Femme of the Week: Louise-Marie de Bourbon-Penthiévre | Marie Antoinette's Gossip Guide to the 18th Century: Femme of the Week: Louise-Marie de Bourbon-Penthiévre

June 12, 2008

Femme of the Week: Louise-Marie de Bourbon-Penthiévre

Boys, line up at the door, this week Louise-Marie de Bourbon-Penthiévre is here! This is exactly what it was like for Louise-Marie. Her brother, the prince de Lamballe fell very ill, and it was determined that he would not survive. (His wife was the princesse de Lambelle but she is a whole other femme!) The prince de Lamballe was the only heir to Louis Jean Marie de Bourbon-Penthiévre, and because he did not have any kids of his own, the succession of the family would end with him. Tragedy!

The family tragedy didn't end there for Louise-Marie. Prince of the Blood (yes here we go again), the duc d'Orléans, did not have any interest in his own son, the duc de Chartres, to marry Louise-Marie.
duc de Chartres
She was only entitled to a mere 50,000 livres/year and
"the duc d'Orléans would not accept the marriage of his son with the daughter of a bastard race."
However, when word got out that the prince de Lamballe was not going to make it the duc d'Orléans changed his tune. If the only heir, Lamballe, died then Louise-Marie would become heiress to her fathers massive fortune, an estimated 3,000,000 livres/year! To make the wedding happen (think wedding planner) the duc de Choiseul (our little seducer) was able to obtain the kings permission. Making the duc d'Orléans a happy father-in-law-to-be.

This is when things get fun for me, crazy for Louise-Marie. This was when her brother miraculously began to gain health! So of course the duc d'Orléans backed out of the situation (many were upset at this blatant abandonment of plans). The prince of Condé saw an opportunity arise and made haste to arrange a marriage of Louise-Marie with his son, Louis Joseph de Bourbon (later the prince de Condé).
Louise-Marie however, had apparently fallen head over heels for her duc de Chatres! ahh love

Well her life was a roller coaster ride because before anything happened, her brother fell fatally ill again and this time passed away. In a whirlwind of events the duc d'Orléans rushed to renegotiate for his son to have her hand. The wedding took place in 1769 at the lovely Versailles Chapel, (it was a total Platinum Wedding) and Louise-Marie married her love, the duc de Chatres. He became the duc d'Orléans upon his fathers passing, and with Louise-Marie's fortune, she made him the richest man in France.


  1. Careful Heather ma Chere,
    You know what the meaning of une capote anglaise is don't you?
    Don't be disparaged, however, if G & Toinette could be bffs why not indulge in a little jeu de mots?

    Is this the same Prince de Lamballe who was jokingly referred to as Prince Sans Balls? How's this for gossip?

    I'd be curious to know what G's favorite food would be? I'd guess steak frites? What would you venture?
    I'd say Toni's is her bol de chocolat chaud INDUTIABLY, n'est-ce pas?