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Elizabeth Charlotte, Madame Palatine

From Simple English Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Elisabeth Charlotte of the Palatinate
The Duchess of Orléans by Rigaud
Duchess of Orléans
Tenure16 November 1671 – 9 June 1701
Born(1652-05-27)27 May 1652
Heidelberg Castle, Heidelberg
Died8 December 1722(1722-12-08) (aged 70)
Château de Saint Cloud, France
Burial10 December 1722
Royal Basilica, Saint Denis, France
SpousePhilippe of France
Alexandre Louis, Duke of Valois
Philippe, Duke of Orléans, Regent of France
Élisabeth Charlotte, Duchess of Lorraine
Full name
Elisabeth Charlotte
HouseHouse of Wittelsbach (by birth)
House of Orléans (by marriage)
FatherCharles I Louis, Elector Palatine
MotherCharlotte of Hesse-Kassel
Roman Catholicism
SignatureElisabeth Charlotte of the Palatinate's signature

Princess Elisabeth Charlotte[1] (German: Prinzessin Elisabeth Charlotte von der Pfalz; known as Liselotte von der Pfalz, 27 May 1652 – 8 December 1722), was a German princess and the wife of Philippe of France, Duke of Orléans, younger brother of Louis XIV. She is best known for her vast correspondence detailing the court of her brother in law. She was referred to at court as simply Madame, as well as La Palatine and the Princess Palatine (Princesse Palatine)

Biography[change | change source]

Arms of Élisabeth Charlotte of the Palatinate, Princess Palatine as Duchess of Orléans

Elisabeth Charlotte was born at the Heidelberg Castle as the only daughter of Charles I Louis, Elector Palatine and Charlotte of Hesse-Kassel.[2] In childhood she was known as Liselotte. She grew up at the court of her aunt and would remain in contact with her aunt all her life.

On 16 November 1671, she was married by proxy at Metz. In order to marry she had to convert to Roman Catholicism. Elisabeth Charlotte would be very close to her two stepdaughters Marie Louise and Anne Marie. Her husband was gay but the couple still had three children but one died in infancy. After the birth of their daughter Élisabeth Charlotte, the couple mutually agreed to cease conjugal relations.[3] Philippe turned to his lovers, and Elisabeth Charlotte to her writing.

After her husband's death, Elisabeth Charlotte feared that the king would send her to a convent but he insisted she stay at Versailles. Elisabeth Charlotte died at the age of seventy on 8 December 1722 at Saint-Cloud. She was buried at the Royal Basilica of Saint Denis.

Children[change | change source]

  1. Alexandre Louis d'Orléans, Duke of Valois (2 June 1673 – 16 March 1676) died in infancy;
  2. Philippe d'Orléans (Later "Regent of France" for Louis XV (2 August 1674 – 2 December 1723) married Françoise Marie de Bourbon, Légitimée de France and had children (descendants include Louis Philippe I);
  3. Élisabeth Charlotte d'Orléans (13 September 1676 – 24 December 1744) married Léopold of Lorraine, Duke of Lorraine and had children (descendants include Marie Antoinette.)

Titles and Styles[change | change source]

  • 27 May 1652 – 16 November 1671 Princess Palatine Elisabeth Charlotte, Countess Palatine of Simmern.
  • 16 November 1671 – 9 June 1701 Her Royal Highness Madame, Duchess of Orléans.
  • 9 June 1701 – 8 December 1722 Her Royal Highness Madame, Dowager Duchess of Orléans.

References[change | change source]

  1. Spanheim, Ezechiel (1973). Le Temps retrouvé XXVI: Relation de la Cour de France. Paris, France: Mercure de France. pp. 74–79, 305–308.
  2. Fraser, Antonia, Love and Louis XIV, Anchor Books, 2006, p. 134.
  3. Fraser, Antonia, Love and Louis XIV, Anchor Books, 2006, p. 140.

Further reading[change | change source]

  • Life and letters of Charlotte Elisabeth, Princess Palatine and mother of Philippe d'Orléans, régent de France 1652 - 1722, compiled, translated, and gathered from various published and unpublished, Chapman & Hall, London, 1889.
  • A woman's life in the court of the Sun King : letters of Liselotte von der Pfalz, 1652–1722, Elisabeth Charlotte, Duchesse d'Orléans, translated by Elborg Forster, Johns Hopkins University Press, 1984.

Other websites[change | change source]

Media related to Elisabeth Charlotte of Palatinate-Simmern, Duchess of Orléans at Wikimedia Commons