Princess Victoire of France

Madame Victoire
'Fille de France'

Victoire by Jean-Marc Nattier, 1748.
Born (1733-05-11)11 May 1733
Palace of Versailles, France
Died 7 June 1799(1799-06-07) (aged 66)
Triest, Italy
Burial Basilica of Saint-Denis
Full name
Victoire Louise Marie Thérèse de France
House Bourbon
Father Louis XV of France
Mother Maria Leszczyńska
Religion Roman Catholicism

Victoire de France,[1] Daughter of France (Marie Louise Thérèse Victoire; 11 May 1733 7 June 1799) was the seventh child and fifth daughter of King Louis XV of France and his Queen consort Maria Leszczyńska.

Originally known as Madame Quatrième, signifying the fourth daughter of the King (an older sister had died in February 1733, before her birth), she was later known as Madame Victoire. She outlived eight of her nine siblings, and was survived by her older sister Madame Adélaïde by less than a year.


Marie Louise Thérèse Victoire de France was born at the Palace of Versailles. Unlike the older children of Louis XV, Madame Victoire was not raised at the Palace of Versailles. Rather, she was sent to live at the Abbey of Fontevraud. She remained there till 1748 when she was 15.


At the age of 15, she was allowed to return to her father's court, where her father's attention increasingly focused on his mistresses, Madame de Pompadour and later Madame du Barry.

In 1753, it was suggested that she might eventually marry her brother-in-law, Ferdinand VI of Spain, as his wife, Barbara of Portugal was seriously ill at the time. Despite her illness, though, the Queen of Spain survived another five years.

In 1768, her mother Maria Leszczyńska died, her father having acquired a new maîtresse-en-titre, the comtesse du Barry, not long previously. Louis XV, however, sent Madame du Barry away from Versailles just before he died in 1774 in order that he could receive the last rites of the Catholic Church. In 1770, Madame Victoire's nephew, Louis-Auguste, the Dauphin of France, married Archduchess Maria Antoinette of Austria at Versailles, and then permanently exiled du Barry from court.

Although "Mesdames", as the surviving daughters of Louis XV were collectively known, were allowed to stay at court and keep their apartments at Versailles, their prominence there was sufficiently diminished that Victoire and her older sister, Madame Adélaïde, began touring the country.

French Revolution

After the storming of Versailles by an army of hungry Parisian women on 6 October 1789, Mesdames Victoire and Adélaïde, now alone as the only surviving children of Louis XV, took up residence at the Château de Bellevue. Dismayed by new revolutionary laws against the Catholic Church, the sisters left France for Italy on 20 February 1791, although they were arrested and detained for several days at Arnay-le-Duc before being allowed to depart.

In Italy, they first visited their niece, Clotilde, Queen of Sardinia, the sister of Louis XVI, in Turin. They arrived in Rome on 16 April 1791.


As a result of the increasing influence of Revolutionary France, the sisters were forced to constantly move. They went to Naples in 1796, where Marie Caroline, the sister of their niece, Marie Antoinette, was queen. They then moved to Corfu in 1799, and finally ended up in Trieste, where Victoire died of breast cancer. Adélaïde died one year later in Rome. The bodies of both princesses were later returned to France by their nephew, King Louis XVIII, and buried at the Abbey of Saint-Denis.

Madame Victoire's nephews included (among others) Ferdinand, Duke of Parma, Louis XVI of France, Louis XVIII of France, Charles X of France. Her nieces included Madame Élisabeth and Queen Maria Louisa of Spain. Her goddaughter was Angélique Victoire, comtesse de Chastellux.

Titles and Styles


See also


  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), 155.

Further reading

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