louise francoise de bourbon

Louise Françoise de Bourbon, Légitimée de France (1 June 1673 – 16 June 1743) was the eldest surviving legitimised daughter of Louis XIV of France and his maîtresse-en-titre, Madame de Montespan. She was said to have been named after her godmother,Louise de La Vallière, the woman that her mother had replaced as the king’s mistress. Prior to her marriage, she was known at court as Mademoiselle de Nantes.

Married at the age of eleven, she became known as Madame la Duchesse, a style which she kept as a widow. She was, Duchess of Bourbon and Princess of Condé by marriage. She was later a leading member of the cabale de Meudon, a group of people who centered on Louis, le Grand Dauphin her older half brother. Whilst her son, Louis Henri, Duke of Bourbon was Prime Minister of France she tried to further her political influence but to little avail.

Very attractive, she had a turbulent love life and was frequently part of scandal during the reign of her father Louis XIV. Later in life, she built the Palais Bourbon in Paris, the present seat of the National Assembly of France, with the fortune she amassed having invested greatly in the Système de Law.