Louis, Dauphin of France (1729–1765)

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Louis, the Dauphin, in the uniform of Colonel General of the Dragoons, portrait by Alexander Roslin (ca.1765).

Louis of France (4 September 1729 – 20 December 1765) was the only surviving son of King Louis XV of France and his wife, Marie Leszczyńska. He was the Dauphin of France all his life. He was the father of three kings of France, Louis XVI, Louis XVIII and Charles X.

Early life and education[change | change source]

Louis de France at 9, by Louis Tocqué.

Louis was born at the Palace of Versailles. As the heir apparent to the throne of France, he was given the traditional title of Dauphin of France.

Louis' governess was Madame de Ventadour. From an early age Louis took a great interest in the military arts. He was very close to his three oldest sisters.

Marriages[change | change source]

In 1744 Louis XV negotiated a marriage between his fifteen year old son and the nineteen year old Infanta Maria Teresa Rafaela of Spain, daughter of King Philip V of Spain and Elisabeth Farnese. The marriage contract was signed 13 December 1744 and the marriage was celebrated by proxy at Madrid 18 December 1744 and in person at Versailles 23 February 1745. Louis and Maria Teresa Rafaela were well matched and had a real affection for each other. They had one daughter Princess Marie Thérèse of France who died in infancy and killed her mother.

On 10 January 1747 Louis was married by proxy at Dresden to Maria Josepha of Saxony, the fifteen year old younger daughter of Frederick Augustus II, Prince-Elector of Saxony and King of Poland and his wife, Archduchess Maria Josepha of Austria. A second marriage ceremony took place in person at Versailles on 9 February 1747.

Louis died of consumption at Fontainebleau in 1765 at the age of thirty-six. Louis was buried in the Cathedral of Saint-Étienne in Sens. His heart was buried at the Basilica of Saint-Denis.


Issue[change | change source]

  1. Marie Zéphyrine of France (26 August 1750 - 1 September 1755) died in infancy.
  2. Louis Joseph of France, Duke of Burgundy (13 September 1751 - 22 March 1761) died in infancy.
  3. Xavier of France, Duke of Aquitaine (8 September 1753 -22 February 1754_
  4. Louis XVI of France (23 August 1754 – 21 January 1793) married Marie Antoinette and had issue.
  5. Louis XVIII of France (17 November 1755 – 16 September 1824) married Princess Marie Joséphine of Savoy, no issue.
  6. Charles X of France (9 October 1757 - 6 November 1836) married Princess Maria Theresa of Savoy and had issue
  7. Marie Clotilde de France (23 September 1759 – 7 March 1802) married Charles Emmanuel IV of Sardinia, no issue.
  8. Élisabeth of France (3 May 1764 – 10 May 1794) died unmarried.