Author Topic: Duke Philippe d'Orléans (brother of Louis XIV), and his family  (Read 59463 times)

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Offline elena_maria_vidal

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Re: Duke Philippe d'Orléans (brother of Louis XIV), and his family
« Reply #60 on: November 06, 2005, 06:51:42 PM »
Margaret Irwin, in the novel, portrays the Queen-Mother Anne d'Autriche breaking up the romance between Louis and Minette before things got physical, fearing a MAJOR scandal, since Minette was Louis' brother's wife, which was considered incestuous (for him to sleep with her). I have read the same thing in some "real" history books - that they sent Louise de la Valliere into the picture to distract gossip from Minette and to possibly distract Louis from her.  He became infatuated with Louise and they had four children together before she became a nun.
« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 06:00:00 PM by elena_maria_vidal »

Offline ilyala

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Re: Duke Philippe d'Orléans (brother of Louis XIV), and his family
« Reply #61 on: November 07, 2005, 01:47:54 AM »
was it more incestuous to sleep with your brother's wife than with your cousin?
'loving might be a mistake, but it's worth making'
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Offline Prince_Lieven

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Re: Duke Philippe d'Orléans (brother of Louis XIV), and his family
« Reply #62 on: November 07, 2005, 04:18:03 AM »
I would say yes, ilyala. Your sister-in-law was regarded as your sister in terms of law . . .

As for Minette and Louis, Umigon and I had this discussion earlier - there is no proof either way. I say she didn't Umigon says she did.  ;D
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Offline umigon

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Re: Duke Philippe d'Orléans (brother of Louis XIV), and his family
« Reply #63 on: November 07, 2005, 08:34:52 AM »


She did... ;D


But yes, we reached the conclusion that as we will never know, we should agree to disagree...!!
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Offline Yseult

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Re: Duke Philippe d'Orléans (brother of Louis XIV), and his family
« Reply #64 on: November 18, 2006, 06:14:53 AM »
I know there are an old thread about Philippe d´Orleans, Minette and Liselotte. I enjoyed it so much and while I was reading it, I became deeply interested in Liselotte, so I was determined to start a thread focused  in this uncommon woman...

1.-Childhood and Early Youth

Elisabeth Charlotte -Liselotte- was born in 27th May 1652 in Heidelberg, capital of the Palatinate, regained by her father, Karl Ludwig (a son of Frederick V by Elizabeth Stuart, the Winter Queen...) after the Thirty Years War. I´m very intriguing about Liselotte´s mother, Charlotte of Hesse-Kassel. I haven´t found portraits or info about Charlotte, who borne three children to her husband: Charles in 1751, Liselotte in 1752 and Frederick in 1753. The marriage between Karl Ludwig and Charlotte was not a happy one. At the end, Karl Ludwig fell in love with a servant in their household, Marie Susanna Loysa von Degenfeld, named Louisa von Degenfeld. Louisa was a red-haired girl, seventeen years younger than Karl Ludwig. The Palatine divorced unilaterally his wife Charlotte in the last months of 1757 and  married (bigamously) Louisa in january 1758.

Liselotte was only five years old, but I wonder how was she impressed for the situation. So quickly, her father sent her to Herrenhausen, in Hannover, where a paternal aunt of the children, Sophie, was Electress since her marriage with Ernst August. Electress Sophie, heir presumptive of the british throne, took care of her little niece´s upbringing during the next four years. Sophie was very fond of Liselotte, and Liselotte remained always devoted to Sophie.

In 1663, Liselotte, aged eleven, returned to Heidelberg. She found not only her elder brother Charles, but also two half-brothers and three half-sisters. I suppose Liselotte felt some tenderness to her half-sisters, Karoline, Louise and Amalie Elisabeth, because a lot of years after, she wrotte a great number of letters to the half-sister Louise von der Pfalz.

2.-Marriage

Of course, Liselotte was a pawn of her father´s politics. She was bethroted in 1671 with Philippe, duke of Orleans, the younger brother of the powerful king Louis XIV of France. Philippe was eighteen years older than Liselotte. She had been chose to marry a widower with two little daughters from the first wife, Henriette of England, surnamed Minette. There was a gossip about the death of Minette aged twenty six: it was said she had been poisoned by her husband Philippe or maybe for the favourite of Philippe, the chevalier of Lorraine. The second marriage of the homosexual Philippe of Orleans with Liselotte was arranged by Anne of Gonzaga, a friend of the duke who was at the same time aunt of the palatinate girl.

So, Liselotte converted from Lutheranism to Catholicism, and she endured a miserable journey along bumpy roads from Heidelberg to Strasbourg. In Strasbourg, in a tearful day, Liselotte bade farewell to her father and her beloved aunt Sophie of Hannover. She was under the care of Anne of Gonzaga until she reached the french´s court.

At this time, Liselotte was a nineteen years old woman, intelligent, with a lively curiosity and sense of humour, with few pretentions to beauty and none to elegance. She managed well a very difficult marriage, since her husband needed to force himself to make love a woman and always had his male favourites around. But Liselotte was a good step-mother to Minette´daughters, and gave two sons (Alexandre and Philippe) and one daughter to the dinasty (Elisabeth Charlotte Philippine).
She never had fun "making babies", so, after the birth of Elisabeth, Monsieur and Madame had separate lives, although they treated with great courtesy each other.

More info will be welcomed!!





Offline bell_the_cat

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Re: Duke Philippe d'Orléans (brother of Louis XIV), and his family
« Reply #65 on: November 18, 2006, 06:53:46 AM »
Yes Liselotte was very fond of her half-sisters - her last letter was, as far as I remember, addressed to the Raugravine Luise. I think it is surprising (considering the low opinion she had of LouisXIV's legitimised children, and her own Orleans grandchildren) that she had such affection for her father's second family and shows great magnanimity of character. She judged people by their characters, and not for whether they were legitimate or not.
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Offline Prince_Lieven

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Re: Duke Philippe d'Orléans (brother of Louis XIV), and his family
« Reply #66 on: November 18, 2006, 07:15:42 AM »
She was a childhood friend of William of Orange, wasn't she? I think there was a story where she asked William (when they were both young) 'who is the woman with the red nose' and he replied 'that is my mother, the Princess Royal' (or something of the kind). ;D
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Offline Yseult

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Re: Duke Philippe d'Orléans (brother of Louis XIV), and his family
« Reply #67 on: November 18, 2006, 07:26:43 AM »
Yes Liselotte was very fond of her half-sisters - her last letter was, as far as I remember, addressed to the Raugravine Luise. I think it is surprising (considering the low opinion she had of LouisXIV's legitimised children, and her own Orleans grandchildren) that she had such affection for her father's second family and shows great magnanimity of character. She judged people by their characters, and not for whether they were legitimate or not.

It´s a strange thing...Little girls usually didn´t like her father divorcing her mother to marry a young and attractive servant. But it seems that Liselotte "forgot" her ill-fated mother (anyone knows what happened with Charlotte?) and had a good relationship with Louisa and Louisa´s children. By the way, I don´t think Liselotte judged people for whether they were legitimate or not, but she had a prejudice against the illegitimate children: they might be always in a second plane. She was annoyed when her beloved son Philippe was compelled to marry Louis XIV and Mme de Montespan´s daughter, because, althought the girl was fathered by a great king, she was born out of wedlock, so she wasn´t a princess of blood but a simply Mademoiselle de Blois. Of course, it could have been another ideas flowing in the mind of our Liselotte...at the end, the bride of her son was the daughter of a woman involved in the most infamous scandal of their epoch.

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Re: Duke Philippe d'Orléans (brother of Louis XIV), and his family
« Reply #68 on: November 18, 2006, 09:22:16 AM »
Liselotte had an excellent reason to despise Louis XIV's illegitimate children, especially the Duc de Maine.  She resented the transparent efforts of Madame de Maintenon and Maine to aggrandize the illegitimate children and to change the succession laws in a way that might hurt her beloved son Philippe.  She tried but failed to keep a marriage from being arranged between Philippe and one of Louis's illegiitmate daughters, in part because she understood it was part of Maintenon's plan to tie the illegitimate children closer to the legitimate members of the royal family, and in part because the girl had no eyebrows and a severe hunchback that gave her a pronounced limp.  Maine wanted his father to make it possible for him to become king, or at least regent, in due course, and he was eager to become popular with the court and the people at Philippe’s expense.  Philippe's wife seems to have approved of her brother's efforts, perhaps because she thought they would increase her own social status; she didn't care a bit that he was hurting her husband in the process. 

Maintenton and Maine spread ugly rumors about Philippe and kept him from getting posts and commands because they wanted to create the impression that he was unfit to hold power.  As years passed and their calumnies spread, it was widely believed that Maine would become the regent for the future Louis XV instead of Philippe, who'd become such a pariah that the only friends he had at court were Liselotte and the Duc de Saint-Simon.  Liselotte was powerless to help Philippe; all she could do was revile Maintenon and the illegitimate children in her letters.  Saint-Simon, who was similarly powerless, reviled Maintenon and Maine in his diaries.  They understood that the slanders and the forced inactivity were destroying Philippe’s better qualities (he really did have them).  When Louis died, with Saint-Simon’s help, Philippe seized power and smacked down Maine, so to speak, and made him the pariah that he himself had once been, to Liselotte's great delight.   
« Last Edit: November 18, 2006, 09:36:27 AM by palatine »

Offline Yseult

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Re: Duke Philippe d'Orléans (brother of Louis XIV), and his family
« Reply #69 on: November 18, 2006, 02:13:31 PM »
For sure, Liselotte was an enemy for Françoise Scarron, Mme of Maintenon. Françoise was the one who brought up the children of Athenaïs of Montespan, and, as far as I know, the elder sister of Athenaïs, Louise Françoise, mademoiselle of Nantes, remain very fond of her mother and rejected Maintenon, but the younger ones, Françoise Marie and Louis August, duke of Maine, followed always the line traced by Maintenon...I can understand Maintenon´s support of Louis August, the favourite son of the king and also her own pupil. But I suppose Liselotte was really shocked when in the summer of 1714, king Louis attributed to his illegitimate but legitimized sons rights to the throne if the legitimate line would die out.


Offline umigon

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Re: Duke Philippe d'Orléans (brother of Louis XIV), and his family
« Reply #70 on: November 19, 2006, 10:27:18 AM »
About Charlotte of Hesse-Cassel, from Leo Van de Pas's page:

The marriage between Charlotte and her cousin Karl Ludwig, Elector Palatine, was regarded as highly advantageous. However, it was her own mother who tried to warn the Elector of Charlotte's foul temper.

At first all went well as Karl Ludwig became wildly infatuated with his wife and with gusto started his task of providing the Palatinate with an heir. After all, she was a tall blonde girl, with long legs and a beautiful bust, so that Karl Ludwig could hardly keep his hands off her. According to his sister Sophie, 'his passion had impaired his intellect'.

If Charlotte so much as glanced at another man, Karl Ludwig was jealous. If she criticised him, he would go into a rage but their quarrels were made up at night with audible violence. According to Sophie, Charlotte was hopeless and stupid. In conversation Charlotte had only one topic: herself. She was a good horse-woman, but Karl Ludwig objected to women on horseback; she loved gambling, which Karl Ludwig regarded as a waste of money.

Charlotte ruined her relations with Sophie when she admitted that she had married Karl Ludwig against her own wishes, she would have preferred several others over this 'jealous old man'. Soon it was Charlotte who became jealous of Sophie who seemed to be on much better terms with Karl Ludwig. Charlotte felt herself excluded from their conversations and never understood their jokes.

To the joy of the Palatinate and Karl Ludwig, a son was born in 1651 and in 1652 a daughter. When Karl Ludwig went to the Electors' Diet in Prague, he infuriated Charlotte by not taking her with him. At this time Louise von Degenfeld came to their court and was regarded as not very pretty and naive, which was as it should be as she was only sixteen years old.

After his return Karl Ludwig took his wife and his sisters, Elisabeth and Sophie, to the festivities accompanying the coronation of Archduke Charles as his father's successor. Charlotte was again furious as she was pregnant and unable to wear the French dresses especially bought for the occasion. However, the baby when born dead a few hours later and Charlotte was very ill and could not be moved for weeks.

In 1654 Karl Ludwig's brother, Prince Rupert, came to visit Heidelberg and soon Charlotte realised Rupert was pursuing Louise von Degenfeld. To prevent nocturnal visits, Charlotte made Louise sleep in her own bedroom. Trying to protect Louise from Rupert, she had not realized that her own husband had fallen in love with the same girl. However, one night Charlotte woke up and, maintaining that she had found her husband in bed with Louise, she attacked the girl, almost biting off her little finger. Karl Ludwig protected Louise and called in the guard to restrain Charlotte. The following day Karl Ludwig installed Louise in an apartment directly above his own, had a hole cut in the ceiling and with the help of a ladder was able to visit her. Soon Charlotte found out and had to be prevented from ascending the same ladder with a knife in her hand and murder in her heart.

From now on Charlotte maintained that she was kept a prisoner in her apartments. She would beat her servants and, if they were found to be spying on her behalf, were dismissed by her husband. Karl Ludwig made sure not to be anywhere near Charlotte, who was pitied by everyone. According to his ancient powers he divorced Charlotte but kept this a secret until after his sister Sophie's wedding. As soon as these festivities were over, Karl Ludwig published the divorce documents and declared himself to be married to Louise von Degenfeld. However, many questioned the legality of the divorce.

Charlotte then lived in obscurity, only to emerge after the death of Karl Ludwig, in 1680, when their son became the next Elector Palatine. However, she had remained difficult and ill-tempered and, when she died in 1686, it was said of the maids who wrapped her into her shroud that this was a unique occassion as 'It was the first time anyone had dressed the Electress without being beaten'.
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Offline Yseult

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Re: Duke Philippe d'Orléans (brother of Louis XIV), and his family
« Reply #71 on: November 19, 2006, 02:07:22 PM »
Umigon, you´re amazing! You have always valuable information about almost unknown people or facts in their lives...;) I see that Charlotte was a tempestuous woman. Anyone knows what thought Liselotte about such a mother?.

Offline CountessKate

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Re: Duke Philippe d'Orléans (brother of Louis XIV), and his family
« Reply #72 on: November 22, 2006, 03:35:14 AM »
She seems to have had a reasonably civil relationship with her, largely by keeping a distance - living in a foreign country helped.  There are a very few references in her letters to conversations with her mother - in 1683 she mentions to Sophie that "The Electress, my mother, told me herself at Domfaessel that she found my husband changed.  He was really quite well, but was afraid that the Electress would begin to talk about what happened, so he was very ill at ease.  Luckily for me (and to tell the truth, at my own request) mother said nothing about it to him, and now that everything is fairly peaceful, I think that we should let sleeping dogs lie.......I did not suggest that we arrange a meeting, because they say continually here that my uncle wants to declare war on the king and is raising troops for the purpose, so I thought that a meeting just now would be very indiscreet."

I've no idea what Liselotte didn't want her mother to refer to - though she wrote in another letter at the same time "My troubles stem more from Monsieur than from anyone else",  but at any rate, this shows that Charlotte could behave herself and take a hint, at least from her very well-connected daughter.  The only other reference I can find is in yet another letter to Sophie when she tells her that her mother had said "it was a shame to see how badly my brother's house was appointed; there was scarcely a bed or a chair in the whole castle".  If she wrote any of her marvellous letters to her mother, none have survived, but I suspect she didn't - she clearly treated her rather warily.

Just an observation to add to Palatine's post about Liselotte's reason for disliking the marriage of her son to Mlle de Blois - the latter did have light eyebrows, but only had one shoulder higher than the other and a slight limp.  She was generally considered to be quite pretty, by the standards of Versailles.  If she had been legitimate and very well born, Liselotte would not have had the slightest objection.  I love Liselotte, but there is no doubt she was not sane with regard to the bastards of Louis XIV

Offline Marie Valerie

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Re: Duke Philippe d'Orléans (brother of Louis XIV), and his family
« Reply #73 on: December 27, 2006, 08:03:39 AM »

Offline bell_the_cat

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Re: Duke Philippe d'Orléans (brother of Louis XIV), and his family
« Reply #74 on: December 27, 2006, 12:01:21 PM »


Hi Marie Valerie!

Don't think this is Liselotte - maybe her daughter in law, the Duchess of Orléans?
Never put off until tomorrow what you can put off until the day after tomorrow. (Mark Twain)