Louis, Dauphin of France (1729–1765)

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Dauphin of France
Louis, Dauphin of France, c. 1765; workshop of Alexander Roslin
Spouse Maria Teresa Rafaela of Spain
Maria Josepha of Saxony
Louis XVI
Charles X
Marie Clothilde, Queen of Sardinia
Full name
Louis Ferdinand de France
House House of Bourbon
Father Louis XV
Mother Marie Leszczyńska
Born 4 September 1729(1729-09-04)
Palace of Versailles, France
Died 20 December 1765(1765-12-20) (aged 36)
Château de Fontainebleau, France
Religion Roman Catholicism

Louis of France (Louis Ferdinand; 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 who died before reaching adulthood 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 being buried at the Royal Basilica of Saint Denis.

Children[change | change source]

  1. Marie Thérèse of France (19 July 1746 – 27 April 1748). Named after her mother, she died young.
  2. Marie Zéphyrine of France (26 August 1750 - 1 September 1755) died in young.
  3. Louis Joseph of France, Duke of Burgundy (13 September 1751 - 22 March 1761) died young.
  4. Xavier of France, Duke of Aquitaine (8 September 1753 -22 February 1754_
  5. Louis XVI of France (23 August 1754 – 21 January 1793) married Marie Antoinette and had children.
  6. Louis XVIII of France (17 November 1755 – 16 September 1824) married Princess Marie Joséphine of Savoy, no children.
  7. Charles X of France (9 October 1757 - 6 November 1836) married Princess Maria Theresa of Savoy and had children
  8. Marie Clotilde de France (23 September 1759 – 7 March 1802) married Charles Emmanuel IV of Sardinia, no children.
  9. Élisabeth of France (3 May 1764 – 10 May 1794) died unmarried.