Elisabeth Therese of Lorraine

Elisabeth Therese of Lorraine (15 October 1711 3 July 1741) was born a Princess of Lorraine and was the last queen consort of Charles Emmanuel III of Sardinia.[1] The sister of Francis Stephan, Duke of Lorraine,[1] she died as a result of giving birth to Benedetto of Savoy.

Elisabeth Therese of Lorraine
Queen consort of Sardinia
Tenure1 April 1737 3 July 1741
Born(1711-10-15)15 October 1711
Château de Lunéville, Lorraine
Died3 July 1741(1741-07-03) (aged 29)
Palace of Venaria, Turin
SpouseCharles Emmanuel III of Sardinia
IssueCarlo, Duke of Aosta
Princess Maria Vittoria
Benedetto, Duke of Chablais
Full name
Élisabeth Thérèse
FatherLeopold, Duke of Lorraine
MotherÉlisabeth Charlotte d'Orléans


Princess Elisabeth Therese was born at the Château de Lunéville and was the eleventh of fifteen children of Leopold Joseph of Lorraine and his wife Élisabeth Charlotte d'Orléans.[1] Her mother was a niece of Louis XIV and her father, a son of Eleanor of Austria, Queen of Poland. Her eldest brother became Francis I, Holy Roman Emperor, four years after her death. As a princess of Lorraine she was entitled to the style of Highness as well as the rank of foreign princess in France. During the coronation of the king in October 1722, Elisabeth Therese, her mother, and her sisters Anne Charlotte and Marie Louise went to the French court. Elisabeth Therese's grandmother found her three granddaughters very charming as well as attractive, though Anne Charlotte was deemed the most beautiful.


In the spring of 1725, the young King Louis XV was fifteen and unmarried. He was engaged to Mariana Victoria of Spain, but the young princess was sent back to Spain because she was too young to conceive. As a result, Élisabeth Charlotte began negotiations to marry her daughter to the king. However, this was met with opposition from the king's prime minister, the Duke of Bourbon, who arranged for the king marry an obscure Polish princess, Marie Leszczynska later that year. The duke of Bourbon stated that marriages between the kings of France and princesses of Lorraine always resulted in strife, and that the House of Lorraine was too closely related to the House of Habsburg, which would cause discontent and conflict with the French nobility. [2]

Her father died in 1729 amid negotiations regarding a marriage between the then seventeen-year-old Elisabeth Therese and her recently widowed cousin Louis d'Orléans, Duke of Orléans. He refused outright, much to the annoyance of her mother.[3] The match having come to nothing, leading her mother to name her daughter the coadjutrice of Remiremont Abbey on 19 October 1734.[4] The Abbey of Remiremont was closely associated with the House of Lorraine. Her younger sister Anne Charlotte was later the abbess of the prestigious institution.


In 1736 her brother the Duke of Lorraine married the Archduchess Maria Theresa of Austria, daughter and heiress apparent of Charles VI, Holy Roman Emperor. The union between the House of Lorraine and the House of Habsburg allowed a more prestigious marriage for the unwed princess. The already twice widowed Charles Emmanuel III of Sardinia asked for her hand in late 1736.

She married the King of Sardinia by proxy on 5 March 1737 at Lunéville with the Prince of Carignan, who was the prince's brother-in-law, acting as the king. The day after the proxy marriage, she left for Lyon where she arrived on 14 March. Her brother the Duke of Lorraine raised a dowry for her and the marriage contract was signed in Vienna by the Duke and Duchess of Lorraine and Emperor Charles VI.[5]

The couple married in person on 1 April 1737. Charles Emmanuel III was her first cousin, his mother being Anne Marie d'Orléans, her mother Élisabeth Charlotte's half-sister. The marriage would produce three children, but only one would live to adulthood. She and her husband arrived in Turin on 21 April.[5]

Elisabeth Therese died at the Palace of Venaria aged 29, having fallen ill with puerperal fever after childbirth.[4] She was buried in the Cathedral of Saint Giovanni Battista in Turin. She was moved to the Royal Basilica of Superga in 1786 by her stepson Victor Amadeus III.


  1. Prince Carlo Francesco of Savoy (Carlo Francesco Maria Augusto; 1 December 1738 25 March 1745) died in childhood.
  2. Princess Maria Vittoria of Savoy (Vittoria Margharita; 22 June 1740 14 July 1742) died in infancy.
  3. Prince Benedetto of Savoy (Benedetto Maria Maurizio; 21 June 1741 4 January 1808) married Princess Maria Anna of Savoy, no issue.


References and notes

  1. Nicolas Jules Bégin, Émile Auguste. Histoire des duchés de Lorraine et de Bar, Volume 2. Googlebooks.org. Retrieved 2010-03-29.
  2. Edmond et Jules de Goncourt: La duchesse de Châteauroux et ses soeurs, Paris, 1906
  3. Combeau, Yves. Le comte d'Argenson, 1696-1764: Ministre de Louis XV. Googlebooks.org. Retrieved 2010-03-29.
  4. Foucault: Histoire de Léopold I, duc de Lorraine et de Bar, père de l'Empereur, Paris, 1791, p 340
  5. Calmet Augustin: Histoire de Lorraine...depuis l'entrée de Jules César dans les Gaules jusqu'à la cession de la Lorraine, arrivée en 1737, A. Leseure, 1757, p 309, 70
  6. Genealogie ascendante jusqu'au quatrieme degre inclusivement de tous les Rois et Princes de maisons souveraines de l'Europe actuellement vivans [Genealogy up to the fourth degree inclusive of all the Kings and Princes of sovereign houses of Europe currently living] (in French). Bourdeaux: Frederic Guillaume Birnstiel. 1768. p. 81.

Media related to Elisabeth Therese of Lorraine at Wikimedia Commons

Elisabeth Therese of Lorraine
Born: 15 October 1711 Died: 3 July 1741
Italian royalty
Preceded by
Polyxena of Hesse-Rotenburg
Queen consort of Sardinia
1 April 1737 3 July 1741
Succeeded by
Maria Antonia of Spain
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