Marie of Lorraine

Marie of Lorraine

Marie in 1693
Princess of Monaco
Consort 1 January 1701 30 October 1724
Born (1674-08-12)12 August 1674
Paris, France
Died 30 October 1724(1724-10-30) (aged 50)
Prince's Palace, Monaco
Burial Saint Nicholas Cathedral, Monaco
Spouse Antonio I, Prince of Monaco
Louise Hippolyte, Princess of Monaco
Margherita, Princess d'Isenghien
Full name
Marie de Lorraine
House Lorraine
Father Louis de Lorraine, Count d'Armagnac
Mother Catherine de Neufville

Marie de Lorraine (12 August 1674 30 October 1724) was a princess of the House of Lorraine-Guise and Princess of Monaco as consort of Antonio I of Monaco. She was the mother of Louise Hippolyte Grimaldi, the only sovereign Princess of Monaco.

Mademoiselle d'Armagnac

Marie was the ninth of fourteen children born to Louis de Lorraine, Count d'Armagnac and Catherine de Neufville.[1] Her father was a member of the House of Guise, cadet branch of the House of Lorraine, where he held the rank of a prince étranger at the French court.[2] Mademoiselle d'Armagnac.[3] Her mother was a daughter of Nicolas de Neufville-Villeroy, a marshal of France and the governor of Louis XIV during the latter's youth.

Duchess of Valentinois

The couple signed their wedding contract on 8 June 1688.[4] In a ceremony conducted by Pierre du Cambout de Coislin in the royal chapel of Versailles, Marie married Antonio Grimaldi, Duke of Valentinois on 13 June 1688.[1] As part of the marriage contract, Louis XIV gave the House of Grimaldi the official rank of Foreign Princes at court.[5]

Her husband was the son and heir of Louis I, Prince of Monaco and Catherine Charlotte de Gramont, a former mistress of Louis XIV who had arranged the marriage between Marie and Antonio.[6] Court gossips later stated that the match had been a scheme of Madame de Maintenon, who feared that if she did not remove Marie from court she would become mistress to the king. However Madame de Maintenon wrote that Marie was one of the most "likeable women in the kingdom".[7]

Saint-Simon described her in his Memoirs: "the Duchesse de Valentinois was a charming young thing... spoilt by her parents' fondness for her and by the attentions of the courtiers who frequented the Lorraine household ... [The beautiful daughters] who were its chief adornment attracted the most glittering young men. Her husband, very sensibly, realized he hadn't the upper hand",[6] and Madame de La Fayette described her as "more of an elegant flirt than all of the ladies of the kingdom put together".[6]

Marie was sent to Monaco by her consort during his military service in 1692, where she was joined by her spouse some time later. There was a great scandal when she claimed that her father in law, the elderly Prince Louis I, had made unwanted sexual advances towards her,[6] possibly as a way to receive permission to return to Paris,[6] which she did in 1693 and remained for the next four years; the couple returned to Monaco in 1697.[6]

After it was clear that Marie was not going to give birth to a son, her husband began a series of badly concealed affairs.[6] Her husband fathered numerous illegitimate children during the marriage.

Princess of Monaco

At the death of her father-in-law, her husband succeeded to the principality of Monaco in 1701. She lived in Monaco with her consort until 1712[6] and their relationship was described as unhappy but peaceful. In reality, they lived apart; Antoine in the Giardinetto, a cottage he had built for his lover, Mademoiselle Montespan, and Marie in her pavilion, Mon Desert.[6]

Marie spent the last years of her life quietly, frequently returning to the French court. She died at the Prince's Palace in Monaco, having organised the marriages of her two surviving daughters, Louise Hippolyte and Margherita. She was buried at the Saint Nicholas Cathedral in Monaco. Her husband died in 1731 and was succeeded by their daughter Louise Hippolyte Grimaldi who became Princess of Monaco in her own right. She married Jacques Goyon, Count de Matignon and is a direct ancestress of the reigning Albert II of Monaco.


  1. Caterina Charlotte Grimaldi, Mademoiselle de Monaco (7 October 1691 – 18 June 1696) died in infancy.
  2. Louise Hippolyte Grimaldi, Princess of Monaco (10 November 1697 – 29 December 1731) married Jacques Goyon de Matignon.[1]
  3. Elisabetta Charlotte Grimaldi, Mademoiselle de Valentinois (3 November 1698 – 25 August 1702) died in infancy.
  4. Margherita Camilla Grimaldi, Mademoiselle de Carlades (1 May 1700 – 27 April 1758) married Louis de Gand de Mérode de Montmorency, Prince of Isenghien.
  5. Maria Devota Grimaldi, Mademoiselle des Baux (15 March 1702 – 24 October 1703) died in infancy.
  6. Maria Paolina Teresa Devota Grimaldi, Mademoiselle de Chabreuil (23 October 1708 – 20 May 1726) died unmarried.

Titles and styles



  1. 1 2 3 4 van de Pas, Leo. "Marie de Lorraine". Retrieved 2010-03-01.
  2. Velde, François. "The French Royal Family: Titles and Customs Formal Styles". Retrieved 2010-10-23.
  3. Rabutin, Roger de, Correspondance de Roger de Rabutin, Comte de Bussy avec sa Famille et ses Amis, p. 134
  4. Levantal, Christophe, Ducs et pairs et duchés-pairies laïques à l'époque moderne : (1519-1790) Maisonneuve & Larose, 1996, p. 952
  5. Spangler, Jonathan, The Society of Princes: the Lorraine-Guise and the conservation of power and wealth in seventeenth-century France, Ashgate Publishing, Ltd., 2009, p. 136
  6. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 "Portrait of Marie de Lorraine, Duchess of Valentinois and her sister Charlotte de Lorraine, Mademoiselle d'Armagnac". Christie' Retrieved 2010-10-23.
  7. Vatout, Jean, Le château d'Eu: notices historiques, Volume 4, 1836, p. 284

Media related to Marie of Lorraine at Wikimedia Commons

Monegasque royalty
Preceded by
Catherine Charlotte de Gramont
Princess consort of Monaco
1 January 1701 30 October 1724
Succeeded by
Jacques Goyon de Matingnon
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