Marie Émilie de Joly de Choin

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Marie Émilie de Joly de Choin

Marie Émilie de Joly de Choin (Marie Émilie Thérèse; 2 August 1670 – 1732) was a French lady-in-waiting, the lover and later the morganatic spouse of Louis, Dauphin of France. As a morganatic spouse, she was not styled the Dauphine of France.

Biography[edit]

Background[edit]

Marie Émilie was born in Bourg-en-Bresse to Pierre de Joly de Choin, grand bailli of Bourg-en-Bresse, and Mademoiselle d'Urre d'Aiguebonne. She was a lady-in-waiting to the king's favourite illegitimate daughter, Marie Anne de Bourbon, the princess de Conti. Marie Émilie was considered to be unattractive but spiritual.

Prince Louis fell in love with her after the death of his consort in 1690. She entered into a relationship with Louis, le Grand dauphin, in parallel to having a relationship with the Count Francois-Alphonse de Clermont-Chaste, a member of the entourage of the marchal de Luxembourg. Luxembourg advised Clermont-Chaste to marry Choin in order to take power over the crown prince through her.[1] It was rumoured that Marie Émilie and Clerment-Chaste planned to conquer the throne by producing a child with her, which they would present as the child of Louis. When these plans were discovered, after the correspondence between Marie Émilie and Clerment was presented to the king, they were both exiled from court.[2]

The relationship to Louis did not end, however.

Marriage[edit]

Marie Émilie married Louis secretly in 1694. No details are known of the ceremony, but in 19 July 1694, Louis referred to her as his legal spouse in a letter to his father's wife.[3] Marie Émilie did not, however, acquire the title of Dauphine but continued to be officially referred to as Mademoiselle de Choin; the marriage was not officially mentioned or recognized, and she did not participate in court life.

Marie Émilie resided in the palace of Meudon, where she imitated the morganatic spouse of the king, Madame de Maintenon, with whom she got along very well, by acting as the queen of a court and receiving dukes and foreign diplomats. She was allowed to sit in a chair in the presence of members of the royal house and call them by their simple name rather than their full titles, but she dressed simple, took no further advantage of the marriage and did not participate in politics.[4]

Pregnant at the time of her secret marriage, she gave birth a son who was sent to the countryside and died aged two in 1697 without receiving a name.[5] Ultimately the marriage remained childless.

Later Life and Death[edit]

After Louis's death in 1711, she withdrew into retirement. Louis left her a fortune in his will, but she tore the will with the words that when he was alive she only needed him and after his death only a small income.[6] Marie Emilie was given a pension by the monarch and devoted herself to charity, not participating in society life. She died in Paris, "universally respected for her private virtues".

Sources[edit]

This article incorporates information from the equivalent article on the French Wikipedia.
  1. ^ Mitford, Nancy (Swedish): Solkonungen. Ludvig XIV och Versailles.( The Sun King. Louis XIV and Versailles) Göteborg, Bonniers. 1966
  2. ^ Mitford, Nancy (Swedish): Solkonungen. Ludvig XIV och Versailles.( The Sun King. Louis XIV and Versailles) Göteborg, Bonniers. 1966
  3. ^ Mitford, Nancy (Swedish): Solkonungen. Ludvig XIV och Versailles.( The Sun King. Louis XIV and Versailles) Göteborg, Bonniers. 1966
  4. ^ Mitford, Nancy (Swedish): Solkonungen. Ludvig XIV och Versailles.( The Sun King. Louis XIV and Versailles) Göteborg, Bonniers. 1966
  5. ^ Genealogy Database by Daniel de Rauglaudre
  6. ^ Mitford, Nancy (Swedish): Solkonungen. Ludvig XIV och Versailles.( The Sun King. Louis XIV and Versailles) Göteborg, Bonniers. 1966