Marie Victoire (9th February 1750 - 28th February 1771) was the Empress-Consort of Emperor Louis XIII, as Emperor of Grandelumiere.
She was renowned for ruling while in custody.
Reign of Louis XI
Marie Victoire was born at the Château de Saint-Etienne, to her mother, Madame la Princesse. Her birth was not a grand affair, with few courtiers in attendance. It would be a chilly morning, with fresh snow laid on the gardens. This assured her birth to be a fairly easy one. Once she was born, Victoire was put into the charge of a wet nurse.
At the age of seven, she was baptised under the name of "Marie Victoire." Her Godparents were the Prince de Bretagne and the Duchesse de Normandie. She would be tutored by Dame de Hainaut who educated her in dancing, singing, writing, reading, French, Italian, and Latin. She also learned to play the harpsichord. Though, by the age of ten, Marie Victoire proved less than satisfactory in writing, Italian, and Latin. She would, however, excel in singing and dancing. Many courtiers noted her "exquisite" poise, and often commented on it to her tutor and mother.
From an early age, she had a close relationship with her mother, Madame la Princesse. The Princesse made it significant in her children's lives that family be a priority. Victoire was rather favourable and kind towards her siblings, though, the relationship may have been one-sided. Growing up in Court, she was well acquainted with the Imperial Family. This would lead eventually to her engagement, at age eleven, to the Duc d'Aquitaine, and Petit Dauphin, Louis François. Louis was her second cousin, from her father's side. She did not see her cousin very often, but were acquaintances in passing. The two spoke at events when they were held, but never optionally socialised with one another.
The wedding of the Duc and Duchesse was held at the Chapel-Imperiale, as Louis XI did not wish to travel to Dijon due to his age and health. The Chapel was filled with the Courtiers, so much so that most had to squeeze onto the balcony. The Cardinal Valentine Leonard would preside over the ceremony. Afterwards, the pair were led to their Bedding Ceremony. Though they did consummate their marriage, she would not fall pregnant on the first night.
In 1766, she suffered a miscarriage early on in the term. Though she did experience slight pains from it, the miscarriage was not life-threatening. However, soon after her first miscarriage, she became pregnant once again. Louis XI would order the Court doctors to check on her health regularly. It was noted by Victoire's ladies that her second pregnancy was an easy one. In August of 1767, she gave birth to her first son, Louis Emmanuel. The couple would go on to have two more children.
Reign of Louis XII
After the death of Louis XI, Victoire's father-in-law took to the throne as Louis XII. The new Dauphiné took pleasure in womanly activities, such as attending the Empress's levees and couches, writing, dancing, and embroidery. She was fond of most members of the Court, and spent time with the Empress-Consort regularly. Victoire bought extravagant dresses to please her husband and the strict Court etiquette.
The Dauphiné did not take a liking to Louis XII's mistress, Louise Therese. However, she never showed any evidence towards these feelings while around her. The two faked friendship, but did have their moments of friendliness with each other. Victoire often sided with the Empress and helped her with the emotional baggage Louis XII left on her in their marriage.
Marie Victoire attended the Emperor Louis XII's coronation, and wrote that it "was as if God showed up to the event himself." The Dauphin even held Victoire's hand, as if to say how unready he was for his own coronation.
Revolution of 1768
The armed rebellion that brought the Court to Dijon in 1768 struck fear into the Dauphiné's heart. Victoire was apart of the fleeing to La Bastion with the Imperial Family. Once she returned to the Palace with the Emperor, it was said that she and the Dauphin argued about if they were to flee again. Victoire and her children were huddled in the Emperor's sitting room of the Palace when they were taken prisoner to Le Tour de Temple.
After being imprisoned in the Temple, Marie Victoire and her family were placed in a cell together, along with the Emperor and Empress. The Emperor's death signified her fall to insanity. Victoire cried numerous times a day, and when she was not, she tried to tend to her child with no luck. The Empress-Dowager Marie Josephe helped tend to their daily activities.
Reign of Louis XIII - L'Impératrice
Louis Emmanuel, Victoire's first born, died months after Louis XII. After this, she began to tend to her children more, and also to her husband. Having been pregnant at the start of the revolution, the Empress gave birth to Anne Henriette in 1769, while being held as prisoner in the Temple.
Louis XIII died in April of 1770 due to conditions in the Temple. This left Marie Victoire as Empress-Dowager. With all of her children dying before his own death, none of Victoire's children took the throne.
Emperor-Cardinal Charles VIII did not have enough to time to bring Marie Victoire back to Saint-Etienne before her ultimate death. While giving birth to her last child, Victoire faced difficulties. She would ultimately succumb to this on the 28th of July, 1770, only hours after giving child birth. She was in her 20th year.
To her marriage with Louis Francois XIII, she had five children, four of which were brought to full term, with their styles at the time of their birth;
- Miscarried daughter (30th October 1766)
- Louis Emmanuel, Prince de Bretagne (4th August 1767 - 23rd June 1769)
- Louis Antoine, Comte de Bearn (22nd May 1768 - 10th April 1770)
- Anne Henriette, Madame (9th February 1769 - 9th March 1770)
- Louis Joseph, Comte de Macon (27th July 1770 - 28th July 1770)
Styles, Titles, and Honours
Titles and Styles
- 9th February 1750 - 26th January 1765 Her Highness, Madame de Valois
- 26th January 1765 - 30th December 1767 Her Imperial Highness, Duchesse d'Aquitaine
- 30th December 1767 - 18th February 1769 Her Imperial Highness, Madame la Dauphiné
- 18th February 1769- 20th April 1770 Her Most Catholic Majesty, the Empress-Consort
- 20th April 1770 - 28th July 1770 Her Majesty, the Empress Dowager
- Grandmaster of the Order of Saint Marie