Tuesday, October 19, 2010

October 19, 1851: The Death of Marie-Thérèse-Charlotte of France

It is a curious coincidence that Marie-Thérèse-Charlotte of France, the famous "Madame Royale", eldest daughter and only surviving child of Louis XVI and Marie-Antoinette, passed away only three days after the 58th anniversary of her mother's execution. Marie-Thérèse may seem a bit off topic for this blog, but she was actually a very important person in the youth of the first Queen of the Belgians. She was a cousin, godmother (by proxy) and namesake of the little Louise-Marie-Thérèse-Charlotte-Isabelle d'Orléans, future consort of Leopold I. Marie-Thérèse and Marie-Amélie, Louise-Marie's mother, shared deep faith, hope and charity, as well as close ties of kinship, mutual esteem and affection. Sadly, however, relations between Madame Royale and Louise-Marie's father and aunt, Louis-Philippe and Adélaïde d'Orléans, were severely strained. Understandably, Marie-Thérèse never felt comfortable around the children of the renegade First Prince of the Blood who had voted for the beheading of her own adored father, the King. The July Revolution of 1830 marked the final rupture between the Bourbons and the Orléans. Yet, Madame Royale's charitable public works remained an inspiring model for the new Queen Marie-Amélie and her daughters.

I came across Marie-Thérèse's will on a website devoted to her beloved nephew, Henri V of France, the "Comte de Chambord." It is interesting to compare her last wishes with those of her father and mother:
+OCTOBER 19, 1851+

Following the example of my parents, I forgive, with all my soul, and without exceptions, all those who may have harmed or offended me; sincerely asking God to extend to them His mercy, as well as to me, and supplicating Him to accord me pardon for my faults.

I thank all the FRENCHMEN who have remained attached to my family and to me for the proofs of devotion that they have given us, for the sufferings and pains they endured because of us.

I pray God to pour out His blessings on FRANCE, which I have always loved, even in the midst of my bitterest afflictions.

Having always considered my nephew HENRI and my niece LOUISE as my children, I give them my maternal blessing. They have had the happiness to have been raised in our holy religion, may they always remain faithful to it, may they always be worthy descendants of SAINT LOUIS! May my nephew consecrate his happy faculties to the accomplishment of the great duties which his position imposes upon him! May he never depart from the ways of moderation, justice and truth!

1 comment:

May said...

I am delighted that it meets with your approval, Elena Maria!