Élise la Flotte

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Elise la Flotte, also called de Flotte (died 1815), was a French Lady's companion, lady in waiting of the French Crown Princess of Sweden Désirée Clary, consort of Jean Baptiste Bernadotte.

Elise la Flotte was raised in a French convent school and the school comrade of Désirée Clary, whose companion she became after having been widowed by an officer of the French navy. In January 1811, she accompanied Désirée to Sweden, were the latter's spouse had been elected heir to the throne: she was the only French courtier Désirée brought with her to Sweden. Elise la Flotte has been blamed for the bad impression Désirée made during her stay in Sweden as Crown Princess. Reportedly, la Flotte encouraged Désirée constant complaints about everything non-French, and amused her caricaturing the court and surroundings, which was reported and disliked. The Crown Prince tried to force his consort to send la Flotte away, but she refused to do so. According to Queen Hedvig Elizabeth Charlotte, Elise la Flotte was also to blame for the harassment the Swedish head lady-in-waiting Countess Caroline Lewenhaupt was exposed to by the Crown Princess, because she wanted her position. Finally, the Crown Prince asked the King to appoint la Flotte vice head lady-in-waiting, which was done. During this period, the French minister in Stockholm, Charles Jean Marie d'Alquier, tried to influence the Crown Prince through his French entourage, and la Flotte was apparently his most active agent among them along with Sevret: d'Alquier also tried to make Désirée affect her consort, when d'Alquier met her with la Flotte. Finally, Elise La Flotte was blamed for the fact that Désirée returned to France in June 1811: in 1816, Désirées son stated that his mother had stayed away so long mostly because of Elise la Flotte, and that he hoped that she would now return after the death of la Flotte.

References[edit]

  • Cecilia af Klercker (1939). Hedvig Elisabeth Charlottas dagbok VIII (1807–1811). Stockholm: Norstedt & Söners förlag (Diary of Hedvig Elisabeth Charlotte) (Swedish)
  • Cecilia af Klercker (1942). Hedvig Elisabeth Charlottas dagbok IX (1812–1817). Stockholm: Norstedt & Söners förlag (Diary of Hedvig Elisabeth Charlotte) (Swedish)