Women in History: Queens and Princesses

31) The last Madame Royale

Marie Thérèse Charlotte of France (19 December 1778 – 19 October 1851) was the eldest child of Louis XVI and Marie Antoinette.

She married her cousin, Louis Antoine, Duke of Angoulême, the eldest son of the future Charles X. Once married, she assumed her husband’s title and was known as the Duchess of Angoulême. She became the Dauphine of France upon the accession of her father-in-law to the throne of France in 1824. Technically she was Queen of France for twenty minutes, in 1830, between the time her father-in-law signed the instrument of abdication and the time her husband, reluctantly, signed the same document

Get to Know me Meme, Royalist Edition

[7/10] Pieces of Jewellery - The Duchesse d’Angouleme’s Emerald Tiara

This tiara was made in 1819/1820 for Marie Therese Charlotte, Duchesse d’Angouleme, as a gift from her husband, Louis Antoine, the Duc d’Angouleme. It was made of unmounted stones from the French crown jewels, and set in gold and silver. It contains 40 emeralds and over a thousand diamonds.

When her father in law/uncle Charles X abdicated the throne in 1830, as did her husband immediately after, the family went into exile and Marie Therese was forced to return the tiara to the treasury. It remained packed away until Napoleon III came to the throne, when it was frequently worn by his wife, Empress Eugenie. Unfortunately, there are no known portraits or photographs of either woman wearing it. When Napoleon III went into exile in 1870, Eugenie also had to return the tiara to the treasury.

It was displayed at the Paris World’s Fair in 1878, and then at the Louvre in 1884. In 1887, it was sold at auction along with the majority of the other french crown jewels. It wasn’t seen again until it surfaced in the vaults of the Wartski jewellers. The owner was apparently unaware of its’ history, but allowed it to be displayed at the Victoria and Albert Museum from 1982-2002. The tiara was then but up for sale, but the British government placed a temporary export ban on it so that funds could be raised to keep it in the country. They weren’t successful in raising the money, but an arrangement was made with the Louvre museum to have it returned to their collection. It is now on display there, along with other surviving items from the French crown jewels.

Medaglione con miniatura di Luigi XVII. Il medaglione apparteneva a Madame Royale e si dice che l’orfanella del Tempio lo avesse con se quando venne liberata nel 1795. Oltre alla miniatura (del delfino che legge un libro) all’interno del medaglione si possono leggere le seguenti parole: 
"Cher par Son objet cher par Celui qui le traça Il Est pour Moi un Gage De Souvenir Et de Tendresse 24 Décembre 1794”.
Il significato dovrebbe essere ” Questo oggetto mi è caro quanto colui che vi è dipinto. Per me è ricordo e pegno di grande tenerezza 24 dicembre 1794”

Esposto in occasione della mostra per il bicentenario della nascita della regina, nel 1955, il medaglione appartiene alla collezione del Conte di Parigi. Attualmente il suo valore oscilla tra i 6000 e gli 8000€