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Celeste Athenais de Montpensier (1738 - 1770) is a Grandelumierian Noble woman and wife of the Duc de Lorraine, Hyacinthe Charles. She is the twin sister of the current Duc de Montpensier, and great-granddaughter of Louis XI.

 Reign of Louis XI

Early Life - Dame de Toulouse

Celeste Athenais

Celeste as a young child

Celeste Athenais was born on the 12th of April, 1738 at the Chateau de Saint-Etienne as the second of two twins born to the then Comte and Comtesse de Toulouse, her twin being her brother, Henri François. She was born when her grandfather, the now scandalous Louis Henri, was still Duc de Montpensier. She was baptised at age 4, alongside her twin brother Henri François, and fully named Celeste Athenais Séraphine de Montpensier, while her twin was fully named Henri François Philippe de Montpensier, although they were generally only referred to as Celeste Athenais, and Henri François.

She was extremely close with her twin brother Henri François as they were growing up, but then they were separated at the age of seven. Her twin brother was brought up by governesses and tutors, and had little contact with his family, due to the strict etiquette on raising children of the nobility. Celeste on the other hand, was sent off to Fontevraud abbey for her young life, as was tradition, to study under the nuns of the abbey. The nuns educated her in reading, writing, and she even taught her French, German, and a bit of Latin. Celeste's favourite part, however, would be learning to play the Violoncello. She became extremely intelligent and excelled in all the things her tutors had taught her, even becoming fluent in writing, and speaking French and German, but struggled a little with her Latin.

While being tutored at the abbey, it soon came about that her grandfather, Louis Henri, had revolutionary ideals kicking off the famous Montpensier Scandal. The Montpensier Scandal and subsequent investigation left no stone unturned, and all family members were arrested. Young Celeste and her parents were also arrested for a time, but after around a month in an Imperial Prison, they were dismissed as having no connection with the scandal and were released. Her father then became the most likely candidate for the next Duc should Louis Henri have been found guilty, as the Duc de Bourbon at the time, Louis Alexandre, was heavily involved in the scandal after the discovery of letters sent between Duc Louis Henri and Louis-Alexandre.

Young Adulthood - Madame de Montpensier

After the Montpensier Scandal and Investigation had mostly subsided, her father became Duc de Montpensier, which made her twin, Henri François, the Duc de Bourbon, and her, Madame de Montpensier. Celeste returned to Fontevraud and continued being tutored until 1752 when she returned back with her family in Montpensier.

Celeste Athenais de Lorraine

Celeste Athenais, Madame de Montpensier, 1752

By 1754 she was married off to the Duc de Lorraine of House Nassau. This created an alliance between the two houses and ensured a grand position for her. Celeste would be sent off to marry in the Cathedral-Basilica of the Assumption and St. Stephen. They were wed and soon had their first child. She was made Dame d'Honneur to the Empress before the death of the Consort. She spent much time in her apartments at Saint-Etienne with her immediate circle of friends.

She would be present at the death of Louis XI in 1767 and his requiem mass.

Reign of Louis XII

She would spend much time reading and riding while at the court of Louis XII, or reclining in the apartments of her husband the Duc de Lorraine. Her daughters position as Maitresse-en-Titre furthered the family position making the family increasingly prominent.

By the outbreak of the revolution, she was found huddling with the Imperial Family at the time of moving to Dijon. She, like most courtiers, disliked this move and detested their imprisonment. The only distraction from the unwelcome situation was the opera, which delighted her and many others. While frequently visiting, things were increasingly worse for the peasantry, who eventually stormed the palace after the Massacre. This storming of the residence would see her again moved now to le Tour de Temple. She would be present at the trial and execution of Louis XII, before her own trial.

She was found guilty against the revolution and sentenced to execution, in the Place de le Tour.

Issue

  • Louise Therese de Nassau, Duchesse de Nassau 10th February 1761- Present
  • Josephine Adelaide de Nassau, Comtesse de Treves 2nd March 1765 - Present

Titles and Styles

  • 1738 - 1752 Dame de Toulouse
  • 1752 - 1754 Madame de Montpensier
  • 1754 - 1769 Duchesse de Lorraine
  • 1769 - 1770 Duchesse Douairière de Lorraine