Victoire of France

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Victoire of France (full name Marie Louise Thérèse Victoire ; * May 11, 1733 in Versailles , † June 7, 1799 in Trieste ) was the fifth daughter and the seventh child of the French king Louis XV. and his Polish wife Maria Leszczyńska . As the king's daughter, she was a fille de France and princess of France and Navarre .

Originally known as Madame Quatrième (her older sister Marie Louise died in February 1733, before she was born), she was later called Madame Victoire . She survived eight of her nine siblings; only her older sister Marie Adélaïde died less than a year after her.

Victoire of France, as "Water" (1751) by Jean-Marc Nattier


Victoire de France was born in the Palace of Versailles . In contrast to the older children of Louis XV. (including Adélaïde, only a year older than her) she was not raised in Versailles, but instead lived in Fontevrault Abbey .

At the age of 15 she was allowed to return to her father's court. She shared the moral indignation of her religious mother and siblings over the king's frequent open adultery. The close family members increasingly turned away from the king as he devoted himself more and more to his mistresses, first Madame de Pompadour and later Madame du Barry .

Victoire was often considered the prettiest of the king's daughters, but never married. In 1753 it was considered that she and her brother-in-law Ferdinand VI. from Spain to marry because his wife was seriously ill at the time. Despite her illness, the Spanish queen lived another five years.

In December 1765, Victoire's older brother, Louis Ferdinand , died of tuberculosis in Fontainebleau at the age of 36 . Victoire mourned him greatly, as did all of her sisters. The family grew closer again. In 1768 the death of Queen Maria Leszczyńska in Versailles gave rise to new mourning. The grief was made worse by the fact that Louis XV. a new mistress, the Comtesse du Barry. Victoire and her sisters were jealous that their royal father spent so much time with his numerous mistresses.

Madame Victoire, 1748 by Jean-Marc Nattier

On May 16, 1770, Victoires nephew, the Dauphin Louis (XVI.) Married Archduchess Marie Antoinette in Versailles. Victoire and her older sister Adélaïde tried to get rid of Madame du Barry through the influence of the Dauphin's young wife on the king, but this plan only worked temporarily. Although the new Dauphine actually snubbed the Comtesse du Barry at first, she quickly changed her behavior again when she was made aware by her powerful mother, the Empress Maria Theresa , that such behavior would worsen relations between Austria and the king Louis XV would evoke. The king's daughters finally got their will when Louis XV. Sent Madame du Barry away from Versailles shortly before his death in 1774 so that he could receive the sacraments of the Catholic Church. His successor Louis XVI, Victoires nephew, then banished the powerless mistress permanently from the court.

For the "Mesdames", like the surviving daughters of Louis XV. were named together, a significant change in their living conditions occurred during the reign of Louis XVI. a. Although the princesses were allowed to stay at court and kept their apartment in Versailles, the courtiers of Versailles soon forgot these ladies too and instead were much more concerned about their loyalty to Louis XVI. and his wife to prove it. Victoire and her older sister Adélaïde therefore traveled the country lavishly. Such expensive trips were a constant financial burden on the state budget, thus helping to bring about the outbreak of the French Revolution .

French Revolution

After Versailles was stormed by an army of hungry Parisian women on October 6, 1789, Victoire and Adélaïde took as the only surviving children of Louis XV. their residence in the Château de Bellevue. Horrified by new revolutionary laws against the Catholic Church, the religious sisters left France for Italy on February 20, 1791, although they were arrested and held in Arnay-le-Duc for several days before they were allowed to leave.

In Italy they first visit their niece Clotilde , Queen of Sardinia, the sister of Louis XVI., In Turin. They arrived in Rome on April 16, 1791 .


As a result of the increasing influence of revolutionary France, the sisters were forced to keep moving. In 1796 they went to Naples , where Maria Karolina , Marie Antoinette's sister, was queen. They then traveled to Corfu in 1799 and finally to Trieste, where Victoire died of breast cancer. Adélaïde died in Rome a year later . The bodies of the two princesses were later taken by their nephew, King Louis XVIII. , brought back to France and buried in the Cathedral of Saint-Denis .

Madame Victoires nephews and nieces were among others the Duke Ferdinand of Parma, the French kings Louis XVI., Louis XVIII. and Karl X. , furthermore Madame Élisabeth and the Queen Maria Luise of Spain. Her goddaughter was Angélique Victoire, Comtesse de Chastellux.


Pedigree Madame Victoire
Great grandparents

Louis de Bourbon, dauphin de Viennois (1661–1711)

Maria Anna of Bavaria (1660–1690)

Viktor Amadeus II. (1666-1732)

Anne Marie d'Orléans (1669–1728)

Jan Karol Opaliński (1642–1695)

Zofia Czarnkowska Opalińska (1660–1701)

Rafał Leszczyński (1650–1703)

Anna Leszczyńska (1660-1727)


Louis of Burgundy

Maria Adelaide of Savoy (1685-1712)

Stanislaus Leszczyński (1677–1766)

Katharina Opalińska (1680–1747)


Louis XV (1710–1774)

Maria Leszczynska (1703–1768)

Madame Victoire of France (1733–1799)


Web links

Commons : Princess Victoire of France  - Collection of pictures, videos and audio files