Louise-Marie de France, dite Madame Louise (1737-1787)

Later portrait of Marie-Louise by François-Hubert Drouais.

See also Louise-Marie of France (1812-1850), Queen of the Belgians.

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


Marie-Louise de France was born at Versailles, 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, Victoire, Sophie and Thérèse-Félicité (who died aged 8). 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?).

She returned to the court in 1750. She returned to a court that was ruled by his fathers lust for his Maîtresse-en-titre Madame de Pompadour. She stayed at the court of Versailles for another 20 years seeing, the death of her older sister Madame Henriette (1752); the births of her nieces and nephews; the Assassination attempt on her father in 1757; the introduction of Madame du Barry; construction the Petit Trianon; death of her older sister known as Madame Infante (1759) and mother (1768)).

The year she left (1770) she saw the marriage of her nephew Louis-Auguste to Marie Antoinette. 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. 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. As a child she had had an accident which had affected her knee. As a result of that, she found it difficult to kneel and when offered assistance, she refused.

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.


16. Louis XIV of France
8. Louis, Dauphin of France
17. Infanta Maria Theresa of Spain
4. Louis, Dauphin of France and Duke of Burgundy
18. Ferdinand Maria, Elector of Bavaria
9. Maria Anna of Bavaria
19. Henriette Adelaide of Savoy
2. Louis XV of France
20. Charles Emmanuel II, Duke of Savoy
10. Victor Amadeus II of Sardinia
21. Princess Marie Jeanne of Savoy-Nemours
5. Princess Marie-Adélaïde of Savoy
22. Philippe I, Duke of Orléans
11. Anne Marie of Orléans
23. Princess Henrietta Anne of England
1. Princess Louise Marie of France
24. Bogusław Leszczyński
12. Rafał Leszczyński, Duke of Lesno
25. Countess Anna von Denhoff
6. Stanisław Leszczyński, King of Poland
26. Prince Stanisław Jan Jabłonowski
13. Anna Jabłonowska
27. Countess Marianna Kazanowska
3. Maria Leszczyńska
28. Count Krzystof Opaliński
14. Count Jan Karol Opaliński
29. Countess Teresa Konstancya Czarnkowska
7. Countess Katarzyna Opalińska
30. Count Adam-Uryel Czarnkowski
15. Countess Zofia Czarnkowska
31. Countess Teresa Zaleska


  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", P125. Published 2007, John Hopkins University Press. ISBN 0801885981
  3. Gratay, Alphonse-Joseph-Auguste. "Henri Perreyve", Pvi, Published 1872, C. Douniol.
  4. Hare, Augustus John Cuthbert. "North-eastern France", P143. Published 1896, Macmillan.
  5. Markham, Jacob Abbott. "A History of France", P473. Published 1863, Harper & Brothers.
  6. Baedeker, Karl. "Paris and Environs with Routes from London to Paris", P348. Published 1898, Dulau.
  7. Leathes, Stanley. "The religion of the Christ, its historic and literary development", P356. Published 1874, Oxford University.

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
abesse de Saint Denis
Succeeded by

Template:House of Bourbon(France)bg:Луиза Френскаpt:Luísa Maria de França

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