Alternative History
Philip VII
Philippe VII
Coat of Arms of France & Navarre.svg
King of France and Navarre
Reign 1 September 17159 July 1746
Coronation 2 October 1715
Predecessor Louis XIV
Successor Charles X
King of Spain (more...)
Reign 1 November 1700 28 July 1712
Predecessor Charles II
Successor Charles III
Dauphin of France
Tenure 10 March 1712 1 September 1715
Predecessor Louis, Duke of Anjou
Successor Louis, Duke of Burgundy
Born 19 December 1683
Château de Versailles, France
Died 9 July 1746 (aged 62)
Château de Versailles, France
Spouse Maria Luisa of Savoy
(m. 1701; died 1714)

Louise Adélaïde d'Orléans
(m.1715; died 1743)

Issue Charles X, Philip VIII
and others
Full name
Philippe de France
House Bourbon
Father Louis, Grand Dauphin
Mother Maria Anna Victoria of Bavaria
Burial Basilica of Saint Denis, France
Religion Roman Catholicism

Philip VII (French: Philippe; 19 December 1683 – 9 July 1746) known as Philip the Brave (French: Philippe le Brave) or Philip the Desired (French: Philippe le Désirée) – King of Spain (as Philip V) from 1700 to 1712 and King of France from 1715 until his death. Second son of Louis, Dauphin of France and grandson Louis XIV. Through his paternal grandmother, Maria Theresa, he was the great-grandson of King Philip IV of Spain.

Philip's name is associated with major events of the first half of the 18th century, particularly wars, the most notable of which are the Spanish Succession War and the War of Inheritance and the Austrian Succession War. King of Spain for 12 years where he introduced French absolutism, it is as King of France that he was the most outstanding, reforming and perfecting the monarchy of his grandfather Louis XIV, he will be towards the end of his life the architect of the Franco-Prussian-Russian alliance as well as of the inter-continental rivalry with Great Britain.

Duke of Anjou

Philip was born on 19 December 1683 at the Palace of Versailles in France as the second son of Louis, Grand Dauphin, the heir apparent to the throne of France, and his wife Maria Anna Victoria of Bavaria, known as the Dauphine Victoire. He was a younger brother of Louis, Duke of Burgundy, and great brother of Charles, Duke of Berry all three were baptized at the same time on 18 January 1687 by Bishop of Orléans Pierre du Cambout de Coislin. His godfather is Monsieur Philippe I, Duke of Orleans, brother of the king, and his godmother is Mademoiselle Élisabeth Charlotte d'Orléans, future Duchess of Lorraine and Bar. At birth, Philip was created Duke of Anjou, a traditional title for second sons in the French royal family.

Duke of Anjou (on the ground), with his parents and brothers

In 1689, Philippe was entrusted like his brothers, to the Duke of Saint-Aignan as governor, and the Archbishop of Cambrai François de Salignac de La Mothe-Fénelon. The education was designed for him and Charles in an accessible, even attractive way, with a life of the great outdoors in order to ensure them a good physical resistance since the cadets were theoretically to serve in the commands of the armies, the religious education was serious, but not burdensome or formalistic. School life for boys was confined to one wing of the Palace of Versailles with the simple exception of attending a few music concerts or theatrical performances. Fenelon tried everything to instill in the Duke of Anjou the proscription of luxury and the placing of the arts under supervision by refusing the excess of the sumptuary arts. However, this is a failure, because the future king was already sensitive and already integrated the monarchical art of his grandfather simply by partially admiring the example of Versailles.

Although Philippe's education was going very well, it was marred from the start by the death in 1690 of the mother of the Children of France[1] (French: Enfants de France) – Dauphine Maria Anna Victoria of Bavaria. This loss was very hard for the Duke of Anjou as for his brothers because they are already abandoned by their father. The Dauphin Louis of France, was totally absent during their childhood, showed no particular affectionate link, being more interested in his mistresses that he already maintained during his marriage with Maria Anna.

Spanish inheritance issues

At the end of the 1690s, the problem of the Spanish succession became acute: Charles II of Spain, nicknamed The Bewitched (Spanish: el Hechizado), was sickly and counterfeit, of very delicate health and without posterity. Even before his death, the great European powers tried to come to an agreement to share his kingdom, not being satisfied that the integrity of the Spanish heritage was preserved.

Charles II of Spain – last representative of the Spanish Habsburgs

Although great-grandson of Anne of Austria and grandson of Maria Theresa, Infantes of Spain, the problem of Philippe's participation in the Spanish succession does not arise at first, because his father and her older brother would have more rights there than he, if the validity of Maria Theresa's renunciation of her rights to the Spanish crown when she had married Louis XIV were called into question. Moreover, the latter and the other European monarchs had agreed to declare that the heir to the throne of Spain would be, in the case of the death without heir of Charles II, Joseph Ferdinand of Bavaria.

A first Treaty of Partition, confirmed at The Hague in 1698, granted Joseph-Ferdinand the kingdoms of the Spanish peninsula (except Guipuscoa), Sardinia, the Spanish Netherlands and the American territories; to France returned Guipuscoa, Naples and Sicily; to Austria, the Duchy of Milan. On the death of Joseph Ferdinand in 1699, a new Treaty of Partition was concluded in London in 1700 without the consent of Spain. France, Holland and England recognized as king the Archduke Charles of Austria, to whom devolved the kingdoms of the peninsula, the Spanish Netherlands and the West Indies; the Duke of Lorraine, Leopold I (Monsieur's son-in-law), received Milan on condition of ceding Lorraine and Barrois to the Dauphin, who also received Naples, Sicily and Tuscany. But Archduke Charles protested, claiming all of the Spanish heritage.

However, pressed by his main adviser, Cardinal Portocarrero, and after having sought the opinion of Pope Innocent XII, Charles II chose the French solution. On 2 October 1700, he made the young Duke of Anjou, aged 16, the second grandson of Louis XIV, his legatee universeld. Charles II's hope was that Louis XIV would know how to avoid the break-up of the Spanish Empire for his own grandson. He died shortly after, on 1 November 1700.

King of Spain

News of Charles II's death reached Versailles on 9 November. On 16 November 1700, Louis XIV announced to the court that he accepted the will of his “cousin, brother-in-law and nephew”. He then introduced his grandsonf, aged 17, to court, with these words: “Gentlemen, here is the King of Spain”. Then he declares to his grandson: “Be a good Spaniard, this is currently your first duty; but remember that you were born French to maintain the union between our two nations; it is the means of making them happy and of preserving the peace of Europe." The Marquis de Castel dos Rios, Ambassador of Spain, would have added that "there are no more Pyrenees ".

Philip V — King of Spain, Sardinia, Naples and Sicily; Duke of Milan, Lothier, Brabant, Limburg and Luxemburg; Count of Flanders, Hainaut and Namur

Arrival in Spain

As a result of the event, all European monarchies except the Empire recognize the new king. He left Versailles on 4 December, provided with Instructions in 33 articles, written by Louis XIV and summarizing his conception of power. He arrived in Madrid on 22 January 1701. But after a few months, the reasons for tensions with Emperor Leopold I, on 1 February 1701, the Parliament of Paris recalled by letters patent that Philip V kept his rights to the crown from France, still in February, Louis XIV, at the request of the Spanish Regency Council, sent troops to occupy Dutch garrisons on the border of the Spanish Netherlands, garrisons installed by virtue of a bilateral treaty signed in 1698 and finally French settled in important posts in Madrid and Brussels and gave new direction to Spanish politics.

Therefore, even if the risk of reuniting the French and Spanish crowns seems minimal, the European monarchies fear that Spain will become a French protectorate. England and Holland (both under the domination of William of Orange), Austria, then Portugal formed the Grand Alliance and declare war on France and Spain allied to Bavaria and Cologne since March 1701.

King under influence

In Spain, Philip is in a country that is completely unknown to him, not speaking a word of Spanish. Thus from June 1701 until 1708, the Spanish monarchy was de facto ruled by Louis XIV, who sent advisers and ambassadors to Madrid, after noting the weaknesses of Philip V. He had a very close correspondence with his grandfather, Lous XIV assigned his grandson and his wife – Maria Luisa of Savoy – a Camarera mayor of Palacio[2], Marie Anne de La Trémoille, Princess of the Ursins friends of Madame de Maintenon, maintained a relationship important between the two courses. The latter is also the soul of the government of Madrid with an absolute influence on the royal couple.

The French influence is also felt in the courtyard. She dresses in the French style with wigs, breeches and colorful clothes, the king rarely dressing in Spanish. Several ceremonies are also regulated by French etiquette: meals, waking up or even childbirth. Nobles are admitted to the royal apartments on various occasions. The role of public representation is set up, under the watchful eye of Louis XIV, who had decreed in his instructions the abolition of the old Spanish label, support of the hidden king: in the absolutist system, the legitimation of royal power includes an essential domestic dimension. Thus, the power and the fame of the image of Versailles are such that the Spanish king copies a system of appearance, and pageantry, glorious, as other princes will do afterwards.

Vendôme (left) presents the standards to Philip V of Spain (right) at Villaviciosa

However, Philip managed to impose himself thanks to his military qualities, because if the War of Succession is an international conflict between European powers it is also a serious civil war. If the crowns of Castile and Navarre remain faithful to the candidate Bourbon, the major part of the crown of Aragon gives its support to the Austrian candidate – Charles of Habsburg called by his partisans; Charles III. The fighting in Spain is favorable to the "Philippist" troops, sometimes at the cost of massacres and destruction, as in Xàtiva, burnt down in 1707. Philip V saves his throne thanks to the victories of Almansa by Marshal Berwick in 1707, and Villaviciosa and Brihuega by General de Vendôme in 1710.

However, qualities are emphasized by his instructors, in particular Beauvillier, who saw him as a thoughtful, sensible man, physically strong. These qualities are found during his reign, in his military campaigns and in the royalty that he set up. By certain facts, his capacity to accommodate, to reconcile and to submit were able to allow him to secure an important support in Spain, nobles and populations. He succeeded in passing from the status of foreign king to Spanish king quite quickly, even before the end of the war of Spanish succession, since he ceded to part of the Castilian nobility their prerogatives such as the survival of the Council of Castile where sat the peers. He earns respect by being a victorious and intelligent military leader who was not afraid to directly command his troops in the field. By securing military support, he asserted himself as King of Spain, especially since the importance of the military body in modern royalty. Thus in 1711, Philip V with the decisive support of the French armies pushes the Portuguese troops back to the west and takes the advantage over the "Carlists" who lack logistical and popular support and ended up entering Aragon. In April 1711, Archduke Charles was forced to leave Spain to be crowned Holy Roman Emperor after the death of his brother Joseph I.

Abdication of Philip

With the election on 12 October 1711 of now Emperor Charles VI and his coronation on 22 December 1711, Philip V and Louis XIV believed that the war would soon end. Indeed, the initial fear of a theoretical unification of the French and Spanish crowns is replaced by a real fear of the resurgence of the Habsburg Empire if Charles were to become King of Spain, moreover all the belligerents suffered the full negatives effects of the war, ceasefire offers appear and in October 1711, the preliminaries of peace were signed in London. However a few months after the coronation of Charles, a drama touched the court of France, already on 14 April 1711, Louis, Dauphin of France, father of Philip V, died of smallpox, his first son Louis, Duke of Burgundy became the new Dauphin. But at the end of winter 1712, a measles epidemic hit Paris and spread to Versailles, Marie Adélaïde, new Dauphine of France suffering from this disease dies on 12 February 1712, the Dauphin madly in love with his wife and remaining in his bedside was contaminated and died a few days later on 18 February. Thus, less than a year after his father, Louis died and passed his title on to his 6-year-old son Louis, Duke of Brittany, but he also suffered from the same disease and would disappear on 8 March, passing the function to his last brother Louis, Duke of Anjou, but fate persisting he also contracted measles and died in infancy at 2-years-old, on 12 March. As a result, the title was transferred to the closest male relative of the late Duke of Anjou, the former Duke of Anjou and King of Spain Philip V.

The Five Dauphins (1711 – 1712)

Thus, after the Peace Congress in Utrecht was opened in January 1712, all parties quickly agreed that neither of the two contenders for the throne could be recognized as king, without deeply unbalancing Europe. However neither of the two candidates is ready to give up, Charles VI participated in the congress as long as he considered it non-binding and Philip V could not participate because he was still not recognized as king, effectively blocking the negotiations. The situation improved when in July 1712, Congress working on guarantees to be given by France and Spain that their crowns would be separated, recognized Philip V as king in exchange for his abdication in favor of his brother Charles, Duke of Berry and a renunciation of the Spanish throne. However, if the sovereign thanks the allied powers for this recognition, he does not accept these conditions, it is after an incendiary exchange of letter from Louis XIV to his grandson, requests and pressures from Queen Maria Luisa and of the Philipist supporters, which Philip eventually accepted and signed the abdication and waiver – mutual waiver of Philip over Spain and Charles over France. On the other hand, he succeeded in being appointed Regent, the time that his future Charles III made his trip from Versailles to Madrid, between July–September 1712.

Congress of Utrecht

Despite his abdication, Philip did not leave Spain immediately. At the request of his grandfather, he sent his family to Versailles but stayed a few months to advise his brother as the new king of Spain. But instead of advising, Philippe takes more and more place of a king, which annoyed the princess of the Ursins, comarera mayor of the new queen Louise Élisabeth d'Orléans, who reported these acts to Louis XIV who recalled the new Dauphin at the royal court in December 1712. Philip advised Charles III to be tougher in the peace negotiations with the Allies, seeking to retain the Spanish possessions in Italy, he pushed for the modification of the Spanish law of succession for a semi-Salic law to retain the crown of Spanish to the Bourbons (man and woman) who will nevertheless be rejected in May 1713 by the Cortes and push to continue the administrative and economic reforms he had initiated.

Personal qualities

The personality of Philipp VII is one of the most complex in French history and is the subject of significant debate among historians. A king with a complex personality alternating between weakness and power, influence and own decision-making power. In many ways a weak and indecisive man, brought up like a younger son whose destiny would be constant submission to his elder who would be brought to reign. Philip received the bare minimum of education in the art of politics and literature to make him an honest man subject to his older brother. But upon his appointment as King of Spain, Philip entered another dimension with a royal education heightened hastily for an extremely short period of time. In a short time he was to understand the workings of absolute mechanisms, whether in administration, in ceremonial or in the arts. In addition, Philip suffered from neurasthenia an illness, psychosomatic, which forces him to alternate moments of euphoria and well-being with moments of loneliness, weakness and during these long crises obliged to live at night.

He is also described as serious, sad, perpetually afraid, nostalgic for his condition as a cadet, a man subject to the forces which surround him, who must think long and hard and consult his entourage to make decisions and of a sincere religious devotion and which will guide the whole of his life. This devotion which comes neither from his education, nor from his entourage comes surely from his environment which could push him to be so pious. Child of the country of very Christian kings especially since the revocation of the Edict of Nantes in 1692 by the Sun King, combined by the fact that he was the king of the nation of the Catholic Monarchs and from the beginning of his reign in France deciding the question of Jansenism could also have favored this excessive piety.

Dauphin Philip with Louis XIV

Louis XIV, with the Dauphin (at his left) and Louis, Duke of Burgundy (at his right), receives the embassy of the Shah of Persia

However, beyond these mental faults, Philip counterbalanced by his love of hunting, the great outdoors, walks, physical effort testifying to a certain liveliness. However, beyond these faults, Philip counterbalanced by his love of hunting, of the great outdoors, of walks, of physical effort testifying to a certain liveliness. An outstanding negotiator knowing how to highlight his strengths and successes, loving sumptuary, classic art where the king exercises absolute control.

Dauphin of France

On 12 January 1713, Philippe returned to Versailles after a 12-year absence. The meeting between the two parents was described as "warm", Louis XIV said when Philip came; "My son, your homeland desires you, it has called you, you have answered present". The king recognizes Philip as his Dauphin and returns the title of Duke of Anjou to his grandson. This reunion was short-lived, however, because, at the king's proposal, Philip left in March 1713 for eastern France to command the French armies to fight the imperial armies – Austria and the Holy Empire refused to sign the Treaty of Utrecht. The Sun King wanted to offer the former King of Spain a way to regain prestige by fighting and at the same time offering him a sort of revenge against the troops of Emperor Charles VI who claimed the Spanish crown.

The campaign began in May, Philip alongside the famous Marshal Villars crossed the Rhine in June. Landau in the Palatinate was besieged on 6 June, a siege in which Philip participated and proved his courage. Courage that almost cost him his life because, approaching too much of the fighting, a cannon ball fired from the city almost won, only mowing down the soldiers who surrounded him. This action made itself famous but also caused a lot of fear in Versailles. After the fall of Landau on 26 August, the Dauphin participated under the direction of Marshal Villars in the siege of Freiburg on 20 September. The city surrendered on 15 October and the castle on 17 November. Dauphin Philippe of France, Marshal Villars and Prince Eugene of Savoy – commander of Imperial troops – met in the city of Rastatt in Baden-Baden and started a series of complex negotiations which lasted until 7 March 1714, when the Treaty of Rastatt was signed. This marks the end of the War of the Spanish Succession.

Around the Dauphin is formed a circle of people, known as the faction of Anjou, made up of his menin and friend the Marquis de Louville, the Duke-Bishop of Laon César d'Estrées, his former governor the Duke of Beauvillier and Abbot Giulio Alberoni. Relations between Louis XIV and the Dauphin were in good shape, the grandfather and the grandson sharing the same conception of the absolute power of the monarchy. Thus after his military campaigns, Philip participated in the Council of State, interested in the political affairs of the kingdom despite its shortcomings. Thus after the war, Philip appears alongside the king in official ceremonies; he was by his side on 19 February 1715 during the reception of the Persian ambassador, Mohammad Reza Beg, in the Hall of Mirrors, in artistic performances of theater and music and especially in April 1715, the grandson participated with the grandfather at the Last Supper ceremony on Maundy Thursday and participates in the washing of the feet.

Philip VII — King of France and Navarre

The 72-year-old king suddenly fell ill in August 1715. Throughout the month his condition worsened, doctors thinking of sciatica ended too late in diagnosing grangrene in the leg against which they were powerless. The king wants amputation but he understands that it is too late. From then on, the monarch stages his death. Confessing with great pomp, then parading the court in front of his bed, his last political act is addressed to the Dauphin. His last advice is not to imitate him in his taste for buildings, to relieve the misery of his people, and to avoid wars. On his deathbed, he also declares: "I am going away but the State will always remain". On 1 September 1715, Louis XIV died of an acute ischemia, the Count of Auvergne, Grand Chamberlain of France then shouted the famous formula: "The king is dead, long live the king!". Philip is then proclaimed king of France and Navarre under the name of Philip VII.

King of France and Navarre

Estates General

Internal Policy

Question of Jansenism

Economic reforms

Foreign Policy

Allegory of Philip VII bringing peace to Europe

Jean-Baptiste Colbert, Marquis of Torcy – head of French diplomacy between 1715 and 1740

The advent of Philip VII saw the continuation of the "domain of the king" on foreign policy, that is to say that foreign policy was dictated and reserved for the sovereign alone, but, due to the submissive character of Philip, it's the Marquis then Duke of Louville his Principal Minister of State who was in charge, whom delegated to his friend Jean-Baptiste Colbert, Marquis de Torcy, former Secretary of State to Louis XIV, de Torcy who had already proven his talents as a diplomat and a good psychologist under the Sun King, now sees his powers increased tenfold. From 1715 to 1729, France was at peace with its neighbors. This is explained by the state of the kingdom at the end of the reign of Louis XIV, its war policy which spanned thirty years had exhausted France which had suffered famine, found itself over-indebted and on the verge of bankruptcy, it was therefore necessary for Philip to have peace to reform and improve the interior of the country and At the same time, Philip VII and de Louville sought to strengthen and reorganize the external alliances of France against Austria and Great Britain.

Philip VII had a natural ally, the Spain of his brother Charles III, he sought to preserve and deepen the privileged links between the two king brother, in 1725 a treaty of alliance and trade was signed in Saint-Cloud which led to marriages: the heir to the Spanish throne Charles and the infant Maria Luisa Elizabeth was promised to Princess Marie Anne Victoire and Charles, Duke of Berry. This first treaty will herald the "Family Pacts" during the XVIIIth century between the Bourbons of France and Spain. This alliance aimed to secure a reliable ally in Europe but especially in America and the West Indies where Great Bretage had gained in power. The second alliance was in the direction of the young kingdom of Prussia, a small emerging German state. Despite the fact that this country was a member of the Grand Alliance and therefore against France and Spain during the war of Spanish succession, the position of Berlin between Vienna and London made it a potential ally to cut the two enemies of France. Frederick William I of Prussia, who had participated in his youth in the battle of Malpaquet, was somewhat circumspect about such an alliance, if he did not reject it, he remained on good terms with the Emperor Charles VI not wanting to throw into a war despite his powerful military apparatus. Thus, if the policy of France allowed a gradual rapprochement with Prussia, no prospect of alliance emerged before the ascension of Frederick II to the throne in May 1740.

These changes of alliances had been prompted by the weakening of France's historic allies, such as Sweden, Poland-Lithuania and the Ottoman Empire. If the Ottomans seemed still powerful, the alliance between Versailles and the Sublime Porte will be reinforced after the victory of the Turks in 1739 against Austria. The arrival of Augustus II, Prince Elector of Saxony on the Polish throne – counted a short absence from the throne between 1704 – 1709 – with the support of the Russians and then the defeat of Sweden of Charles XII in the Great Northern War pushes France to reconsider these two alliances for a completely new one, Russia.

Peter I and Philip VII in the review of the King's Military House

The idea of a rapprochement with France was supported by the Emperor of all the Russias, Peter the Great. Modernizing and Westernizing his country with the France of Louis XIV as a model, the latter had enough contempt for this sovereign of a country considered "barbaric" and "backward" – a judgment shared by all the courts of Europe. Peter had been refused a visit to France in the 1690s by the Sun King, but his grandson Philip VII received in 1717 the Tsar with great fanfare. This visit was decisive for relations between Russia and France, the two men appreciated each other despite their differences of character and a trade, diplomatic and military agreements were signed, notably between France, Russia and Prussia in August 1717 and September 1721 to the chagrin of the Swedes and Poles who, if they were not abandoned by France, was no longer perceived as the only allies in Northern and Eastern Europe for France. To seal this new alliance the Russian embassy proposed at the end of 1721, a marriage between a French prince and a Russian princess, if Peter dreamed of a marriage with the heir Louis, Dauphin of France, Philip proposed instead, on the advice of de Louville and Torcy, his nephew Louis, Duke of Chartres, and despite the protests of his father Philippe II, Duke of Orleans, the marriage was concluded with the Princess Elizabeth Petrovna Romanov in March 1723. If this marriage caused a scandal, the events will offer to the "misallocation" a very particular outlet, because in 1741 following internal intrigues in Russia Elizabeth became Empress subsequently installing the Bourbon-Orléans-Romanov dynasty on the throne of Peter the Great, with as first representative Peter III.

War of the Heritage

Main article: War of the Heritage

War of the Austrian Succession

Main article: War of the Austrian Succession

The last years


First mariage

Maria Luisa Gabriella of Savoy

King of Spain in November 1700, Philip V needed a wife quickly for a war on Spanish succession that was emerging. His first wife was Maria Luisa Gabriella of Savoy daughter of Duke Victor Amadeus II of Savoy – Louis, Duke of Burgundy was already married to Marie Adélaide, the big sister of Maria Luisa. These two marriages decided by Louis XIV aimed primarily at binding Savoy, France and Spain against the Holy Roman Empire, however this objective failed. This will not spoil the union between Philip and Maria Luisa. Married by proxy on 2 November 1701. Philip was deeply in love with his wife from the start: as would be the case of his next consort, he was sexually dependent on her because his religious scruples prevented him from exercising any sexual life outside of marriage. Maria Luisa had a lot of influence on her husband, see totally dominate, which was frowned upon by Louis XIV. Maria Luisa Gabriella is described as remarkably mature for her age, politically savvy, articulate and hardworking. So much so that when her husband left to campaign in Italy, he entrusted the regency to her, when she was only 14 years old. Acting scrupulously and working hours, she managed to win the love of the people of Madrid, who nicknamed her La Savoyana. Partisan of peace, she was among the one who pushed her husband to abdicate the throne of Spain. Her transition from Queen of Spain to Dauphine of France went very well and she was able to embellish the end of Louis XIV's life like his sister Maria Adelaide. From this union were born 4 children:

  • Louis Philip (25 August 1707 — 31 August 1724) — Prince of Asturia, then Duke of Burgundy and later Dauphin of France, dies of smallpox.
  • Philip Peter (2 July 1709 — 18 July 1709) — died in infancy.
  • Philip Peter Gabriel (7 June 1712 — 29 December 1719) — Duke of Anjou, died in childhood.
  • Charles X (23 September 1713 — 10 August 1759) — King of France and Navarre

Mariage plan

Maria Luisa had been ill since April 1711, her condition fluctuated constantly at the same time as her pregnancies, she died on 14 February 1714 of a gnawing tuberculosis. At first, negotiations were carried out with Emperor Charles VI about Philip's marriage to his younger sister Archduchess Maria Magdalena or his niece Maria Josepha — such an alliance was supposed to contribute to the reconciliation of the two historical enemies powers after the end of the War of the Spanish Succession, Louis XIV wanting to concentrate his policy against Great Britain in America, but Vienna demanded that the Pragmatic sanction of April 1713 be recognized, Versailles was ready to recognize it in exchange for the obtaining by France of the Duchy of Lorraine, Bar and the Austrian Netherlands, this proposal was immediately rejected. At the initiative of Count Arvid Horn a pro-French Swedish who proposed to marry the sister of Swedish king Charles XII Ulrika Eleanor, who, due to her brother's childlessness, could eventually inherit his crown. This too ambitious project could not be implemented due to the difference in beliefs.

After three failures, Princesses Charlotte Amalie of Denmark, Benedetta of Este, Augusta of Baden and Elisabeth Farnese were also considered, but all, mostly for lack of money or prestige, were rejected. Finally, Louis XIV looked in the younger families of the House of France. His legitimized bastard daughters, Louise Françoise de Bourbon married to Louis III, Prince of Condé and Françoise Marie de Bourbon married to Philippe I, Duke of Orléans fought for one of their daughters to become the next Dauphine and therefore Queen of France. A battle which had already occurred for the marriage of the Duke of Berry, Louis XIV then chose an Orléans. Moreover Louis was very wary of the branch of Bourbon-Condé which he perceived as too ambitious, descendant of Louis the Great Condé the prince who directed the Fronde against Louis XIV as a child. The king ended up choosing one of the daughters of the Duke of Orléans, which caused a serious deterioration in relations between the Princess of Condée and her father.

The wedding took place on 21 May 1715. The bride was 15 years younger than the groom, this affected their feelings for each other in the best way despite the fact that Louise was in love with the Chevalier de Saint-Maixent, who had saved his life on the hunt. However, the marriage succeeds in being happy thanks to the similar and complementary character of the two spouses, allowing the couple to be completely faithful while the fathers and grandfathers of the bride and groom all had mistresses, at a time when it was almost institutional.

Second mariage

The Dauphine then Queen Louise Adelaide undoubtedly loved her subjects: she was considered one of the most beautiful queens in Europe, was distinguished by an extraordinary spirit, loved music, was interested in theology, mechanics, chemistry and medicine. Despite her severe stuttering, Louise had an excellent voice and sang beautifully, relieving her husband's fits of melancholy. Contemporaries noted its "masculine" character — the queen adored weapons, especially swords, pistols and rifles, knew how to handle gunpowder, shot well, liked to organize fireworks. His distinct passion was hunting, as well as dogs and horses. All this brought Louise the love of others — the death of the Queen at the age of 44 on 10 February 1743 plunged the country into deep mourning. Married to Philip VII, she gave birth to seven children:

Marie Louise Adélaïde of France

  • Philip VIII (20 January 1716 — 14 December 1788) — King of France and Navarre.
  • Francis Philip (21 March 1717 — 21 April 1717) — Duke of Normandy, died in infancy.
  • Marie Anne Victoire (31 March 1718 — 15 January 1781) — was married to Charles IV, King of Spain.
  • Henry Philip (15 March 1720 — 18 July 1765) — Duke of Aquitaine.
  • Françoise Marie Therese (11 June 1726 — 22 July 1766) — was married to Maximilian III Joseph, Holy Roman Emperor.
  • John Philip Antoine (25 July 1727 — 7 August 1785) — Duke of Normandy.
  • Louise Philippine Jeanne (17 November 1729 — 19 September 1785) — was married to Victor Amadeus III, King of Sicily and Naples.


to be continued...


  1. Title given to the children of the Dauphin
  2. In English; First Lady of the Bedchamber, who was in charge of the person and the rooms of the Queen of Spain.