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Marie d'Orléans-Longueville, an extremely wealthy heiress and a member of the Orléans branch of the French royal family, was born in Paris, the daughter of Henri II d’Orleans, duc de Longueville, and his first wife Louise de Bourbon. Her mother died when she was 12, and her father remarried to Anne-Geneviève de Bourbon-Condé, the famous intriguer of the French court. Marie was brought up strictly and was considered a possible bride for the exiled King Charles II of England or his brother James, Duke of York. She participated alongside her father and stepmother in the French civil wars known as the Fronde, and had to flee in 1651 to Dieppe and then to Flanders. In 1657, she married Henri II de Savoie, duc de Nemours, who died two years later. After the death of her brother in 1699, she became sovereign Princess of Neuchâtel, by then the last independent monarchy within the Swiss Confederation. She wrote her memoirs, which were published posthumously in 1709.
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