Françoise Madeleine d'Orléans

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Françoise Madeleine d'Orléans
Francoise Madeleine d'Orleans (1648-1664) Duchess of Savoy, French school.jpg
Duchess of Savoy
Consort 4 March 1663 – 14 January 1664
Born (1648-10-13)13 October 1648
Saint Germain en Laye, France
Died 14 January 1664(1664-01-14) (aged 15)
Royal Palace of Turin, Savoy
Burial Turin Cathedral
Spouse Charles Emmanuel II, Duke of Savoy
Father Gaston d'Orléans
Mother Marguerite of Lorraine

Françoise Madeleine d'Orléans (13 October 1648 – 14 January 1664) was born a Princess of France and was the Duchess of Savoy as the first wife of Charles Emmanuel II.[1] She was a first cousin of Louis XIV as well of her husband. She was the shortest Savoyard consort dying at the age of fifteen, childless.


Orléans was born at the Château de Saint Germain en Laye outside Paris in 1648. She was the youngest surviving daughter of Gaston d'Orléans and his second wife Marguerite of Lorraine. From birth, she was styled Mademoiselle de Valois, derived from one of her father's subsidiary titles. She was the favourite sister of La Grande Mademoiselle, the famous heiress.[2] She grew up in the company of her sisters and Mademoiselle de La Vallière, future mistress of Louis XIV. She resided at the Château de Blois. Her father died in 1660 and her mother remained unmarried.

As French court etiquette dictated, she held the status of a Granddaughter of France as a male line descendant of the late king Henry IV of France. She was styled as a petite-fille de France.

Under the influence of her paternal aunt Christine Marie, Dowager Duchess of Savoy, she was engaged to her first cousin Charles Emmanuel II, Duke of Savoy.[1][3] Christine Marie had chosen her as she had wanted to maintain her power and influence in government having previously been regent for her son since 1637. The match was approved of by Cardinal Mazarin who had previously rejected Marie Jeanne of Savoy, another candidate for Charles Emmanuel II.[3] Orléans proved suitably docile and was chosen over Marie Jeanne.[4]

Orléans married the Duke of Savoy by proxy at the Palais du Louvre on 4 March 1663. The couple met for the first time at Annecy on 3 April 1663 where they were married officially.[5][3] The couple travelled to Turin, capital of Savoy, where they arrived on 15 June 1663. She was known as Francesca Maddalena d'Orléans in her adopted Savoy.

The duchess soon died on 14 Jan 1664 at the Royal Palace of Turin, leaving her husband without an heir.[6] She was buried at Turin Cathedral where she rests today. Her husband, inconsolable at her death, ordered a lavish funeral. After Orléans' death, Louis XIV tried to engage La Grande Mademoiselle to Charles Emmanuel II who refused the match.[1] He later married again to Marie Jeanne of Savoy by whom he had a son.[7]


Titles, styles, honours and arms

Arms of Françoise Madeleine d'Orléans while Duchess of Savoy

Titles and Styles

  • 13 October 1648 – 4 March 1663 Her Royal Highness Mademoiselle de Valois
  • 4 March 1663 – 14 January 1664 Her Royal Highness The Duchess of Savoy


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 Fraser 2006, p. 58.
  2. Sackville-West 1959, p. 354.
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 Oresko 2004, p. 20.
  4. Williams 1909, p. 7.
  5. Sackville-West 1959, p. 355.
  6. Oresko 2004, p. 21.
  7. Oresko 2004, p. 18.


  • Fraser, Antonia (2006). Love and Louis XIV; The Women in the Life of the Sun King. London: Anchor Books.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  • Oresko, Robert (2004). "Maria Giovanna Battista of Savoy-Nemours (1644-1724): daughter, consort, and Regent of Savoy". In Campbell Orr, Clarissa (ed.). Queenship in Europe 1660-1815: The Role of the Consort. Cambridge University Press. pp. 16–55. ISBN 0-521-81422-7.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  • Sackville-West, Vita (1959). Daughter of France: The life of Anne Marie Louise d'Orléans, duchesse de Montpensier 1627-1693. London: Michael Joseph.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  • Williams, H. Noel (1909). A Rose of Savoy, Marie Adelaide of Savoy, duchesse de Bourgogne, Mother of Louis XV. New York: Charles Scribner's Sons.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>

Media related to Françoise Madeleine d'Orléans at Wikimedia Commons

Françoise Madeleine d'Orléans
Born: 13 October 1648 Died: 14 January 1664
Italian royalty
Preceded by
Title last held by
Christine of France
Duchess of Savoy
4 March 1663 – 14 January 1664
Succeeded by
Title next held by
Marie Jeanne of Savoy
Titles in pretence
Preceded by
Title last held by
Christine of France
Queen consort of Cyprus
4 March 1663 – 14 January 1664
Reason for succession failure:
Kingdom disestablished
Succeeded by
Marie Jeanne of Savoy