søndag 14. november 2010

Maria Theresa of Savoy

by Jean-Baptiste-André Gautier d'Agoty, 1775

She could have been a Queen of France had she not died, and she was the first of her generation to give birth to the next royal child, humiliating Marie Antoinette herself. Though Marie Thérèse of Savoy was not a liked figure at the French court, she was still a very important lady at court.
Maria Theresa was born as Marie Thérèse the 31st of January in 1756, a daughter of Prince Victor Amadeus of Savoy and his wife, Infanta Maria Antoinetta of Spain, thus making Marie Thérèse the granddaughter of Phillip V of Spain. Her father’s father, Charles Emmanuel III was also the King of Sardinia.
Marie Thérèse was married by proxy to Charles Philippe, the Count of Artois, and she arrived in France where her official wedding took place the 16th of November 1773 when she was seventeen years old. Her newlywed husband was the grandson of the King, thus making her a “petite-fille de France”, a granddaughter of France. 

Marie Thérèse’s wedding was not the only Franco-Savoyard wedding made: some years earlier her sister had married Charles Phillipe’s brother, and a year later, her sister-in-law, Maria Clotilde, married her brother.
Marie Thérèse gave birth to her first child, a son, only a year after her wedding. This son, Louis Antoine, would later marry Queen Marie Antoinette and King Louis XVI’s daughter, Madame Royale Marie Thérèse who shared her name with her mother-in-law. If you have seen the movie, Marie-Antoinette by Sofia Coppola which starred Kirsten Dunst in the title role, you will remember the young Queen to be very anxious of being the first to have a royal child of the next generation. This did not happen, as Marie Thérèse was the first to give birth. 

A year after giving birth to her son, a daughter, Sophie, followed. Unfortunately, she died at the age of six. In 1778 she gave birth to another son, Charles Ferdinand, and another daughter followed five years later, but also she died, only six months old thus leaving Marie Thérèse with two sons growing into adulthood, and no daughters.

Marie Thérèse was not considered to be a beauty at the court of Versailles, and she was also one of the most disliked figures, though she avoided much abuse as Marie Antoinette was the most disliked person in the French court. According to the Austrian ambassador, Marie Thérèse was very silent and interested in absolutely nothing, which is probably why she was disliked as we all know that the French court was anything but boring and silent, and therefore such people were not well-liked (party pooper much??)

Marie Thérèse died at the age of 49 the 2nd of June 1805 in Gratz, Austria. Why Austria? Why, because of the French Revolution of course. She lived in exile there, even though she had escaped back home to Savoy at first. As she died before her husband became King of France, she died as Countess of Artois and not Queen of France. 

1 kommentar:

  1. From what I understand, it wasn't Marie Antoinette fault that she didn't conceive. Louis XVI didn't want to consummate the marriage for whatever reason. I believe they both were really young, so that could have been a factor.

    It looks like our blogs are of similar age, because I only began mine recently as well. Good luck and nice blog!