Maria Angela Caterina d'Este

Maria Angela Caterina d'Este (1 March 1656 16 July 1722) was an Italian born Princess of Modena who was later the Princess of Carignano by marriage. She was the wife of Emmanuel Philibert of Savoy, Prince of Carignano. In France she was known as Angélique Catherine d'Este[1] and in Modena and Savoy she was known as Maria Caterina d'Este.

Maria Angela Caterina d'Este
Princess of Carignano
Portrait by a follower of Hyacinthe Rigaud
Born(1656-03-01)1 March 1656
Died16 July 1722(1722-07-16) (aged 66)
SpouseEmmanuel Philibert, Prince of Carignano
Victor Amadeus, Prince of Carignano
Full name
Maria Angela Caterina d'Este
HouseHouse of Este (by bith)
House of Savoy-Carignano (by marriage)
FatherBorso d'Este
MotherIppolita d'Este


Born to the General Borso d'Este and his wife Ippolita d'Este, Maria Angela Caterina was the product of a marriage between niece and uncle, her father being a son of Cesare d'Este, Duke of Modena and her mother a daughter of Prince Luigi d'Este, younger son of Cesare. As a member of the House of Este, she was a princess of Modena by birth, her father being the "founder" of a collateral line of the House of Este.

The youngest of seven children, she lost her father in 1664; it is not clear whether she knew her mother. Her first cousins included Francesco I d'Este, Duke of Modena, Margherita d'Este (wife of the Duke of Guastalla) and the Duke of Mirandola. She was also a cousin of Isabella and Maria d'Este, two successive Duchesses of Parma.

The unmarried princess was noted for her good looks and for having such a fine figure for one of her age at the time of her marriage.

Despite the permission of Victor Amadeus, Duke of Savoy, Emmanuel Philibert's cousin and ruler of Savoy Emmanuel Philibert had expressed a wish to marry Maria Angela Caterina. Emmanuel Philibert was the son of the late Thomas Francis, Prince of Carignano and his French born wife, the domineering Marie de Bourbon. His sister was the Dowager Hereditary Princess of Baden-Baden, mother of the famous General Türkenlouis.

The match was greatly opposed by France, then under the rule of Louis XIV, as Louis XIV had wanted Emmanuel Philibert to marry a French princess as Emmanuel Philibert[2] was the heir presumptive to the Duchy of Savoy.

A proxy ceremony took place in Modena[3] where her unmarried brother Caesare Ignace d'Este acted as her husband to be.[3] In a private ceremony at the Castle of Racconigi, the summer residence of the Princes of Carignano. The ceremony took place on the 10 November 1684, the bride being 28 and the groom 56.

This wedding was important to the House of Savoy, but very poorly viewed by the kingdom of France for its lack of political connection. Louis subsequently bannised Emmanuel Philibert and his new spouse from the French court.

Maria Angela's grand father had accepted the offer of marriage as he and Emmanuel Philibert had had good relations.[4]

Her husband died in 1709 making Maria Angela Caterina the dowager princess of Carignano. Her only surviving son Victor Amadeus succeeded as Prince of Carignano. She died at the age of 66.


  • Princess Maria Isabella of Savoy (14 March 1687 2 May 1767)
  • Princess Maria Vittoria of Savoy (12 February 1688 18 May 1763)
  • Prince Victor Amadeus of Savoy, (1 March 1690 4 April 1741)
  • Prince Thomas Philippe Geatano of Savoy (10 May 1696 12 Sep 1715)


Titles and styles

  • 1 March 1656 10 November 1684 Her Highness Maria Angela Caterina d'Este, Princess of Modena
  • 10 November 1684 21 April 1709 Her Highness the Princess of Carignan
  • 21 April 1709 16 July 1722 Her Highness the Dowager Princess of Carignan

References and notes

  1. von Rosen, Laurent Tahon. "Ducs de France: les 32 quartiers des ducs français et de leurs épouses". Retrieved 2010-04-07.
  2. at this point, the Duke of Savoy and his wife Anne Marie d'Orléans had two daughters, the future Dauphine of France (mother of Louis XV) and Queen of Spain, who were ineligible to inherit the Savoyard throne due to salic law
  3. Maria Giovanna di Savoia Nemours: vita, ambizioni, intrighi di una reggente. Retrieved 2010-04-21.
  4. Plann, Susan. A silent minority: deaf education in Spain, 1550-1835. Retrieved 2010-04-21.

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