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 The Orleans Family 
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Post The Orleans Family
It might be a stretch to include the Orleans folks as part of MA's family, but in fact they were Louis' cousins, and major players in events overall.

At any rate, for those with any interest in them or French nobility in general, Gallica has just put up a genealogy:
http://gallica.bnf.fr/ark:/12148/bpt6k5 ... .r=.langEN

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Wed Aug 12, 2009 9:05 pm
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Post Re: The Orleans Family
Not a stretch at all - the Orleans WERE a part of Marie Antoinette's family as well as that of Louis XVI. Her paternal Grandmother was the daughter of Louis XIV's brother Phillipe - thus making Marie Antoinette's Grandmother the neice of Louis XIV and the Grandaughter of Louis XIII and Anne of Austria.
Marie Antoinette's Great Grandfather was Phillipe (brother of Louis XIV) and her Great-Great Grandparents were Louis XIII and Anne of Austria.
So, all this business about Marie Antoinette being a "foreigner" is just plain nonsense - she was probably just as "French" as anyone else was.

Her Grandmother, Elizabeth Charlotte d' Orleans was the sister of Phillipe Charles who served as Regent during the minority of Louis XV. He was given the Palais Royal after marrying Francois Marie de Bourbon, Madame de Blois - a legitimized daughter of Louis XIV. They were in fact first cousins being the children of Louis XIV and his brother Phillipe. This is the Orleans family that lived in and kept the Palais Royal until Phillipe Egalite was arrested in 1793. The Regent would have been a first cousin of Marie Antoinette.

I think that this qualifies Marie Antoinette as being as French as many other Frenchmen.


Sat Nov 14, 2009 7:19 pm
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Post Re: The Orleans Family
Wait a minute, sorry for the mistake....... the Regent would have been first cousins with Marie Antoinette's father.


Sat Nov 14, 2009 7:41 pm
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Post Re: The Orleans Family
Funny how the average Frenchman didn't see this, being poisoned by libelles. The courtiers would've known her lineage but politically she was a threat to them, coming from Austria of course. They were so horrible to her, when she was just as French as Louis! :roll:

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Sun Nov 15, 2009 1:59 am
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Post Re: The Orleans Family
Yes, isn't it funny how the truth was non-existent when it came to the slander and libels surrounding Marie Antoinette? They took the "foreigner" thing to the limit. It's hard to believe that everyone bought into the horrible things which were being said and distributed about her.


Wed Nov 18, 2009 1:25 pm
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Post Re: The Orleans Family
Basically she had more actual French blood in her than Louis XVI, two grandparents out of four, while he had one (the King). This I remember from the Fraser’s biography and I find it amazing.

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Wed Nov 18, 2009 10:20 pm
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Post Re: The Orleans Family
Marija Vera wrote:
Basically she had more actual French blood in her than Louis XVI, two grandparents out of four, while he had one (the King). This I remember from the Fraser’s biography and I find it amazing.


Yes, you are correct! Marie-Antoinette did have more 'French' blood than Louis XVI. Louis XVI's own mother was from the House of Wettin, whilst his grandmother was the daughter of King Stanislas -- a family which was almost entirely Polish. But Louis XVI is not a special case, as many royal families had a great mixing of genes and blood. The pure fact is, Marie-Antoinette was hated because she was an Archduchess of Austria and represented the hated Austrian Alliance, and the break of the alliance with Prussia (which seemed much, much more natural to the average Frenchmen -- after all, for centuries France had been surrounded by Habsburg controlled lands and screamed of Habsburg 'encirclement'). To ally with Austria was almost a complete 360 in French policy up until that point. It probably didn't help that the alliance was urged on by Choiseul and Pompadour, both who rather unpopular themselves.

You can't really blame people for slandering Marie-Antoinette as a foreigner -- she was one, after all. She had been born in Austria, not France... and I doubt the common person really knew, or even cared about her lineage. She wasn't French simply because she hadn't come from France.

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Sun Nov 22, 2009 7:54 am
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Post Re: The Orleans Family
But name me a French queen from France during the centuries that preceded her....?

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Sun Nov 22, 2009 3:02 pm
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Post Re: The Orleans Family
Indeed, common men did not study much her family tree, but after-ages' people, us, know that her father was more French than Austrian. What is more, people who determinded her fate (like the royal emigrants) must had known the same thing... And this is quite unfair.

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Sun Nov 22, 2009 3:39 pm
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Post Re: The Orleans Family
baron de batz wrote:
But name me a French queen from France during the centuries that preceded her....?


- Marguerite de Valois (1st wife of Henry IV)
- Louise of Lorraine (Wife of Henry III)
- Claude of France (Wife of François Ier, daughter of Louis XII & Anne of Brittany)

Just to name a few...

There were plenty of Queens of France who were French, especially during the Middle Ages. It was quite different in the early modern period we are discussing, as royal families could not marry below their 'rank' so to speak and wanted matches for their children that would politically useful. The apparent xenophobia that the French had for their Queens wasn't just limited to Marie-Antoinette -- Louis XV's wife was derisively referred too as 'la Polonaise,' whilst Louis XIV's wife was mocked for her Spanish accent when she spoke French. The French always seemed to be quite wary of foreigners -- when Anne of Brittany attempted to marry her eldest daughter Claude to Charles V, it was rearranged for her to marry the Count of Angoulême, François (the future François Ier) as to keep the Duchy of Brittany tied to France, and because "he is most of all, French."

Anouk wrote:
Indeed, common men did not study much her family tree, but after-ages' people, us, know that her father was more French than Austrian. What is more, people who determinded her fate (like the royal emigrants) must had known the same thing... And this is quite unfair.


Yes -- there is no denying that her father was a French Prince. These ties were stressed on her bridal journey to France when she prayed at the traditional tomb of her ancestors, and met with her aunt. As a child she was prided to know that she was just as much "de Lorraine" as "d'Autriche et Hongrie." It is quite unfair how she was treated -- but she wasn't alone, as two previous Queens before her, both from foreign countries, had been mocked by the French courtiers, who seem awfully cruel to the modern eye.

Marie-Antoinette was hated because she represented an alliance which was detestable to the French people -- they had no desire to be allies with the Austrians who they had gladly fought with up until the Treaties in 1756; they saw Frederick the Great and Prussia as a much more natural ally, against both Austria and Britain. This alliance was also urged on by Pompadour through Choiseul, who's ascension to power she engineered. As both of them were domestically unpopular (and in the words of Marie-Antoinette, she 'owed her happiness' to Choiseul), it isn't surprising that the product of the fruits of their labor -- the Austrian marriage, was also detestable. Yes, things did get quite out of hand regarding the common people and their hatred towards the Queen, but I imagine things would've been the same towards any other Queen at that time.

Marie-Antoinette was simply a scape-goat for the Revolutionaries. She deserves sympathy, of course; but the Revolutionaries weren't all thirsty for her blood. There were many moderates that would have rather seen her sent back to Austria, or simply shut up in a convent.

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Mon Nov 23, 2009 12:11 am
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Post Re: The Orleans Family
Drake Rlugia wrote:


Marguerite de Valois (1st wife of Henry IV)
- Louise of Lorraine (Wife of Henry III)
- Claude of France (Wife of François Ier, daughter of Louis XII & Anne of Brittany)


True and I was aware of those Queens, especially as that period particularly interests me, but you have to admit we are going back quite a long way there!

The tendency for at least the two centuries preceding MA had been to choose foreign born Queens for strategic alliances, and indeed this tendency was not particularly well accepted by the French people. Even before that overriding tendency there had been foreign born Queens of France (more self effacing than our dear MA) such as another Austrian, Elizabeth 'dAutriche, the pious wife of Charles IX. And of course there was Mary Queen of Scots, briefly Queen of France!

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Mon Nov 23, 2009 10:36 am
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Post Re: The Orleans Family
In talking about what the "French people" thought of MA it's important to remember that much of the most vicious gossip about her started with the aristocracy and malevolent characters like the Cardinal of Rohan (whose attempt to be forgiven with an expensive necklace of course backfired horribly). One of the great ironies of the Revolution is that the popular image of the Queen - one that ultimately was damaging to the whole aristocracy - was in fact every bit as manipulated by the upper classes as, say, some popular images of politicians are today by their opponents of the same class.

And coming full circle, Phillipe d'Orleans may have been one of the worst offenders in undermining the public image of the monarchy. His own execution was the sorry conclusion to a game plan gone wrong.

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Mon Nov 23, 2009 5:42 pm
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Post Re: The Orleans Family
baron de batz wrote:
Drake Rlugia wrote:


Marguerite de Valois (1st wife of Henry IV)
- Louise of Lorraine (Wife of Henry III)
- Claude of France (Wife of François Ier, daughter of Louis XII & Anne of Brittany)


True and I was aware of those Queens, especially as that period particularly interests me, but you have to admit we are going back quite a long way there!

The tendency for at least the two centuries preceding MA had been to choose foreign born Queens for strategic alliances, and indeed this tendency was not particularly well accepted by the French people. Even before that overriding tendency there had been foreign born Queens of France (more self effacing than our dear MA) such as another Austrian, Elizabeth 'dAutriche, the pious wife of Charles IX. And of course there was Mary Queen of Scots, briefly Queen of France!


Yes, I agree that you do have to go back to the Middle Ages to find any 'French' Queens of France, as the early modern period is, as you say (and I agree) that marriages were for strategic purposes. I am unsure how the French people felt about the wife of Charles IX, and Mary, Queen of Scots, except that there was probably some relief upon the ascension of Henri IV as he brought an end to the civil strife surrounding the Huguenots and Catholics and wasn't quite as excessive in his luxury as the late Valois were -- it probably also helped that he was quite virile and active compared to the last of the Valois, all whom were sickly.

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Mon Nov 23, 2009 8:34 pm
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Post Re: The Orleans Family
The best source for this beautiful self effacing Austrian born Queen of France is Brantôme who has nothing but praise for her. She was pious to a fault, but in a very discreet way, and deeply mourned her young husband when he died, accompanying him through his suffering, then quietly returning to Vienna. I have her portrait in my office, the one you can find in the Louvre or in the Château de Chantilly, painted by the brilliant Clouet. She gave the King a daughter who died in childhood, to the great chagrin of her mother. Apparently her entrance into Paris as a new Queen was grandiose, which recalls to mind that of another Viennese princess two hundred years later!, but from then on she made herself quite small....

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Tue Nov 24, 2009 5:06 pm
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