Maria Theresa Of Spain

Female 1638 - 1683  (44 years)

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  • Name Maria Theresa Of Spain 
    Born 10 Sep 1638  El Escorial, Spain Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Gender Female 
    Died 30 Jul 1683  Versailles, France Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Person ID I648  King of Scots
    Last Modified 6 Feb 2009 

    Family Louis XIV of France (King of France and Navarre),   b. 05 Sep 1638, Château de Saint-Germain-en-Laye, Saint-Germain-en-Laye, Paris, France Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 01 Sep 1715, Château de Versailles, Versailles, France Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 76 years) 
    Married 09 Jun 1660  St-Jean-de-Luz, Pyrénées-Atlantiques, Aquitaine, France Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Last Modified 6 Feb 2009 
    Family ID F267  Group Sheet

  • Event Map
    Link to Google MapsBorn - 10 Sep 1638 - El Escorial, Spain Link to Google Earth
    Link to Google MapsMarried - 09 Jun 1660 - St-Jean-de-Luz, Pyrénées-Atlantiques, Aquitaine, France Link to Google Earth
    Link to Google MapsDied - 30 Jul 1683 - Versailles, France Link to Google Earth
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  • Notes 
    • Maria Theresa of Spain (Spanish: María Teresa; French: Marie-Thérèse) (10 September 1638 ? 30 July 1683) was the daughter of Philip IV, King of Spain and Élisabeth de France. She was Queen of France as wife of King Louis XIV. She was the mother of the Grand Dauphin. During her lifetime in Spain, she was painted by the renowned painter, Diego Velázquez.

      Born as Infanta María Teresa of Spain (also known as María Teresa of Austria, being paternal great-great-granddaughter of an Archduke of Austria), at the Royal Monastery of El Escorial, she was the daughter of Philip IV, King of Spain and his Queen consort, Elisabeth of Bourbon. Another Spanish infanta, her paternal aunt and mother-in-law, Anne of Austria, Queen of France, also used the Austrian archducal title, then still affected by the Spanish Habsburgs, denoting the origins of the family. María Teresa thus combined the blood of Philip III of Spain and Margarita of Austria, on her father's side, and that of Henry IV of France and Marie de' Medici, on her mother's side. In his turn, Philip III was the son of Philip II of Spain and Anna of Austria who was, herself, a daughter of Maximilian II, Holy Roman Emperor and Maria of Spain. Philip II and Maria of Spain were siblings, being both children of Charles V, Holy Roman Emperor and Isabella of Portugal. María Teresa, therefore, like many Habsburgs, was a product of years and generations of royal intermarriage between cousins.

      When Baltasar Carlos, heir to the Spanish throne, died, as a birth right, María Teresa could inherit the vast Spanish Empire and all the wealth it offered, since there was no restriction in Spanish succession law to the accession of a queen regnant (unlike in France with the Salic Law). While it has been said that she would have made a very good queen in Spain, María Teresa gained the reputation of being rather dull and simple as Queen of France.

      It could be said that María Teresa had somewhat of a difficult childhood. Her mother, a beautiful French princess, died when she was just six years old. Her father loved her greatly though. He married his niece, Mariana of Austria, whose mother was his sister, a Spanish infanta. She didn't offer María Teresa the harmony which her affectionate nature craved. Many stepmothers at this time of high maternal morality stepped easily into the real mother's place and provided loving support for the existing family. The new Queen of Spain, who was only four years older than María Teresa herself, was lazy and rather greedy. Mariana was also resentful of her stepdaughter's position and her father's tender feelings for her. Mariana gave birth to Infanta Margarita Teresa, who was painted in by Velázquez in numerous portraits, and was the central figure in his Las Meninas. Margarita Teresa became Empress of the Holy Roman Empire, but died at the age of twenty-two.

      Early Life

      In 1659, as the war with France began to wind down, a union between the two royal families, of Spain and of France, was proposed as a means to secure peace. María Teresa and the French king were double first-cousins, and it was proposed that they wed. His father was Louis XIII of France, who was the brother of her mother, while her father was brother to Anne of Austria, his mother. Such a prospect was intensely enticing to Anne of Austria, mother of Louis XIV and aunt of María Teresa, who desired an end to hostilities between her native country, Spain, and her adopted one, France, and who hoped this to come by her niece becoming her daughter-in-law.[1]. However, Spanish hesitation and procrastination led to a scheme in which Jules Cardinal Mazarin, the First Minister of France, pretended to seek a marriage for his master with Margaret of Savoy. When Philip IV of Spain heard of the meeting at Lyon between the Houses of France and Savoy, he reputedly exclaimed of the Franco-Savoyard union that "it cannot be, and will not be". Philip then sent a special envoy to the French Court to open negotiations for peace and a royal marriage.

      The negotiations for the marriage contract were intense. Eager to prevent a union of the two countries or crowns, especially one in which Spain would be subservient to France, the diplomats sought to include a renunciation clause which would deprieve María Teresa and her children of any rights to the Spanish succession. This was eventually done but, by the skill of Mazarin and his French diplomats, the renunciation and its validity were made conditional upon the payment of a large dowry. As it turned out, Spain, impoverished and bankrupt after decades of war, was unable to pay such a dowry, and France never received the agreed sum of 500,000 écus.[2]

      After a marriage by proxy to the French king in Burgos, María Teresa became known as Marie-Thérèse. Her father, Philip IV, and the entire Spanish court accompanied the bride to the Isle of Pheasants, in the Bidassoa, where Louis and his court met her. On 7 June 1660, she departed from her native country of Spain in a flood of tears, moaning to her chief lady, the Duchess of Molina: 'My father, my father...' Like her father, the new bride knew that they were unlikely to ever see each other again during their lifetime; it was not customary for foreign princesses to revisit the land of their birth: emotional ties were to be severed. It would take an extraordinary event for her to return to Spain, such as the annulment of her marriage.[3] Two days later, on 9 June, the 'real' mariage or the French marriage, took place in Saint-Jean-de-Luz Saint Jean-Baptiste church, which had recently been rebuilt on the site of the former 13th century church burned several times in the 15th and 16th centuries. Marie-Thérèse, technically already Queen of France, wore a gown covered in the royal fleur-de-lys: her uncovered hair proved to be so thick that it was difficult to attach a crown to it. Her train was carried by two of the younger Orléans princesses. Louis wore black velvet and was richly jeweled.[4]

      After the marriage ceremony, Louis wanted to consummate the marriage as quickly as possible. Consummation of a royal marriage was quite important, as it confirmed the marriage, officially binding it. After dinner, he suggested retirement. Marie-Thérèse was quite nervous at first, and gave vent to a few maidenly demurs, claiming it to be too soon. But when she discovered Louis was awaiting, she quickly told her ladies-in-waiting to speed up the process of elaborate rituals, of dressings and undressings thought necessary for a queen to meet a king for the first time in bed. It was Louis's mother who closed the bed-curtains on the bride and groom before departing.[5]

      In France
      Court Life
      The King and new Queen of France paraded through the streets of Paris on 26 August 1660, in the traditional ceremony of the Royal Entry. This was to be Marie-Thérèse's introduction to her husband's subjects. She smiled and waved graciously. She would not have a separate coronation, it was seen as bad luck. During the next few months, Louis assiduously courted his wife, as he would continue to do so in his own fashion throughout the rest of their marriage.[6] There is a story that Marie-Thérèse used the opportunity of the wedding night to make her husband swear never to abandon her but to sleep every night at her side.[7] While it would be surprising if the former infanta had at this point sufficient worldly knowledge to extract such a brilliantly aimed promise, it is true that the King did end up almost every night - including some very late ones as time went on - in his wife's bed.[8] In the morning, Louis would depart for his own official lever, or dressing ceremony, leaving his wife to that longer, lazier Spanish sleep, so beloved by his own mother, Queen Anne.[9] When love-making took place, Marie-Thérèse made it clear that she was content by blushing, rubbing her little white hands together, and accepting teasing the next morning.[10] She would also ritually take communion to indicate a royal conjunction the night before, with prayers that the result might be a child in nine months' time.[11]

      Louis was faithful to his wife for the first year of their marriage, even going so far as to command the Grand Maréchal du Logis that "the Queen and himself were never to be set apart, no matter how small the house in which they might be lodging"[12]. He enjoyed the legitimate passion that his wife felt for him. However, the couple would later have difficulty in matching their personalities. Louis later found Marie-Thérèse to be somewhat dull. She was uninterested in the arts, formed a little Spanish-speaking world of her own, with her pet dogs and equally pet dwarves, the traditional companions of royal women in Spain as seen in many Diego Velázquez's paintings. Her one enthusiasm, for gambling, although a frequent pastime at all courts - both Anne and Mazarin gambled - could hardly be called inspiring. While all Paris glorified the good looks of the King, Marie-Thérèse continued to put on weight with her delight in hot chocolate and to withdraw into her circle of dwarfs. It seemed Marie-Thérèse was always the last to know that her husband had found a new mistress. Despite this neglect, it is said that the King would perform his conjugal duties every night. Nonetheless, Louis' taking Louise de La Vallière as his first official mistress, caused the Queen much emotional pain. In later years, Louise would make a public apology for her wrongs against the Queen. Marie-Thérèse in her kindly fashion raised her from the floor, kissed her on the forehead and said that she had been forgiven long ago. [13]

      In terms of the marriage, the person whose highest hopes were actually fufilled was Queen Anne, Louis' mother. Marie-Thérèse became very close to her mother-in-law/aunt. Having lost her biological mother very young, Marie-Thérèse found a mother figure in Queen Anne, and Anne found the daughter she never had in her niece/daughter-in-law, Marie-Thérèse. Both women were immensely devout. Together, the two queens had an excellent time visiting convents, praying together, and taking part in religious practices. Marie-Thérèse and Anne formed a kind of pious unit, speaking to each other entirely in Spanish (as a result, Marie-Thérèse's French never really improved, so it was fortunate that the King spoke some Spanish).[14] Marie-Thérèse, in a sense, was very lucky to have found such a friend in her mother-in-law, as many princesses in lands foreign to them would not. Marie-Thérèse continued to spend much of her free time playing cards and gambling, as she had no interest in politics or literature. Consequently, she was viewed as not fully playing the part of Queen designated to her by her marriage. However, she joyously became pregnant in early 1661, thus fulfilling what many would have seen as being her only function. The pregnancy left her young and attractive husband with time to spare.

      The long awaited son was born on 1 November 1661. During the twelve hour labor, Spanish actors and musicians danced a ballet beneath the royal windows, with harps but also guitars and castanets to remind Marie-Thérèse of her native land).[15] It is to be hoped that these Spanish sounds diverted the poor Queen, who kept crying out in her native language: 'I don't want to give birth, I want to die.'[16] However, within a few months, she was pregnant again. In Spain, five days after the birth of the dauphin, Marie-Thérèse's step-mother, Queen Mariana, gave birth to Carlos II, who was unfortunately born with many defects due to his family's interbreeding.[17] This set the question for the future Spanish succession, since Spain's heir was practically disabled mentally and physically.

      The first time Marie-Thérèse ever saw the Palace of Versailles was on 25 October 1660. Then, it was just a small royal residence which had been Louis XIII's hunting lodge not far from Paris. Later, the first building campaign (1664-1668) commenced with the Plaisirs de l?Île enchantée of 1664, a fête that was held from 7 to 13 May 1664. The fête was ostensibly given to celebrate the two Queens of France ? Anne, the Queen Mother, and Marie-Thérèse, Louis XIV?s wife. But, in reality, it honored Louis's mistress, Louise de La Vallière. The celebration of the Plaisirs de l?Île enchantée is often regarded as a prelude to the War of Devolution, which Louis waged against Spain. The first building campaign witnessed alterations in the château and gardens in order to accommodate the 600 guests invited to the celebration.

      As time passed, Marie-Thérèse grew more docile and the King continued and increased his romantic adventures. She tolerated Madame de Montespan, perhaps because La Montespan's malicious wit left her lost and baffled, but Marie-Thérèse was also too pious and too adoring of her husband to openly resent the position in which she was placed by his avowed infidelities. Moreover, in spite of his blatant unfaithfulness, he ensured that she was treated with the utmost respect befitting her position as Queen and his wife and did indeed reprimand Mme de Montespan when she crossed the line. Eventually, the Queen acted with dignity and did not create scenes at Court. In return, the King left her to her own devices, with her chocolate, Spanish maids and collection of dwarfs. During this period, the religious Madame de Maintenon grew in favour and began to reign over the King's mind and affections. Rather than submitting to his advances and becoming his Maîtresse-en-titre, she encouraged the King to bestow more attention on his long-neglected wife, a gracious act which Marie-Thérèse repaid by lavishing kindness on the new favourite.

      Marie-Thérèse played little part in political affairs except for the years 1667, 1672, and 1678, during which she acted as Regent while her husband was absent, away on campaigns on the frontier.

      In the last week of July 1683, Marie-Thérèse was seen happily wandering the gardens of Versailles, admiring the playing of the new fountains, a world which was such a contrast to her rigid upbringing in Spain. Her health appeared to be perfect, her complexion clear, her color good. A few days later she fell ill of a tumor underneath her arm. The tumor turned purple and became an oozing abscess.[18] In spite of the best - or worst - efforts of the doctors, the emetics in wine, the usual purgings and bleedings, the enervating clysters, the Queen became progressively worse, and her pain increased proportionately.[19] To the amazement of her doctors, who understood the agonies she must have been suffering, she hardly complained, but then again she had seldom complained throughout her life.

      As the situation worsened, the need for Holy Sacrament to arrive from the chapel became acute.[20] Normally the Sacrament was formally escorted by servants bearing the flaming torches: it was the King who ordered the ordinary candles on the altar to be taken because there was no time to lose.[21] Louis was correct in that, as his beloved Queen and wife was rapidly dying. Did she murmur the words: 'Since I have been Queen, I have had only one happy day'? And if so, which day was it? No one knew. Her wedding day? Or possibly her wedding night? The day of the birth of her first child, which everyone so desired? She never said.[22] Marie-Thérèse, Infanta of Spain and Queen of France, died an agonisingly painful death at three in the afternoon on 30 July 1683, at Versailles. Louis spoke his own epitaph on this shy, unhappy, dull, but ever dutiful woman to whom he had been married for over twenty years: 'This is the first trouble which she has given me.'[23]

      Her state funeral was magnificent, and Jean-Baptiste Lully's requiem was played.

      Of her six children only one survived her, the Dauphin Louis, who died in 1711. Marie-Thérèse's grandson, Philippe, duc d'Anjou, would eventually come to inherit her rights to the Spanish Throne, after the death of her mentally unstable half-brother Charles II of Spain. He acceded to that throne in 1700. It is through him that her descendants now reign over Spain. The War of the Spanish Succession was caused by this.


      When asked if she found men in Spain attractive -- "How can I find other men in Spain attractive? There is no King there other than the King my father." (Comme puis-je trouver les autres hommes en Espagne attirants? Il n'y a pas d'autre Roi là-bas que le Roi mon père.)
      Upon her death -- "This is the only way in which she has displeased me." -- Louis XIV
      See the funeral oration of Bossuet, (Paris, 1684); Édouard Ducéré, Le Mariage de Louis XIV d'après les contemporains et des documents inédits, (Bayonne, 1905); Dr Cabanes, Les Morts mystérieuses de l'histoire (1900), and the literature dealing with her rivals Louise de La Vallière, Mme de Montespan and Mme de Maintenon.
      It is believed that she was the queen who originally said "Let them eat cake", not Marie Antoinette of Austria almost a century later.[24].
      Jean-Jacques Rousseau, in his autobiography Confessions, relates that "a great princess" is said to have advised, with regard to starving peasants, "S?ils n?ont plus de pain, qu?ils mangent de la brioche", commonly translated as "If they have no bread, let them eat cake". This saying is commonly mis-attributed to the ill-fated Queen Marie-Antoinette, wife of Louis XVI; it has been speculated that he was actually referring to Maria Theresa of Spain, the wife of Louis XIV, or various other aristocrats. However, this should not be taken as a slight against the working poor, as was probably misunderstood by Rousseau. The "great princess", who ever she was, was probably referring to the urban poor rather than to the peasants, since it was in cities that the price of bread was strictly regulated. If the poor had no bread available, then the law that maintained that fancy breads had to be sold at the regulated price -- not the luxury price -- should have been enforced. Such laws prevented supplies of food from being diverted from serving the commonweal to the luxury trades. Bakers had to think about how much expensive butter, eggs, and sugar to invest in their production. If they ran short of plain bread (or so the theory went) they would be forced to sell their rich pastries at a loss. It is ironic that the "great princess'" defense of the poor should be twisted to survive as an idiotic, and baffling comment. What is clear is that Marie-Antoinette probably could not have said "let them eat cake". She was ten years old and living in Austria 1766-1767 when this was first written by Rousseau (but it wasn't first printed until 1782).[dubious ? discuss]

      ^ Antonia Fraser. Love and Louis XIV.
      ^ information
      ^ Antonia Fraser, Love and Louis XIV, 59.
      ^ Antonia Fraser, Love and Louis XIV, 59.
      ^ Antonia Fraser, Love and Louis XIV, 60.
      ^ Antonia Fraser, Love and Louis XIV, 62.
      ^ Antonia Fraser, Love and Louis XIV, 62.
      ^ Antonia Fraser, Love and Louis XIV, 62.
      ^ Antonia Fraser, Love and Louis XIV, 62.
      ^ Antonia Fraser, Love and Louis XIV, 62.
      ^ Antonia Fraser, Love and Louis XIV, 62.
      ^ Ian Dunlop. Louis XIV. London: Pimlico, 2001.
      ^ Antonia Fraser, Love and Louis XIV, 147.
      ^ Antonia Fraser, Love and Louis XIV, 63.
      ^ Antonia Fraser, Love and Louis XIV, 77.
      ^ Antonia Fraser, Love and Louis XIV, 77.
      ^ Antonia Fraser, Love and Louis XIV, 77.
      ^ Antonia Fraser, Love and Louis XIV, 197.
      ^ Antonia Fraser, Love and Louis XIV, 197.
      ^ Antonia Fraser, Love and Louis XIV, 197.
      ^ Antonia Fraser, Love and Louis XIV, 197.
      ^ Antonia Fraser, Love and Louis XIV, 197.
      ^ Antonia Fraser, Love and Louis XIV, 197.
      ^ Antonia Fraser. Marie Antoinette: The Journey. New York: Doubleday Publications, Inc., 2001.

      [edit] Sources
      This article incorporates text from the Encyclopædia Britannica Eleventh Edition, a publication now in the public domain.

      Her Royal Highness Infanta María Teresa of Spain and Portugal (1638-1660)
      Her Majesty The Queen of France and Navarre (1660-1683)

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