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Mesdames de France, filles de Louis XV,…

Mesdames de France, filles de Louis XV, documents inédits

by Casimir Stryienski

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King Louis XV of France and Queen Marie Leszczynska married in 1725 and had 11 children, of whom 5 daughters survived to adulthood. They were known collectively at the Court of Versailles as "Mesdames," and were the apples of the king's eye: Madame Élisabeth (1727–1759), the only one who married, wed the second son of the King of Spain and was thereafter known at Versailles as Madame Infante; she later became Duchess of Parma; Madame Henriette, her twin (1727–1752); Madame Adélaïde (1732–1800); Madame Victoire (1733–1799); Madame Sophie (1734–1782); and Madame Louise Marie (1737–1787), who became a nun. Nancy Mitford wrote that Louis XV was one of those fathers who never want their daughters to marry. In addition, she said, "The magic of Versailles worked as strongly upon the royal family as it did upon the nobles; to leave its precincts seemed the most dreadful of fates, no crown on earth could compensate for it." During the French Revolution, Madame Adélaïde and Madame Victoire managed to flee to Italy and died in exile.
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