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 Mesdames Tantes 
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Post Mesdames Tantes
Louis XVI had got 4 unmarried aunts, who are called Mesdames Tantes. Mesdames are the daughters of Louis XV, the sisters of Louis-Ferdinand de France and the sisters-in-law of Marie-Josèphe de Saxe.

In fact, Louis XV had got 8 daughters: Madame Elisabeth (or Madame Infante) who became Duchess of Parma and was the only daughter who was married (1727 - 1759); Madame Henriette her twin sister (1727 - 1752); Madame Louise-Marie (1729 - 1733); Madame Adélaïde (1732 - 1800); Madame Victoire (1733 - 1799); Madame Sophie (1734 - 1782); Madame Félicité (1736 - 1744) and Madame Louise (1737 - 1787).

When she arrived to Versailles, Marie-Antoinette knew only Madame Adélaïde, Madame Victoire and Madame Sophie, because Mesdames Infante, Henriette, Louise-Marie and Félicité were died (because there were a lot of smallpox epidemic), and Madame Louise was in a convent in Saint-Denis, because she was very pious.

Mesdames Victoire and Sophie were likeable and quite intelligent, but they were also reserved. The head of the family was Madame Adélaïde, who was very intelligent and had a stong character. She was shocked by the war with the Austria, and for this reason, she didn't like Marie-Antoinette. She was the first person who called the queen the "Autrichienne", but, to my mind, this word hasn't got the same meaning that for the revolutionaries.

But Mesdames were also kind, and they had got a lot of good feelings.

In 1789, Madame Adélaïde and Madame Victoire were the only survivors, and they left Paris to Rome in 1791, because they were pious, and the new laws in France abolished the religion. But, when Napoleon Bonaparte conquer Italy, Mesdames left Rome to Naples, and moreover to Trieste, where they died.

If you want more pieces of information on Mesdames Tantes, I am available to you. :wink:

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Wed Nov 01, 2006 8:21 am
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Thank you so much, Victoire-Adelaïde ! It is good to read accurate information after this so romanced movie ! :wink:

Two sisters only in the script... like for Cinderella ! :wink: A bad "mother-in-law", dark-heared, like for Snow-White... and, of course, a charming prince ! :roll:

Ca, c'est sûr que la révolution aurait fait tache dans ce conte de fées eighties ! :lol: (Revolution would have fallen like a dirty spot on this eighties fairytale !)

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Wed Nov 01, 2006 10:15 am
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Always interesting your information about Mesdames dear Victoire-Adélaïde ! :wink:

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Wed Nov 01, 2006 10:19 am
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Thank you, that is very helpful!!!

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Wed Nov 01, 2006 11:49 am
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Louis XV's daughters were not married for several reasons.
Firstly, they were obliged to keep their station, they could marry only with a son of a powerful king. And they were Catholic, the husband must be Catholic too.
Secondly, the kingdom of France hadn't got a lot of alliances with the foreign countries. The choice was still restricted. Only Madame Infante was married with the duke of Parma.
But, this marriage was dull: Madame Infante was not happy with her husband. That is why Mesdames did'nt feel like beeing married.
Moreover, Parma was a very small duchy, and the Infante was very sad, because she wanted a bigger kingdom. Her sisters prefered also a real crown.
Finaly, Mesdames was the daughters of Louis XV, who reigned on the most powerful kingdom in the 18th century. To be a "Fille de France" was so glorious that they prefered to stay single. Madame Adélaïde, for example, had a bigger autonomy as Fille de France than as a queen of a foreign country. She was quite proud.
And Mesdames adored their family, they felt comfortable in Versailles. Moreover, Madame Infante often came back to Versailles.

And the other reason is that Mesdames were a large family of girls. It was very difficult to find an husband for everyone.

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Last edited by Victoire-Adélaïde on Wed Nov 01, 2006 10:23 pm, edited 1 time in total.



Wed Nov 01, 2006 9:18 pm
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Their function of "Filles de France" was more advantageous indeed, and may be that Mesdames preferred the life mode of a "Fille de France" and not that of Queen. To be a "Fille de France" allows Mesdames to have more flexibility.
And then a single life had not to disturb them...
But rectify me if I wrote mistakes Victoire-Adélaïde :wink:

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Wed Nov 01, 2006 9:28 pm
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However, there were a lot of plans to marry Mesdames.
After Madame Infante and the duke of Parma, Louis XV wanted to marry Madame Henriette with a prince of Saxony. But the plan failed. Moreover, Madame Henriette fell in love with her cousin, the duke of Orleans. The duke was also in love with her. There was also an advantage: Madame Henriette could stay at Versailles. As she was the favourite daughter of Louis XV, the father wanted her happiness, but the cardinal of Fleury said that this marriage brought the duke d'Orléans nearer to the crown, and the plan also failed. Madame Henriette was very sad.

There was also a plan between Madame Adélaïde and a prince of Saxony, moreover with his brother, but the project failed. The prince de Conti wanted to marry her, and Adélaïde liked him, but she refused, because she prefered to stay the daughter of the king. When she was young, she amused herself by writting a sweet letter to a lackey, but she wasn't in love, it was just a game. After this, as she was very beautiful, 2 commoners (roturiers) wanted to marry her. This was scandalous, and the princess refused, her parents too! Moreover, a prince of Spain also wanted marry her. He was very intelligent but very ugly. When Adélaïde saw his portrait, she refused again. That is why she stayed spinster.

There was only one project for Madame Victoire. Louis XV was almost to marry her with the king of Spain. The queen of Spain was a princesse of Portugal, and everybody thought that she was nearly to died. Madame Infante, who had entered in the family of Spain by her wedding hoped that marriage, but the plan failed.

But Louis XV had a lot of girls, and the number was too hight. Also, there wasn't any plans of marriage for Madame Sophie and Madame Louise. However, there was a rumour: some people said that there was a plan between Madame Louise and Charles Edouard Stuart. This prince was a libertine, and Madame Louise was only 11 years, and she was still in Fontevraud, an abbey where Mesdames Victoire, Sophie, Félicité and Louise were educated. Louise said: "N'ai-je pas bien sujet d'être inquiète puisqu'on me destine un époux, à moi qui n'en veux d'autre que Jésus Christ?" She was very pious.

In this way, Mesdames Henriette, Adélaïde, Victoire, Sophie and Louise stayed single, (Mesdames Louise-Marie and Félicité died when they were children). Madame Henriette died when she was 24 years, but the other became a few cantankerous. However, they were also kind.

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Last edited by Victoire-Adélaïde on Thu Nov 02, 2006 7:58 am, edited 1 time in total.



Wed Nov 01, 2006 10:13 pm
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Very interesting! I did not know that about Henriette and Orleans.

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Wed Nov 01, 2006 10:24 pm
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Louis-Charles wrote:
Their function of "Filles de France" was more advantageous indeed, and may be that Mesdames preferred the life mode of a "Fille de France" and not that of Queen. To be a "Fille de France" allows Mesdames to have more flexibility.
And then a single life had not to disturb them...
But rectify me if I wrote mistakes Victoire-Adélaïde :wink:


You are right! :wink:

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Wed Nov 01, 2006 10:27 pm
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Therese wrote:
Very interesting!


Thank you. :wink: I hope that my language isn't too bad... :oops:

Quote:
I did not know that about Henriette and Orleans.


Louis-Philippe d'Orléans (1725 - 1785) was married with Louise-Henriette de Bourbon-Conti, because she had educated in a convent, and the duke's father thought that she was virtuous. But she was shameless and outrageous! However, the duke became also a libertine!

I think that Madame Henriette de France would not be happy if she married him...

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Last edited by Victoire-Adélaïde on Thu Nov 02, 2006 8:03 am, edited 1 time in total.



Wed Nov 01, 2006 10:35 pm
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This is so fascinating - I am learning so much!! Dear V-A, how modest you are to hide this extensive knowledge from us for so long!! :wink:

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Wed Nov 01, 2006 11:34 pm
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Thanks for all the information, and don't worry - your English is perfect. :)


Thu Nov 02, 2006 1:39 am
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thanks so much! is there any books on the aunts?

and i just realized tantes means aunt in french. remembering from my 9th grade french class :)


Thu Nov 02, 2006 7:11 am
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Thank you all, it is very nice! :wink:

There is only one book on Mesdames Tantes, but it is in french. You can see it on this page.

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Thu Nov 02, 2006 7:56 am
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Thank you, Victoire-Adeaïde, this is all fascinating !

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Thu Nov 02, 2006 10:05 am
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