Maria Teresa di Savoia-Carignano
Other names: Maria Teresa Luigia
Superintendent of the Royal Household of France,
1775-76 and 1785-92†
After her husband's death in 1768, Marie ThжrУse retired with her
father-in-law to Rambouillet, where she lived until the marriage of the
dauphin, when she returned to court. Marie Antoinette, charmed by her
gentle and naive manners, singled her out for a companion and
confidante. The impetuous character of the dauphine found in Madame de
Lamballe that submissive temperament which yields to force of
environment, and the two became fast friends. After her accession, Marie
Antoinette, in spite of the king's opposition, had her appointed
superintendent of the royal household. Between 1776 and 1785, the
comtesse de Polignac succeeded in supplanting her, but when the queen
tired of the avarice of the Polignacs, she turned again to Madame de
Lamballe. From 1785 to the Revolution, she was Marie Antoinette's
closest friend and the pliant instrument of her caprices. She came with
the queen to the Tuileries and as her salon served as a meeting-place
for the queen and the members of the Assembly whom she wished to gain
over, the people believed her to be the soul of all the intrigues. After
a visit to England in 1791 to appeal for help for the royal family, she
made her will and returned to the Tuileries, where she continued her
services to the queen. After the monarchy was overthrown
in August 1792, she was sent to the Temple prison with the queen, and
ten days later, she was transferred to La Force prison. Having refused
to take an oath against the monarchy in early September, she was
delivered over to the fury of the populace, who decapitated her, placed
her head on a pike and carried it before the windows of the queen.
Place of birth: Turin
Place of marriage: Paris
Place of death: Paris
1. Encyclopaedia Britannica: A Dictionary of Arts, Sciences, Literature
and General Information, 11th edn, vol. 16. New York: Encyclopaedia
Britannica Co., 1911.
2. Encyclopaedia Britannica. Chicago: Encyclopaedia Britannica, 2018.
3. H. Montgomery-Massingberd, ed. Burke's Royal Families of the World.
Volume I: Europe & Latin America. London: Burke’s Peerage Ltd., 1977.