliament, and the Catholic queen became the target of a sustained and ugly campaign of vilification.
Early in 1642, Henrietta Maria went to Holland, taking her own and king’s personal jewellery, together as many of the crown jewels as she could, and spent a year haggling with pawnbrokers and arms dealers as she strove to raise money and supplies for the upcoming conflict. Landing back on to the Yorkshire coast after enduring appalling storms at sea, she had to take shelter in a ditch while cannon balls fell all around and a man was killed not twenty paces from her. Henrietta was later to tell Madame de Motteville that during the early years of the Civil War, as the she-majesty generalissima, having got a fine army together, she had put herself at the head of her troops and marched towards the king, always on horseback, ‘sans nulle délicatesse de femme’, and living among the soldiers as she imagined the great Alexander must have lived with his; how she had picnicked with them outside in the sunshine, with no ceremony, treating them like brothers.
Passionate in her loves and hates, in spite of her many all-too-obvious faults, there can be no denying the courage and steadfastness of this ardent, warm-hearted, and fiercely protective woman, who, once had told her husband, ‘there is nothing in the world, no trouble, which shall hinder me from serving you and loving you above everything in the world’. Her life at the Caroline Court, then said to be the ‘most sumptuous and happy in the world’, saw her generous patronage of the many, among whom were Inigo Jones, Ben Jonson, and Anthony van Dyck.
— (Henrietta Maria: Charles I’s Indomitable Queen, Alison Plowden)
Marie Zéphyrine de France, the first daughter of the dauphin Louis and dauphine Maria Josepha of Saxony, was born on August 26th, 1750. She was known as Madame Royale or la Petite Madame. She would die at the age of 5 on September 2nd, 1755, just days after her baptism.
image: A portrait of Marie Zéphyrine de France by Jean-Marc Nattier
HISTORY MEME - 1/5 KINGS/QUEENS - LOUIS AUGUSTE DE FRANCE, LOUIS XVI
Louis XVI was only 19 years old when he ascended the French throne, though he wasn’t prepared for it; as the Dauphin’s second son he was not expected to be crowned, and haven’t been prepared to be a leader, but to be a pious man. He was probably a little too shy, too irresponsible and mostly interested in hunting and locks. His grandfather, the King Louis XV, was often blamed for his lack of commitment into his grandson’s political education.
Louis XVI may have been loved by the French people but wasn’t respected by his own ‘court’. He wasn’t helping them protect their interests no matter how bad the economic crisis was. They quickly pictured him as a fool, an unprepared, shy and stupid man with a clear lack of common sense.
He changed his minister of finances several times and none of his reforms in the economy were working. France’s finances fell into disarray, and the expense of supporting the American Revolution almost drove the government to bankruptcy.
In 1789, to avert the deepening crisis, Louis agreed to summon the ‘estates-general’ (a form of parliament, but without real power) in order to try and raise taxes. This was the first time the body had met since 1614. Angered by Louis’ refusal to allow the three estates - the first (clergy), second (nobles) and third (commons) - to meet simultaneously, the Third Estate proclaimed itself a national assembly, declaring that only it had the right to represent the nation.
Rumours that the king intended to suppress the assembly provoked the popular storming of the Bastille prison, a symbol of repressive royal power, on 14 July 1789. In October, Louis and his family were forced by the mob to return to Paris from their palace at Versailles. In June 1791, they attempted to escape, which was considered proof of Louis’ treasonable dealings with foreign powers. He was forced to accept a new constitution, thereby establishing a constitutional monarchy.
Nonetheless, against a background of military defeat by Austria and Prussia, the revolutionary leadership was becoming increasingly radicalised. In September 1792, the new National Convention abolished the monarchy and declared France a republic. Louis was found guilty of treason and executed at the guillotine on 21 January 1793. [x][x][x]
HISTORY MEME - FRANCE VERSION ♛ [01/09] kings/queen : Louis XIV of France (5 september 1638- 1st september 1715)
King of France and Navarre from 1643 until his death, his reign of 72 years and 110 days is the longest of monarchs of major countries in European history. Louis began his personal rule of France in 1661 after the death of his chief minister, the Italian Cardinal Mazarin. An adherent of the theory of the divine right of kings, which advocates the divine origin of monarchical rule, Louis continued his predecessors’ work of creating a centralized state governed from the capital. He sought to eliminate the remnants of feudalism persisting in parts of France and, by compelling many members of the nobility to inhabit his lavish Palace of Versailles, succeeded in pacifying the aristocracy, many members of which had participated in the Fronde rebellion during Louis’s minority. By these means he became one of the most powerful French monarchs and consolidated a system of absolute monarchical rule in France that endured until the French Revolution.
The children of Louis, Dauphin of France (1729-1765) and Maria Josepha of Saxony (1731-1767)
Marie Zéphyrine de France (26 August 1750 - 1 September 1755):
Louis Joseph Xavier de France, duc de Bourgogne (13 September 1751 - 22 March 1761)
Xavier Marie Joseph, duc de Aquitaine (8 September 1753 - 22 February 1754) (Not pictured)
Louis Auguste de France, duc de Berry (23 August 1754 - 21 January 1793)
Louis Stanislas Xavier, comte de Provence (17 November 1755 - 16 September 1824)
Charles Philippe, comte d’Artois (9 October 1757 - 6 November 1836)
Marie Adélaïde Clothilde Xavière de France (23 September 1759 - 7 March 1802)
Élisabeth Philippine Marie Hélène de France (3 May 1764 - 10 May 1794)
Three of their eight children died in infancy or childhood. Three became kings. Two were executed during the French Revolution.
Empress Eugenie of France praying.