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Marie Anne de Bourbon, Duchess of Vendôme

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Marie Anne de Bourbon, Duchess of Vendôme

Marie Anne de Bourbon
Duchess of Vendôme

Marie Anne in c.1710 by Etienne Jahandier Desrochers
Spouse Louis Joseph, Duke of Vendôme
Full name
Marie Anne de Bourbon
Father Henri Jules, Prince of Condé
Mother Anne Henriette of Bavaria
Born (1678-02-24)24 February 1678
Hôtel de Condé, Paris, France
Died 11 April 1718(1718-04-11) (aged 40)
Hôtel de Vendôme, Paris, France
Burial Carmelite Convent of the Faubourg Saint-Jacques, Paris, France

Marie Anne de Bourbon (24 February 1678 – 11 April 1718[1]) was the daughter of the Prince of Condé and a Bavarian princess by birth. As a member of the reigning House of Bourbon, she was a Princesse du Sang. She was the duchesse de Vendôme by marriage. She was the Duchess of Étampes in her own right.


Born in Paris in 1678, she was the ninth child of her parents, and the youngest to survive infancy. In her youth she was known as Mademoiselle de Montmorency, a style derived from one of her grandfather's titles. Her father, the Duke of Bourbon and First Prince of the Blood, was the eldest surviving son of the Grand Condé. Her siblings were:

Marie Anne was born and lived at the Hôtel de Condé, Paris, where her father was abusive to her as well as her mother, Anne Henriette of Bavaria. He frequently beat them.

Marie Anne, reputedly very ugly, was among the last of her many siblings to marry. In 1704, her father had wanted her to marry Ferdinand Charles, Duke of Mantua and Montferrat, but the proposal did not materialise and Ferdinand Charles instead married Suzanne Henriette de Lorraine known as Mademoiselle d'Elbeuf.

With the help of her sister Louise Bénédicte, duchesse du Maine, and without the permission of their mother (their father and brother having died by this time), Marie Anne married her distant cousin, Louis Joseph, Duke of Vendôme, a great-grandson of Henry IV of France by his mistress Gabrielle d'Estrées. The couple wed on 21 May 1710 in the chapel of the Château de Sceaux, Louise Bénédicte's home. Marie Anne was aged 32; Louis Joseph was aged 56. He had been orphaned at 15, and inherited a vast fortune from his great-grandmother, the Duchess of Mercœur and Penthièvre. He was a famous general, a Marshal of France, and also the First Prince of the Blood of Spain.

Even though the dowager princesse de Condé was not informed of the marriage, she was present at the bedding ceremony at Sceaux along with Louis Henri, Duke of Bourbon; his wife Marie Anne de Bourbon;[2] the dowager princess de Conti and her children the Louis Armand, prince de Conti and Mademoiselle de La Roche-sur-Yon. Also present were the Maine couple with their children Louis Auguste, Prince of Dombes and Louis Charles de Bourbon, comte d'Eu.

Two days after the marriage, Vendôme left his wife at Sceaux to retire to the château d'Anet. He left her the title and estates of the dukedom of Étampes. When she died, it went to her niece, Louise Élisabeth de Bourbon, princess of Conti.

The marriage remained childless, possibly because of Louis Joseph's homosexuality; he had been a lover of Marie Anne's brother-in-law the prince de Conti.

Louis Joseph died in 1712.

In 1714 Marie Anne began improvements and extensions to the Hôtel de Vendôme in Paris, where she died in 1718, aged 40. She was buried in the Carmelite Convent of the Faubourg Saint-Jacques, in Paris.[3]


Titles and styles

  • 24 February 1678 – 21 May 1710 Her Serene Highness Mademoiselle de Montmorency[4]
  • 21 May 1710 – 11 June 1712 Her Serene Highness the Duchess of Vendôme
  • 11 June 1712 – 11 April 1718 Her Serene Highness the Dowager Duchess of Vendôme (duchesse de Vendôme Douairière)

References and notes

Marie Anne de Bourbon, Duchess of Vendôme
Born: 24 February 1678 Died: 11 April 1718
French nobility
Preceded by
Louis Joseph, Duke of Vendôme
Duchess of Étampes
Succeeded by
Louise Élisabeth de Bourbon

See also

Europe portal
Biography portal
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