princess of conti

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Built on a bend of the river Marne in the early 18th century, the Château de Champs-sur-Marne is the archetypal leisure mansion. Owned in turn by the Princess of Conti, the Duke of La Vallière and the Marquise de Pompadour, the Château de Champs played host to some famous guests, including Diderot, d’Alembert and even Voltaire.

In the 19th century, Louis Cahen of Antwerp restored it to the splendour it possessed before the Revolution; he restored the Château in the spirit of the Age of Enlightenment and filled it with exceptional furniture crafted by the leading names in French cabinet-making. His guests included Marcel Proust, Isadora Duncan and the King of Spain Alfonso XIII… The Estate became the property of the State in 1935, then the presidential residence from 1959 to 1974 and welcomed France’s most prestigious guests.

Champs and the cinema

The Château de Champs-sur-Marne boasts some exceptional pieces of furniture and interior decoration reflecting its illustrious past. The grounds, awarded the ‘Remarkable gardens of France’ label, are in a leafy setting of 85 hectares of parkland, where the French-style garden ornaments cohabit harmoniously with the meadows and mature trees of an English-style park.

This remarkable setting has been the inspiration for set designers and film directors for many years. The estate has thus provided the set for more than 80 long and short feature films, and has played host to some famous French and international actors, such as John Malkovich and Glenn Close in ‘Liaisons Dangereuses’ by Stephen Frears (1986), Kirsten Dunst in Sofia Coppola’s ‘Marie-Antoinette’ (2006), or Gérard Depardieu in Roland Joffé’s ‘Vatel’ (1999)

Louise Diane d'Orléans (27 June 1716 – 26 September 1736) was the last child of Philippe d'Orléans, Duke of Orléans (Regent of the Kingdom from 1715 to 1723) and his wife, Françoise Marie de Bourbon, the youngest illegitimate daughter of King Louis XIV of France and his mistress, Madame de Montespan. The Princess of Conti by marriage, she died in childbirth at the age of twenty. Some sources refer to her as Louis Diane. The princess used the name Louise.

Biography

Louise Diane d'Orléans was born in the Palais-Royal, the Paris residence of the House of Orléans, on 27 June 1716 as the youngest child of the Duke and Duchess of Orléans. Elizabeth Charlotte of the Palatinate was her fathers mother and was not impressed at the thought of having another granddaughter.Until her marriage, she was known as Mademoiselle de Chartres . known as Mademoiselle de Chartres. She grew up with her younger sister Élisabeth with a convent education. Her sister would later become the Queen of Spain.

Louise grew up in an era when her father, known as Philippe d'Orléans or simply le Régent was the ruler of France, him being in charge of the affairs of state since the death of Louis XIV. The Palais-Royal was where the Régent held his court and lived openly with his mistress.

In her youth, she was said to have been a very sensitive child and would grow up to be one of the more beautiful of the Regent’s daughters. Despite her being another girl, (1 of 7 overall), her birth was not really greeted with the joy that had met her brother, Louis d'Orléans, Duke of Orléans.

In December 1731, it was decided that she should marry her distant cousin Louis François de Bourbon, Prince of Conti. Her marriage was arranged by her mother Françoise Marie, Dowager Duchess of Orléans and her first cousin (and subsequent mother in law) Louise Élisabeth, Dowager Princess of Conti.

She was baptised on 19 January 1732 by the Cardinal of Rohan and she married the Prince of Conti three days later, on 22 January. The marriage ceremony took place at the Palace of Versailles. Louise was then fifteen years old. At her wedding, her cousin Élisabeth Alexandrine de Bourbon held her train.

After the marriage, she became known at court as Her Serene Highness, the Princess of Conti. Her husband had succeeded to the Conti title in 1727 upon the death of his father, Louis Armand II, Prince of Conti. In 1734, Louise gave birth to a son, heir to the Conti name, and, in 1736, to a second child who died at birth.

Louise died in childbirth on 26 September 1736 outside Paris. She was buried at the Saint-André-des-Arcs church. Her only surviving son, Louis François Joseph, was the last Prince of Conti.