Princess Henriette of France

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Madame Henriette
Princess of France
File:Jean-Marc Nattier 003.jpg
Henriette by Jean-Marc Nattier
Born (1727-08-14)14 August 1727
Palace of Versailles, France
Died 10 February 1752(1752-02-10) (aged 24)
Palace of Versailles, France
Burial Eventually Basilica of Saint Denis, France
Full name
Anne Henriette de France
House Bourbon
Father Louis XV of France
Mother Marie Leszczyńska
Religion Roman Catholicism

Anne Henriette de France[1][2](14 August 1727 – 10 February 1752) was the twin sister of Louise Élisabeth de France, the eldest child of King Louis XV of France and of his queen consort Marie Leszczyńska.


The twins were born at the Palace of Versailles on 14 August 1727. She was the younger of the twins and as a result was known at the court of her father as Madame Seconde. As the daughter of the king, she was a fille de France. In her later life she was known as Madame Henriette.

While her younger sisters were sent to be raised at the Abbey of Fontevraud in 1738, Henriette was raised in Versailles. She was put in the care of Marie Isabelle de Rohan, duchesse de Tallard. She spent her childhood at Versailles with her sisters Louise-Élisabeth and Adélaïde and their younger brother, the Dauphin of France.

Marriage plans

Her twin sister moved to Spain in 1739 to marry the Infante Philip, a younger son of King Philip V. Henriette was despondent about being separated from her twin, and she withdrew further into her music.[citation needed] Henriette fell in love with her cousin, Louis Philippe, duc de Chartres, the heir to the House of Orléans, and the two wished to marry.[citation needed] The King initially liked the idea, but changed his mind. Like her younger sisters, Henriette never married.


Henriette was passionate about music, as Jean-Marc Nattier's portrait shows. She studied the viola da gamba with Jean-Baptiste Forqueray.[citation needed]

Growing up at the Palace of Versailles, Madame Henriette was present there during her father's extramarital liaisons, including Madame de Pompadour. The children of the king despised Mme de Pompadour because she caused their father to neglect their mother, the queen.[citation needed] With her brother, the Dauphin Louis, and her sister, Madame Adélaïde, she called the powerful mistress, Maman Putain ("Mother Whore").[3] When Louise Élisabeth returned from Parma for a year-long visit to Versailles in 1748, she and Madame de Pompadour became close friends, which led to a temporary estrangement between the sisters.[citation needed]


Henriette died of smallpox in 1752 at the age of twenty-four. She was buried at the Basilica of Saint Denis. Her tomb, like other royal tombs at Saint-Denis, was desecrated during the French Revolution.

Her nephews included Ferdinand, Duke of Parma, Louis XVI of France, Louis XVIII of France, Charles X of France. Her nieces included Madame Élisabeth and Queen Maria Luisa of Spain.



  1. Achaintre, Nicolas Louis, Histoire généalogique et chronologique de la maison royale de Bourbon, Vol. 2, (Publisher Mansut Fils, 4 Rue de l'École de Médecine, Paris, 1825), 154.
  2. Antoine, Michel, Louis XV, Fayard, Paris, 1989, p. 467, ISBN 2-213-02277-1
  3. Lever, Evelynne (2003). Madame de Pompadour: A Life. Macmillan. p. 85. ISBN 0-312-31050-1.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>


Further reading

  • Zieliński, Ryszard (1978). Polka na francuskim tronie. Czytelnik.