Maria Theresa of Spain (Sept. 10-30 July-1683) was a double first cousin to King Louis XIV. Louis XIV’s father was Louis XIII of France, who was the brother of Maria Theresa’s Mother, while her father was brother to Anne of Austria, Louis XIV.s Mother,
The purpose of the marriage, arranged for them, was to end the long standing war between France and Spain. Famed for her virtue and piety, she saw five of her six children die in early childhood, and is frequently viewed as an object of pity in historical accounts of her husband’s reign, since she had no choice but to tolerate his many love affairs.
A marriage by proxy between Maria Therese and the French king was held in Fuerterrabla. Her father and the entire Spanish court accompanied the bride to the Isle of Pheasants, on the border of the two countries, near the Bidassoa river, where Louis and his court met Maria Theresa of Austria on 7 the June 1669, as she entered France.
On June 9 the marriage took place in Saint Jean de Luz at the recently rebuilt church of St. Jean the Baptist. After the wedding Louis wanted to consummate the marriage as quickly as possible. The new queen’s mother in law (and aunt) arranged a private consummation instead of the public one planned.Traditional Joyous Entry into Paris by Louis XIV and Queen Maria Theresa on 26 August, 1660.
Louis was faithful to his wife for the first year of their marriage, commanding the Grand Marechal du Lugis that “the Queen and himself were never to be set apart, no matter how small the house in which they might be lodging.”
The first time Maria Theresa ever saw the Palace of Versailles was in October 1660. At that time it was just a small royal residence that had been King Louis XIII’s hunting lodge not far from Paris. Later the first building campaign (1554-1668) commenced with the Plaisirs de l’lle enchantee of 1664, a week long celebration at Versaillesheld in honour of France’s two Queens, Louis XIV’s mother and wife was held at the Plaisirs.Plaisirs de l’lle enchantee is often associated with the War of Devolution, which Louis waged against Spain. The first building campaign witnessed alterations in the chateau and gardens in order to accomadate the 600 guests invited to the celebration.
As time passed, Maria Theresa had to tolderate her husband’s prolonged infidelity with Francoise-Athenais, Marquise de Montespan.
Montespan would be reprimanded in the court if she did not show proper respect to the position of the Queen
Later the governess of Montespan’s illegitimate children by the King, Francoise d’Augigne, Marquise de Montenon came to supplant her mistress in the kings affection. At first she resisted the kings advances and encouraged him to bestow more attention on his long neglected wife, a thoughtfulness which Maria Theresa repaid with warmth toward the new favorite. After the queen’s death, Maintenon would become the king’s second, although officially secret wife
During the last week of July 1683, Maria Theresa fell ill and, as her illness worsened, her husband ordered for the sacraments to be kept nearby. She died a painful death at Versailles on July 30, 1683, at Versailles. Upon her death, Louis XIV said: “This is the first Chagrin that she has ever given to me.
The Hall of Mirrors in the Palace of Versailles as seen today.
Note Bene: One of my favorite authors, Solange Hertz, has taken me on a truth ride through the land of the eldest daughter of the Church. The history of France can be traced back to King Clovis, a Catholic King (convert), ruling a Catholic nation … the first
Source: Utopia Nowhere by Solange Hertz
To Be Continued