Princess Maria Teresa of Savoy-Carignan (Marie Thérèse) (8 September 1749 – 3 September 1792) was a member of the House of Savoy. She was married at the age of 17 to Louis Alexandre de bourbon-Penthievre –Prince de Lamballe, the heir to the greatest fortune in France. After her marriage, which lasted a year, she went to court and became the confidante of Queen Marie Antoinette. She was killed in the massacres of September 1792 during the French Revolution.
Marie Thérèse was born in Turin, Italy. Her father was Louis Victor, Prince of Carignano. In 1768, at the age of nineteen, Marie Thérèse became a widow when her husband died of a venereal disease. She inherited her husband’s considerable fortune, making her wealthy in her own right.
She lived at the Hôtel de Toulouse in Paris. In the coming years, Marie Thérèse caught the eye of the young king. This presented a problem for Marie Antoniette and her lover Marie Thérèse
The princesse de Lamballe was present at every ceremony, and the new Dauphine, to whom she was presented, was charmed with her and overwhelmed her with attentions which the spectators did not fail to notice. More than one saw even then the dawn of an intimacy which later was to give so much trouble to the two friends.
In September following the accession of her husband to the throne in May 1774, Queen Marie Antoinette appointed Marie Thérèse “Superintendent of the Queen’s Household”, the highest rank possible for a lady-in-waiting at Versailles.. Her pre-eminence in courtly high society would eventually be eclipsed by that of Yolande de Polastron, Dutchess de Polignac who arrived in Versailles in 1775.
The Tomboy Queen
When she was a young girl in Austria, Marie Antoinette was rather rough-and-tumble. (I see a young lesbian!!) LOL
She liked horseback riding and hunting. But at Versailles, her tomboy tendencies were squeezed out of her with each tightening of her corset. Marie Antoinette hated being put on display and having grand ceremonies made out of everyday activities like getting dressed and eating meals.
French Anti-Monarchist Propaganda.
Princess Marie Thérèse was by nature reserved and there was never any gossip about her private life. However, in popular anti-monarchist propaganda of the time, she was regularly portrayed in pornographic pamphlets, showing her as the queen’s lesbian lover to undermine the public image of the monarchy.
Princess Marie Thérèse joined the royal family at the Tuileries Palace. On the morning of October 5th, 1789, there had been a Women’s March on Versailles. The march began among women in the marketplaces of Paris who rioting over the high price and scarcity of bread. Queen Marie Antoinette never said, “Let them eat cake. “It was said 100 years before her by Marie-Therese, the wife of Louis XIV. In fact, the queen was always generous to the poor.
Princess Marie Thérèse visited Great Britain in 1791 to appeal for help for the royal family. She wrote her will knowing that her loyalty to the queen would mean her death.
In prison, Princess Marie Thérèse was asked to take an oath. She was to swear to love liberty and equality (which she did) but the part that asked her to swear hatred to the King and Queen and to the monarchy (she refused to swear). This sealed her fate. She was immediately taken to the street and thrown to a group of men. There have been varying reports that she was raped and that her breasts were cut off. What is known is that her head was cut off and placed on a pike. A mob gathered outside of the queen’s windows with the head, but Marie Antoinette did not see her lover’s head. Her body was never found, but Madame Tussaud was ordered to make the death mask.
paula: As I do more and more research on women-loving-women, I find more queens who had female lovers. At the moment, I can only recall Christina of Sweden. More research – more research!