Elisabeth Charlotte of the Palatinate

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Elisabeth Charlotte of the Palatinate
Liselotte by Rigaud
Duchess of Orléans
Tenure 16 November 1671 – 9 June 1701
Spouse Philippe, Duke of Orléans
Issue
Philippe, Duke of Orléans
Élisabeth Charlotte, Duchess of Lorraine
Full name
Elisabeth Charlotte
Father Charles I Louis, Elector Palatine
Mother Charlotte of Hesse-Kassel
Born 27 May 1652(1652-05-27)
Heidelberg Castle, Heidelberg
Died 8 December 1722(1722-12-08) (aged 70)
Château de Saint-Cloud, France
Burial 10 December 1722
Basilica of Saint Denis, France
Signature
Religion Calvinism
Roman Catholicism

Elisabeth Charlotte of the Palatinate (27 May 1652 - 8 December 1722) was a German princess and the wife of Philippe, Duke of Orléans, younger brother of Louis XIV. She is best known for her vast correspondence detailing the court of her brother in law. She was referred to at court as simply Madame, as well as La Palatine and the Princess Palatine.

Biography[change | edit source]

Arms of Élisabeth Charlotte of the Palatinate, Princess Palatine as Duchess of Orléans

Elisabeth Charlotte was born at the Heidelberg Castle as the only daughter of Charles I Louis, Elector Palatine and Charlotte of Hesse-Kassel.[1] In childhood she was known as Liselotte. She grew up at the court of her aunt and would remain in contact with her aunt all her life.

On 16 November 1671, she was married by proxy at Metz. In order to marry she had to convert to Roman Catholicism. Elisabeth Charlotte would be very close to her two stepdaughters Marie Louise and Anne Marie. Her husband was gay but the couple still had three children but one died in infancy. After the birth of their daughter Élisabeth Charlotte, the couple mutually agreed to cease conjugal relations.[2] Philippe turned to his lovers, and Elisabeth Charlotte to her writing.

After her husband's death, Elisabeth Charlotte feared that the king would send her to a convent but he insisted she stay at Versailles. Elisabeth Charlotte died at the age of seventy on 8 December 1722 at Saint-Cloud. She was buried at the Basilica of Saint Denis.

Children[change | edit source]

  1. Alexandre Louis d'Orléans, Duke of Valois (2 June 1673 – 16 March 1676) died in infancy;
  2. Philippe d'Orléans (2 August 1674 – 2 December 1723) married Françoise Marie de Bourbon, Légitimée de France and had issue;
  3. Élisabeth Charlotte d'Orléans (13 September 1676 – 24 December 1744) married Léopold of Lorraine, Duke of Lorraine and had issue.

Titles and Styles[change | edit source]

  • 27 May 1652 – 16 November 1671 Her Serene Highness Princess Elisabeth Charlotte of the Palatinate
  • 16 November 1671 – 9 June 1701 Her Royal Highness Madame, Duchess of Orléans
  • 9 June 1701 – 8 December 1722 Her Royal Highness Madame, Dowager Duchess of Orléans

References[change | edit source]

  1. Fraser, Antonia, Love and Louis XIV, Anchor Books, 2006, p. 134.
  2. Fraser, Antonia, Love and Louis XIV, Anchor Books, 2006, p. 140.

Further reading[change | edit source]

  • Life and letters of Charlotte Elisabeth, Princess Palatine and mother of Philipp d'Orléans, régent de France 1652 - 1722, compiled, translated, and gathered from various published and unpublished, Chapman & Hall, London, 1889.
  • A woman's life in the court of the Sun King : letters of Liselotte von der Pfalz, 1652–1722, Elisabeth Charlotte, Duchesse d'Orléans, translated by Elborg Forster, Johns Hopkins University Press, 1984.

Other websites[change | edit source]

Media related to Elisabeth Charlotte of the Palatinate at Wikimedia Commons