History - On This Day - 19 December 1778 - Birth of Marie-Thérèse of France

On 19 December 1778, Marie-Thérèse Charlotte of France was born at the
Palace of Versailles in France.


Marie-Thérèse of France was the eldest child of King Louis XVI of France
and Queen Marie-Antoinette.  She also was the only one of the children to
reach adulthood. All her siblings died before the age of 11.


As the daughter of the King of France, Marie-Thérèse was a fille de France
and she had the title: Madame Royale.

When she was born, Queen Marie-Antoinette greeted her daughter with

"Poor little one, you are not desired, but you will be none the less dear to me!
A son would have belonged to the state - you will belong to me."

On the day of her birth, Marie-Thérèse was baptized. She was named after her
maternal grandmother Empress Marie-Thérèse of Austria, and Charlotte came
from her mother's favourite sister: Maria Carolina of Austria, Queen consort of
Naples and Sicily who was called Charlotte in the family.

Marie-Thérèse grew up with a governess: the Princess of Guéméné. Later the
governess had to resign due to her husband's bankruptcy. She was replaced by
one of the Queen's closest friends: the Duchess de Polignac.

King Louis XVI was an affectionate father, who delighted in spoiling his daughter.
Her mother was stricter. The Queen invited regularly children of lower rank to come
and dine with Marie-Thérèse. She also encouraged her daughter to give toys to the

As a young girl, Marie-Thérèse was noted to be quite attractive with beautiful
blue eyes and the looks of her mother and grandmother.


Soon tragedies would hit the royal family. In 1787 her younger sister Sophie
died. In 1789, the dauphin died.

On 14 July 1789, the Bastille was stormed by a mob. Several members of the
royal household went abroad for their own safety.

On 5 October 1789, Versailles was invaded, the royal family was forced to take
refuge in the King's apartment. The crowd demanded a move of the family to
the Tuileries Palace in Paris.

On 3 July 1793, the eight year old Louis Charles was taken away from the
Royal family. Two months later, Queen Marie-Antoinette was taken to the

Finally, Marie-Thérèse Charlotte would be the only one to survive the
Reign of Terror.

In late August 1795, Marie-Thérèse Charlotte was told what had happened
to her family. Later Madame Royale was allowed to leave France. She was
exchanged for French prisoners and she moved to Vienna.


Marie-Thérèse arrived in Vienna on 9 January 1796. Later she moved to
Mitau, Courland (now in Latvia), where her father's eldest brother lived
as guest of Tsar Paul I of Russia.

Love and Marriage

Her uncle wished his niece to marry her cousin:
Louis-Antoine, duke d'Angoulême. Marie-Thérèse agreed. The wedding
took place on 10 June 1799. Though the royal couple had no children.

Exile (2)

Later the royal family of France moved to Great Britain. They lived in
Hartwell House, Buckinghamshire. Later she returned to the Austrian

After the abdication of Napoleon I in 1814, the first Bourbon Restauration
was set up.

Technically, Marie-Thérèse was Queen of France for 20 minutes on
2 August 1830. However, her father-in-law and her husband signed both
their abdication documents.


Marie-Thérèse died of pneumonia on 19 October 1851 in the
Austrian Empire.

In fiction

* in 1934 she was portrayed as Duchess of Angoulême
* in 1938 she was played in Marie-Antoinette
* in 1975 she was played in Marie-Antoinette a French drama
* in 1989 she was portrayed in a drama called the French Revolution
* in 2006 she was played in Marie-Antoinette

and many more.

Source pictures: Wikipedia

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