Good afternoon, dear readers! Today I want to tell you about the life and fate of one of the most prominent women in French history, Marie Therese of France, Duchess of Angouleme. She was the daughter of King Louis XVI and Marie Antoinette, who were victims of the French Revolution. Born on December 19, 1778 in Versailles, she was the only child of her parents to survive the revolutionary events. She was the last Dauphine of France and briefly the Queen of France. She was a highly educated, courageous, and principled woman who devotedly defended the interests of her dynasty. Her life was full of tragedies, but also of glory. Who was she and what did she achieve? Let’s learn more about her.
Maria Theresa of France was the eldest daughter of the king and held the titles of Madame Royale and Madame fille du roi. She was named after her maternal grandmother, Empress Maria Theresa. She received a good education from private teachers, and studied French, Latin, English, German, Italian, Spanish, history, geography, mathematics, music, drawing, dancing, and horseback riding. She was a smart, curious and cheerful girl who loved her family and her country.
In 1789, when Maria Theresa was ten years old, the French Revolution began, turning her life upside down. Together with her parents and younger brother, Maria Theresa had to endure a forced move from Versailles to Paris, under house arrest in the Tuileries. After the uprising on August 10, 1792, the royal family was placed in Tampines, where Maria Theresa spent her youth in difficult conditions. She saw her parents taken to death row, her mother insulted and threatened, her brother torn from her and left for dead. She herself was subjected to torture, abuse and attempts to force her to betray her family. She endured all this with dignity and courage, without breaking down or losing hope.
Maria Theresa was released from Tampa on December 19, 1795, at the age of seventeen, in exchange for French prisoners of war. She left France and traveled to Vienna, where her maternal relatives lived. She then moved to Mitava, where her uncle Louis XVIII, Count of Provence, lived. In 1799, in Jelgava, she married her cousin Louis, Duke of Angouleme, the eldest son of the Comte d’Artois. Their marriage was childless, and the blame for this is placed on her husband. Until 1814, the family lived in Great Britain, where Maria Theresa took an active part in the political activities of emigrants.
Returning to France in 1814 during the Bourbon restoration, Maria Theresa fiercely defended the monarchy and the rights of her dynasty. She was popular with royal supporters but hated by revolutionaries. She was known for her severity, intransigence, and conservatism. She opposed any reforms and compromises made by her father, brother, and nephew. She was an opponent of Napoleon and his dynasty, as well as the July monarchy of Louis-Philippe. She was a supporter of legitimism and supported her husband’s claim to the French throne.
Maria Theresa of France was briefly Queen of France when her brother Louis XVIII died on September 16, 1824, and her husband became King Louis XIX. But already on August 2, 1830, after the July Revolution, they both abdicated in favor of their nephew Henry, Duke of Bordeaux, who did not accept the crown. Maria Theresa and her husband left France and settled in England, where they lived under the names of the Earl and Countess de Marne. In 1836, after the death of her husband, Maria Theresa moved to Austria, where she was supported by her cousin Ferdinand I. She lived in Frosdorf Castle, where she died of pneumonia on October 19, 1851, at the age of 72.
Marie Therese of France was an outstanding personality in the history of France. She witnessed and participated in revolutionary and restoration events that changed the face of her country. She was a loyal and courageous daughter, sister, wife and aunt to her relatives who fought for the throne. She was a highly educated and cultured woman who spoke several languages and had a passion for the arts. She was an implacable and conservative monarchist who did not accept the republican system of France. She was the last member of the Bourbon dynasty to be born in the Kingdom of France.
I hope you found this article interesting and useful. I thank you for your attention and invite you to learn more about other outstanding women in history. See you soon!!!!