Charlotte of Savoy

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Charlotte of Savoy
Charlotte de Savoie.jpg
Portrait of Charlotte of Savoy, c. 1472
Queen consort of France
Tenure 22 July 1461 – 30 August 1483
Born 11 November 1441
Died 1 December 1483 (aged 42)
Amboise, France
Burial Notre-Dame de Cléry Basilica, Cléry-Saint-André, France
Spouse Louis XI of France
Issue Anne, Duchess of Bourbon
Joan, Queen of France
Charles VIII of France
House House of Valois
Father Louis, Duke of Savoy
Mother Anne of Cyprus
Religion Roman Catholicism

Charlotte of Savoy (11 November 1441 – 1 December 1483) was queen of France as the second wife of Louis XI. Of her three surviving children, Charles VIII became king, Anne regent and Joan queen of France.


She was a daughter of Louis, Duke of Savoy[1] and Anne of Cyprus.[2] Her maternal grandparents were Janus of Cyprus and Charlotte de Bourbon-La Marche. Her maternal grandmother, for whom she was probably named, was a daughter of John I, Count of La Marche, and Catherine de Vendôme.

She was one of 19 children, 14 of whom survived infancy.

Betrothal and marriage

On 11 March 1443, when Charlotte was just over a year old, she was betrothed to Frederick of Saxony (28 August 1439- 23 December 1451), eldest son of Frederick II, Elector of Saxony.[1] For reasons unknown, the betrothal was annulled. Less than eight years later on 14 February 1451, Charlotte married Louis, Dauphin France (future Louis XI), eldest son of Charles VII of France and Marie of Anjou.[3] The bride was only nine years old and the groom twenty-seven. The marriage, which had taken place without the consent of the French king,[3] was Louis' second; his first wife, Margaret of Scotland, had died childless in 1445. Upon her marriage, Charlotte became Dauphine of France.

In spite of her virtues, Louis neglected her. For example, upon his succession to the throne of France, he immediately abandoned her in Burgundy - where the two had been in exile - to secure his inheritance, leaving the young Queen dependent upon the aid of Isabella of Bourbon. A contemporary of Charlotte's noted that "while she was an excellent Princess in other respects, she was not a person in whom a man could take any great delight";[2] She was, however, praised for the taste and excellence of her personal library.[2]

On 22 July 1461, Charlotte became Queen of France. The following year, she became seriously ill and was close to death by August 1462. Although she recovered, she was still weakened. She held that position until her husband's death on 30 August 1483.

Although uninterested in politics, she served as regent in September 1465.

Charlotte gave her husband eight children, but only three survived infancy. These were Charles VIII, who became king of France, Anne, who acted as regent of France for Charles, and Joan, who became queen of France as the wife of Louis XII.

After a solitary life, Charlotte died on 1 December 1483 in Amboise, just a few months after her husband's death. She is buried with him in the Notre-Dame de Cléry Basilica [1] in Cléry-Saint-André (Loiret) in the arrondissement of Orléans.


With Louis XI of France:

  • Louis (1458–1460)
  • Joachim (1459)
  • Louise (1460)
  • Anne (3 April 1461 – 14 November 1522), Duchess of Bourbon, Viscountess of Thouars (1468–1473), Regent of France (1483–1491); married Peter II, Duke of Bourbon, by whom she had one daughter, Suzanne, Duchess of Bourbon.
  • Joan (23 April 1464 – 4 February 1505), who was briefly Queen of France as the first wife of Louis XII
  • Francis (1466)
  • Charles VIII (30 June 1470 – 7 April 1498), who married Anne of Brittany; he died childless.
  • Francis (1472–1473)

Upon the death of her daughter, Anne, Charlotte's line became extinct; her granddaughter, Suzanne having died in 1521 without surviving issue.



  1. 1.0 1.1 Joachim W. Stieber, Pope Eugenius IV, the Council of Basel and the Secular and Ecclesiastical Authorities in the Empire, (E.J. Brill, 1978), 254.
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 Sharon L. Jansen, Anne of France: Lessons For My Daughter, ed. Jane Chance, (Boydell & Brewer, 2004), 2-3
  3. 3.0 3.1 Richard Vaughan, Philip the Good, (The Boydell Press, 2010), 353.

French royalty
Preceded by
Marie of Anjou
Queen consort of France
22 July 1461 – 30 August 1483
Succeeded by
Anne of Brittany