All posts tagged: France

Royal inter-marriage proposals

Last week I promised you all the gossip on Mariana Victoria and her engagement. In 1721 Mariana Victoria was bethrothed, at age 3, to her first cousin, Louis XV of France. Louis, like most 11 year old boys, was not interested in toddlers, and avoided his fiancee as much as possible. As Louis got older and got interested in girls, things got worse.  I can’t imagine what  could be creepier as a 15 year old trying to flirt with the ladies of the court than having your 7 year old future-wife hanging about the place. The situation was resolved in 1725 when Louis had a health scare and the powers-that-be in France, desperate to avoid him dying without a heir, shipped Mariana back to Spain and married the 15 year old Louis off to the princess most likely to have kids right away, and  least likely to really anger and insult the Spanish: the 21 year old Maria Leszczyńska. He was momentarily enchanted with his older bride, before becoming enchanted with a dozen other women, including …

A sweet Mother-in-law story

While posting about French Queens and the fleur de lys I came across this lovely story about the relationship between Maria Leszczyńska, and her daughter in law, the Dauphine Maria Josepha of Saxony. Maria L was very close to the first wife of the Dauphin, Marie Thérèse Raphaëlle, and was distraught when she died.  This did not bode well for potential MIL-DIL relationships during the Dauphin’s second marriage To Maria Josepha (after all, who wants to be compared to the beautiful, sweet, pious, beloved first wife all the time!), and circumstances conspired to make Maria Josepha’s position even less promising. First, the marriage had been strongly supported by Louis XV’s mistress, Madame de Pompadour, and the catty Versaille courtiers took every opportunity to remind Maria L how humiliating it was that her eldest son’s marriage was arranged by her husband’s powerful mistress. To make matters worse, Maria Josepha was the granddaughter of Augustus II of Saxony, who had dethroned Maria L’s father, Stanisław Leszczyński, from the throne of Poland, causing Maria L a very stressful, …

French queens and the fleur de lys – part 3

I left you a few days ago with Marie Leszczyńska and her many, many portraits featuring the fleur de lys. Maria may not be remembered as a trendsetter in the same way that her husbands most famous mistress, Madame de Pompadour is, but she had an effect of her own.  Her infatuation with the fleur de lys robes was such that her daughter, Elisabeth of France, was also portrayed in them in two occasions. Marie Leszczyńska was close with all her children, and was lucky enough to have loving relationships with both of the wives of the Dauphine Louis. Before her tragic early death, Louis first wife, the Infanta Maria Teresa Rafaela of Spain was painted in the fleur de lys robes: After Maria Teresa’s death, Louis married Maria Josepha of Saxony. One would think this would have resulted in a disastrous daughter in law-mother in law relationship, as Maria J’s father had dethroned Marie L’s father, causing Marie L a very stressful childhood.  In fact, the French court viewed the marriage (partly arranged by …