Marie Victoire de Noailles

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Marie Victoire
Countess of Toulouse
Marchioness of Gondrin
File:Pastel on canvas portrait of Marie Victoire de Noailles (future Countess of Toulouse) circa 1710s by a member of the École Française.jpg
Marie Victoire (École française du 18e siècle)
Burial Chapelle royale de Dreux, Dreux, France
Spouse Louis de Pardaillan de Gondrin
Louis Alexandre de Bourbon
Issue Louis Jean Marie de Bourbon, Duke of Penthièvre
Full name
Marie Victoire Sophie de Noailles
House House of Bourbon
House of Pardaillan
House of Noailles
Father Anne Jules de Noailles
Mother Marie-Françoise de Bournonville
Religion Roman Catholicism

Marie Victoire Sophie de Noailles, Countess of Toulouse (Versailles, 6 May 1688 – Paris, 30 September 1766), was the daughter of Anne Jules de Noailles, the 2nd Duke of Noailles, and his wife, Marie-Françoise de Bournonville. Her second husband was Louis Alexandre de Bourbon, Count of Toulouse, the youngest legitimised son of King Louis XIV of France and his maîtresse-en-titre, Madame de Montespan.


Marie Victoire was born at Versailles on 6 May 1688. She was one of twenty children. Many of her sisters married into important noble families in France. Her sister Marie Christine married Antoine de Gramont, duc de Guiche in 1687. Another sister, Lucie Félicité, married the Maréchal d'Estrées, great-nephew of King Henri IV's famous mistress, Gabrielle d'Estrées. Yet another sister married Charles de Baume Le Blanc, the nephew of Louise de La Vallière, and became the mother of Louis César de La Baume Le Blanc.

In 1707, Marie Victoire married Louis de Pardaillan de Gondrin, whose father, Louis Antoine de Pardaillan de Gondrin, was the son of Louis Henri de Pardaillan de Gondrin, marquis de Montespan (1640–1701) and of his wife, Françoise Athénaïs de Rochechouart de Mortemart, marquise de Montespan. Thus, while her first husband was the grandson of Madame de Montespan, the second, the comte de Toulouse (1678–1737), who was the son of Madame de Montespan with Louis XIV, was her first husband's uncle, ten years younger than his nephew.

At the time of her first marriage, Marie Victoire, marquise de Gondrin, was a dame du palais to the king's granddaughter-in-law, the duchesse de Bourgogne, future Dauphine of France and mother of King Louis XV.

From her first marriage, Marie Victoire had two children:

  • Louis de Pardaillan de Gondrin (1707–1743), Duke of Antin; married Françoise Gillonne de Montmorency-Luxembourg and had issue;
  • Antoine François de Pardaillan de Gondrin (1709–1741), Marquis of Gondrin; died unmarried;

In 1712, both her husband, and the duchesse de Bourgogne, died. On 2 February 1723, Marie Victoire married, in a secret ceremony, the comte de Toulouse, the legitimised younger son of Louis XIV and Madame de Montespan. The marriage was announced only after the death of the Régent in December of the same year.[1]

When she married the comte de Toulouse, Marie Victoire became the :

  • Countess of Toulouse
  • Duchess of Vendôme
  • Duchess of Rambouillet
  • Duchess of Arc-en-Barrois
  • Duchess of Châteauvillain
  • Duchess of Penthièvre

After two years of marriage, Marie Victoire gave birth to the couple's only child, a son, the sole heir of his father:

The comte and comtesse de Toulouse had official rooms at Versailles. Their apartments, which later were given to the daughters of the new king, Louis XV, were situated on the ground floor of the palace and were the former suite of rooms which had belonged to the comte's mother, Madame de Montespan.

The comte de Toulouse died in December 1737. In 1744, Marie Victoire helped to arrange the marriage of her son. The chosen bride was an Italian princess, Marie Thérèse Félicité d'Este, who was also a descendant of Madame de Montespan. The bride was the granddaughter of Françoise-Marie de Bourbon, sister of the comte de Toulouse, who had married the duc d'Orléans, Régent of France during the minority of King Louis XV.

Marie Victoire had a very good relationship with the young Louis XV, who was her son's godfather. According to Nancy Mitford's book on Madame de Pompadour, she was the only woman who was allowed to see the young king without an official appointment. She also had access to all of his private papers of state[citation needed]. After his mother died when he was only two years old, Marie Victoire became the nearest female family member to the motherless child.[2]

On 30 September 1766, the Marie Victoire died at the Hôtel de Toulouse, the Parisian townhouse bought by her husband in 1713. She was buried beside her husband in the family crypt at the church of the then village of Rambouillet, but later her body and that of her husband were removed by their son, the duc de Penthièvre, to the Collégiale de Saint-Etienne de Dreux, after he had sold the Château de Rambouillet and its vast domain to King Louis XVI in 1783.[3]


Marie Victoire is a direct ancestor of the modern House of Orléans through her granddaughter, Louise Marie Adélaïde de Bourbon, the wife of Philippe Égalité, who was the mother of Louis-Philippe I, King of the French. Through the House of Orléans, she is also an ancestor of the modern Belgian, Brazilian, Bulgarian royal families.[4]

Titles, styles, honours and arms

Titles and styles

  • 6 May 1688 - 25 January 1707 Marie Victoire de Noailles
  • 25 January 1707 - 22 February 1712 Madame la marquise de Gondrin
  • 22 February 1712 - 2 February 1723 Madame la marquise de Gondrin Douairière
  • 2 February 1723 - 1 December 1737 Her Serene Highness the Countess of Toulouse
  • 1 December 1737 - 30 September 1766 Her Serene Highness the Dowager Countess of Toulouse


  1. Lenotre, G. Le Château de Rambouillet, six siècles d'histoire, Calmann-Lévy, Paris, 1930, reprint by Denoël, Paris, 1984, Chapter 3, Chez le fils du Roi-Soleil, pp. 45-46 (French)
  2. Madame de Pompadour by Nancy Mitford
  3. ib. Lenotre, chapter 5, Le prince des pauvres, p. 79.
  4. See House of Orléans

See also