Maria Teresa di Savoia-Carignano
Other names: Maria Teresa Luigia
Superintendant 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.
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