Marie Amelie (June 5th, 1707 - January 4th 1768) was the first born daughter, and favourite child, of Emperor Louis XI and Empress Consort Elisabeth Justine. She was known as Madame premiere for much of her life.
She was well known as a very intelligent woman and took great interest in astrology and astronomy. She was often in the company of her father, discussing a wide range of issues and interests.
Reign of Louis XI
Marie Amelie was born on June 5th, 1707 at Chateau de Saint-Etienne. She was the second child of Emperor Louis XI and his wife, Elisabeth. She was delivered in the birthing room, surrounded by the Courtiers. Her father was most excited for his first daughter, taking her up in his arms immediately. She would later be baptised at the Chapelle-Palais, and given the title Madame Premiere, as well as Madame Imperiale. Her godparents were the Cardinal Vosges and Dowager Empress Anastasie. Despite being born 2 weeks premature, she grew up perfectly well. From the time of her birth, until she was 7, she was cared for by the Marquise de Vendome, who had been Louis XI's governess and remained as Governess of the Imperial Children. She took an early interest in astronomy and music, enjoying playing violin. Much to Louis's praise, she enjoyed reading and writing from a young age.
She had spent much of her time around Louis Emmanuel and even developed an extremely close friendship with him. They both respected each other and played together until her departure to the abbey.
In 1714, when she was 7 years old, Amelie, with her two younger sisters, Madame Deuxieme and Madame Troisieme, was sent to the Fontevraud abbey to study, as was a tradition for girls of the Imperial Family. While there, she was educated in all the skills and talents required of an Imperial: studying, writing, reading, theology, music and horse riding. She'd also develop a keen interest in philosophy and politics, which would become a frequent topic of discussion between her and her father years later.
Whilst studying, some of her peers grew envious of her intelligence and her social status. She was praised often by her teachers, but the students in the abbey rejected her and left her as an outcast.
During this time, she had grown interested writing, especially ones about human nature and philosophy. She often recorded her research in astronomy and society and wrote about the environment around her. She gained a very observing eye and a liking towards people and their personalities.
Despite her father's disdain towards Marie Therese and indifference with his other children, besides Louis Emmanuel, the heir, she did keep a connection with her siblings. The ones she considered herself closest to was Louis Emmanuel and Marie Therese. At a young age, she realised to secure herself a favourable position in the court, she would also need to the support of those around her. She worked to please her father when she returned from her education as well as keep a high reputation in her family. This helped her obtain a renowned position within the Imperial Court later on.
In 1725, Amelie would return to court with her two younger sisters, aged 18. Immediately, she got herself involved with the court politics, and her interests in philosophy and political affairs got her into her father's close circle of acquaintances. She would oftentimes speak on the matters concerning divine selection by God, the nature of the absolute authority of the Monarch and the place of the Church in the Empire. Her many discussions on the nature of religion and authority would keep her father's interest, allowing her to remain in the political circle of her father. During this period she would had arranged to marry the Auguste de Normandie, which would take place in late 1725.
Louis would write of his daughter, to Sophie;
"Though not as remarkable as her younger sisters in appearance, she does possess an intelligence which could only be compared to that of Minerva."
Despite her father's indifference towards his children, while they were young, the two grew close in later life, and she became an important member of his court. Despite his somewhat debauched lifestyle, Louis was a gentle person who was rarely harsh to people. To that end, Amelie filled the role of enforcing the Emperors will, and would often ensure that the law was followed correctly. She was often regarded as the Emperors Iron Fist, ensuring his word was law, which only increased her importance in his regime.
Louis Joseph, the third son of the Emperor once said;
"You cannot simply pass her without feeling her signature aura of oppression and intimidation. If you do something unspeakable, she'll know before you even do, and your head would be on a box by the time you realise. She was the one who built a throne out of iron with her bare hands for the Emperor."
She was known to be very opinionated on the nobility and voiced those opinions often to the Emperor when discussing their position. She was known to care very much for her father, despite the fact he was oftentimes distant from his family and insisted on court protocol. She felt close towards him, and he was known to care greatly for Amelie, as she followed court etiquette and generally followed his direction when requested. Due to this closeness, she did not care about the affairs her father had with women. Though she disapproved of his affairs with men, she did not voice these thoughts publicly. During the rebellion of the noble houses, she believed in the absolute will and power of the monarch and looked down on the Houses which attempted to force the monarchy to change its stance. She personally helped her father through much of the stress of the period by taking a major role by forcing his will on those rebelling and dealing with those who got in the way. She personally saw to the dealings with House Utrecht before its return, ensuring it would not revolt again. She also personally led a coordinated strike against the rebelling guards of Houses.
"There is no empire without its followers, but there are no followers if all of them are rebels. Therefore, we will have to purge them and create ourselves anew." -- Madame Premiere, Marie Amelie
She was upset by her various siblings death and then following her fathers' illness and departure, she'd begin to look into various foreign courts.
Regency of Sophie
After growing interest in writing and different cultures, she would ultimately leave the country, moving to the Holy Roman Empire to visit the Austrian Court for the next few years until 1743, where she returned. During this time, she also went to the countryside and studied the celestials, expanding her knowledge of astronomy.
Marie Amelie continued to take an interest in astronomy and philosophy. Although, she had also gained a particular liking for the military. Around the time of her return, she had cultivated a close friendship with the Madame la Dauphine and Madame.
During her time during the Regency, she'd write letters to her father, who resided in the Chartreuse abbey at the time but never sent these letters. She planned to give the letters to her father when he recovered, as she believed he would recover.
From time to time she went to foreign courts for extended visits. She visited the Papal court often and enjoyed the hospitality they offered. She visited Pope Jean XXIII's court a few times, and met the Pope himself on a number of occasions, discussing astronomy with him and theology several times.
Return of Louis XI
She was overjoyed with her fathers return to court, taking immediate care to watch over him and follow his word once more. Though, by this point, she was also dealing with her claims to Normandy. Prior to this, the Duke of Normandy had passed, without any heir. Amelie had heard that the Ducs 5th Cousin from England had lain claim to the Duchy of Normandy much to her personal displeasure.
She would lay her own claim to the territory in her husbands name and fought with the Burgundy League against the Normandy Alliance. Her side would help lead her side to victory in the battle. She would take the title Duchesse de Normandie and raised her children to their new titles.
She would survive the 1750's outbreak of the smallpox infection which spread through the court. She would also support the wars of the Southern regions later in the 50's.
Her father died in 1767, leaving her distraught, and she would attend the funeral in full mourning.
Reign of Louis XII
She would live for a few days during the reign of Louis XII, though her husband died January 3rd, which broke her hear reportedly and she would follow the next day, reportedly from said broken heart. Her body was buried with her husband in the Cathédrale primatiale Notre-Dame de l'Assomption de Rouen.
She would have several children with her husband Auguste;
- Isabelle Eloise de Normandie (9th June 1726 - Present)
- Philippe Jean de Normandie (6th July 1727 - Present)
- Miscarried son (13th August 1730)
- Miscarried son (21st June 1732)
- Louise Philippine de Normandie (30th September 1733 - 19th May 1770)
- Marie Gabrielle de Normandie (26th February 1735 - 4th January 1771)
- Stillborn daughter (27th May 1738)
- Francois Gabriel de Normandie (7th December 1740 - Present)
Titles and Styles
Titles and styles
- June 5th, 1707 - November 24th, 1725 Her Imperial Highness, Madame Premiere
- November 14th, 1725 - October 29th, 1744 Her Imperial Highness, Marquise de Longueville
- October 29th, 1744 - January 4th, 1768 Her Imperial Highness, Duchesse de Normandie