Monday, 14 November 2016

Charlotte Godefride Élisabeth de Rohan, Princesse de Condé

Charlotte de Rohan was born on 7 October 1737 to Charles de Rohan and Anne Marie Louise de La Tour d'Auvergne. At the age of 2 she lost her mother and inherited the titles of Marquise de Gordes and Comtesse de Moncha. At thirteen years she was awarded the title of Vicomtesse de Guignen - this particular honour was most likely due to her father's close relationship with Louis XV.

Her father had arranged her marriage when she was 16 years old; her prospected bridegroom was Louis Joseph de Bourbon, Prince de Condé. The couple was married on 5 May 1753. Rumours had it that her father had given her no less than 20 million livres as a dowry. Until her marriage Charlotte had had the title of princesse étrangère or foreign princess since her family claimed ancestry from Brittany. Once she married she became a princesse du sang or princess of the blood.

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Charlotte Godefride Élisabeth

Once established at court Charlotte found herself in the inner circles of power. As the Princesse de Condé she was amongst the leading ladies of Versailles. Her marriage would seem to have been an average one but happier than most arranged marriages.

When she did not reside at Versailles Charlotte lived in Paris - where she had also been born - in the Hôtel de Condé. Here she and her husband had three children: two girls and a boy.
The Princesse de Condé was a well-liked figure both at court and in Paris. She was remarked for her charity towards the poor.

Little is known of what actually happened to her there but the Duc de Luynes reports that she had fallen ill with a disease she could not get rid of. Eventually, she would die from it at the age of just 23 years old being "universally regretted". The Parisian newspaper Le Gazette said of her that she possessed "all the Christian and moral virtues" as well as a "sweet and affable character".

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