Marguerite Louise d'Orléans

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Marguerite Louise d'Orléans
Grand Duchess of Tuscany
Consort 23 May 1670 – 17 September 1721
Spouse Cosimo III de' Medici
Issue
Ferdinando, Grand Prince of Tuscany
Anna Maria Luisa, Electress Palatine
Gian Gastone, Grand Duke of Tuscany
Full name
Marguerite Louise d'Orléans
House House of Bourbon
House of Medici
Father Gaston of France, Duke of Orléans
Mother Marguerite of Lorraine
Born 28 July 1645(1645-07-28)
Château de Blois, France
Died 17 September 1721(1721-09-17) (aged 76)
15 Place des Vosges, Paris, France
Burial Picpus Cemetery, Paris, France

Marguerite Louise d'Orléans (28 July 1645 – 17 September 1721) was Grand Duchess of Tuscany, as the wife of Grand Duke Cosimo III de' Medici. Deprived of her lover, Charles V of Lorraine, Marguerite Louise despised her husband and his family, whom she often quarrelled with and falsely suspected of attempting to poison her. Marguerite Louise reconciled with the Medici on more than one occasion, however, only to promptly resume hostilities.

Having become Grand Duke of Tuscany upon his father's death, in 1670, Cosimo III, under the sway of his mother, Vittoria della Rovere, refused to grant Marguerite Louise entry to the Privy Council. Thus without political influence, Marguerite Louise sorted the education of her eldest son, Grand Prince Ferdinando. Two more children followed: Anna Maria Luisa, Electress Palatine, and Gian Gastone, the last Medici Grand Duke of Tuscany.

In June 1675, Marguerite Louise was allowed to return to France to live in a convent in Paris. She was a daughter of Gaston de France, Duke of Orléans. Although the contract, banned her from leaving the convent, Marguerite Louise often went to her cousin Louis XIV's court at Versailles. She was at the centre of many scandals at the convent, including an attempt to burn it down, which greatly irritated her husband, who, despite the separation, took great interest in Marguerite Louise's life. While still technically married, Marguerite Louise had several affairs.

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