torsdag den 23. februar 2017

Marie Leszczynska & Marie Josèphe's Relationship

When Louis XV decided to look for a new bride for his son, Louis Ferdinand, there were plenty of candidates. The choice eventually fell on Marie Josèphe of Saxony to the chagrin of the Queen.

Marie Leszczynska had her own reasons to wish another young woman to be her daughter-in-law. Marie Leszczynska's father, Stanislaw I of Poland, had been dethroned by Augustus II who happened to be Marie Josèphe's grandfather. The Queen was humiliated at the prospect of having to greet the prodigy of a man who had ruined her own family's lives. When Marie Leszczynska was chosen to marry Louis XV she was living in exile with her deposed father and mother; it is very likely that the family would have had to live in poverty and obscurity had she not become Queen of France.

The Queen attempted to sway her husband to choose another bride but Louis XV would not hear it. Consequently, Marie Josèphe married the Dauphin on 9 February 1747.

Understandably, the meeting between these two women were the subject of much interest. Custom dictated that a royal bride wore a bracelet with a portrait of her father on it. Rumour has it that when Marie Leszczynska asked to see the new Dauphine's bracelet she was surprised to be shown a portrait of her own father. Marie Josèphe explained that the Duc de Lorraine - the courtesy title given to Marie Leszczynska's father - was now her grandfather through marriage.
Later, the Dauphine would continue to honour her mother-in-law's father by naming one of her sons in his honour.

Over the following years their relationship would become steadily better and they happened to become rather good friends. They were even painted together holding hands.


Here is the portrait, 1765


Ironically, Marie Josèphe opposed the match between her son and Marie Antoinette since Maria Theresia had ousted Marie Josèphe's own mother from her throne.

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