Elisabeth Sophie (24th December 1734 - Present) is a Grandelumierian noblewoman and the current Imperial Archchancellor for the Emperor. She previously served as Imperial Governess of the Imperial Children. Several of her close relatives have been Sovereigns. She held the title Princess of Brittany as head of House Lowell-Brittany.
Reign of Louis XI
Born on Christmas Eve, 1734, Elisabeth Sophie was delivered in the Apartments of the Marquis d'Alencon. It was not an overly grand event, with close family, Ladies to the Princesse de Bretagne and friends to the family present. She would be named Dame de Alencon shortly thereafter. Her birth had already been speculated for an intended marriage into the Imperial House from before birth, and she was destined to marry a Prince from there.
By age five, she was to be baptised and named Elisabeth Sophie. Her godfather would be Auguste Philippe, Prince de Bretagne, and her godmother would be Elisabeth Justine, Empress Consort. It was not long until she was readied to move to the Abbaye Notre-Dame-des-Chelles for her education. It was here she'd remain for several years until her 14th birthday when it was decided she ought to begin her marriage arrangement.
In 1749, on October the 16th, she would be wed in a large ceremony at the Chapelle-Imperiale in the Chateau de Saint-Etienne. Her husband, Charles Xavier, the Marquis de Nice, would now take her title. This was due to the fact that, just 5 years earlier, the Heir to the Principality of Brittany had been murdered. Elisabeth's father, Alexandre Constantin, was now the heir as Monsieur le Duc. Elisabeth would be granted the Courtesy, Duchesse d'Anjou, until her father's ascension. The marriage would be relatively happy. Charles Xavier was best described by his governess as "a pleasant, but stupid man. He is the most charitable of the sons I may know..."
Overall, Charles Xavier was best known for his simple life, which gave Elisabeth a pleasant life with little trouble from an unruly or unfaithful husband.
Within a few years of her marriage, her grandfather, Auguste, Prince de Bretagne, would die. Her father would assume the Principality, and she would take the title Madame la Duchesse. This was during the smallpox outbreak, which would claim many prominent courtiers. Elisabeth, who was a deeply religious and superstitious woman, had herself adorned in crucifixes and carried a small, pocket-sized book of psalms with her at all times. A rosary would be constantly tied at her waist, and pouches of herbs to block the fatal miasma. Furthermore, her rooms were decorated with religious candles, and she had crucifixes placed in her apartments with ornate pictures of her favourite saints, this included at least three pictures of the Virgin Mary and two of Saint-Raphael, known as the patron of healing. She would also insist on holy water being present in her bedchamber at all times.
Later, when aged 20 in early 1755, she would be made Imperial Governess of the Children of Grandelumiere. During her care, the Duc de Provence and Comte de Verceil would contract a chest infection. Continuing her superstitious nature, she'd order the ladies to feed them the dirt from the graves of Saints and Abbesses from Fontevraud. While the Duc de Provence would himself recover eventually, the Comte de Verceil died, imperial surgeons marking an unusual presence of dirt clogging the boy's lungs.
In 1763, her husband, Charles Xavier, would pass away. Sophie would be deeply moved and as a highly devout woman took to her mourning wear for the rest of her life.
She would hold this position for much of the remainder of Louis XI's court. In December 1767 however, she would be made Archchancellor and take on a prominent role in the politics of court. He would, however, die in 1767, on the 30th of December, just short of New Year. Her first cousin, and brother-in-law, Louis XII would take the throne.
Reign of Louis XII
During the beginning of the reign of Louis XII, Elisabeth would serve diligently as the Imperial Archchancellor. This was during a time of steadily increasing unrest in the city of Dijon, which was gradually spreading beyond the capital. The first months of the reign would pass without little obvious unrest and trouble for the government beyond suppressing short-lived riots in the city. But this was a simple task for the Empire.
In mid-January, the coronation would be held, which Elisabeth would attend. The ceremony was also attended by a British Delegate and several other minor nations. It was held by the Cardinal-Duc de Provence, who had been Primate of Primates since age 7.
By the time of the revolution, Elisabeth was with court and forced to Dijon alongside the remainder of the Court. It was of great distress to her, and she would return to carrying a rosary with her at all times in order to ward off any evil which may come across. Her time spent in Dijon was not too hard for her, as she took to the palace of Dijon with ease, unlike many other courtiers. However, it was distressing as the mobs gathered outside the gates of the residence.
Eventually, after an attempted counter-revolution, the court was arrested and placed in the Tour du Temple. Elisabeth was held in the same prison as the Emperor Louis XII, and his dauphin, Louis Francois.
With her husband, Charles Xavier de Grandelumiere, Elisabeth Sophie had several children;
- Marie Josephine. Madame la Duchesse (20th April 1750 - Present)
- Stillborn male (14th January 1752)
- Auguste Benedict, Comte de Limoges (3rd March 1753 - 27th February 1756)
- Marie Seraphine, Dame de Bretagne, (18th January 1754 - 7th March 1755)
Titles, Styles and Honours
Titles and Styles
- 24th December 1734 - 3rd October 1744 Her Ladyship, Dame d'Alencon
- 3rd October 1744 - 26th November 1752 Her Highness, Duchesse d'Anjou
- 26th November 1752 - 15th March 1770 Her Highness, Madame la Duchesse
- 15th March 1770 - Present Her Serene Highness, Princesse de Bretagne