Victoire de Rohan

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Victoire de Rohan
Princess of Guéméné
Victoire Armande Josèphe de Rohan, princesse de Guéméné.jpg
Victoire with Madame Royale; the text reads: Madame, Fille unique du Roi..Unknown artist
Spouse Henri Louis, Prince of Guéméné
Issue
Detail
Charles Alain, Prince of Guéméné
Marie Louise Joséphine, Princess of Rochefort
Louis Victor, Duke of Bouillon
Full name
Victoire Armande Josèphe de Rohan
Father Charles de Rohan
Mother Anne Therese of Savoy
Born (1743-12-28)28 December 1743
Hôtel de Soubise, Paris, France
Died 20 September 1807(1807-09-20) (aged 63)
Paris, France

Victoire de Rohan, Princess of Guéméné[1] (Victoire Armande Josèphe; 28 December 1743 – 20 September 1807) was a French aristocrat who was the governess of the children of Louis XVI of France. She is known better as Madame de Guéméné. She was Lady of Clisson in her own right.

Biography[edit]

Victoire Armande Josèphe[2] de Rohan was the second daughter of Charles de Rohan, Prince of Soubise. The Princes of Soubise were a cadet branch of the House of Rohan. Her mother was Princess Anna Teresa of Savoy, a daughter of Victor Amadeus, Prince of Carignano. Her mother was also a first cousin of Louis XV through an illegitimate line. She had an older half-sister, Charlotte de Rohan, who married in 1753 Louis Joseph de Bourbon, prince de Condé. As the princesse de Condé, Charlotte was a princesse du sang and far outranked her younger half-sister.

Victoire's mother, Anna Teresa of Savoy.

As the House of Rohan claimed descent from the medieval Dukes of Brittany, its members were treated at court as princes étrangers with the style of Highness.

At the age of seventeen, Victoire married her cousin, Henri Louis de Rohan, duc de Montbazon, who was fifteen at the time. He was a member of the main House of Rohan, the Princes of Guéméné. He was a nephew of the cardinal de Rohan, who was disgraced in the famous Affair of the Diamond Necklace involving Marie Antoinette.

Henri Louis eventually became the Grand Chamberlain of France. The couple had five children.

Upon the death of his father in 1788, the duke inherited the title of prince de Guéméné. Afterwards, Victoire was known at court as Madame de Guéméné. She and her family lived lavishly in Paris at the Hôtel de Rohan-Guéméné, located on the famous Place des Vosges. They lived at number 6. The couple had to sell the property in 1797 in order to pay off a huge debt of 33 million livres.

In 1775, Marie Louise de Lorraine, comtesse de Marsan (1720–1803) resigned the post of governess to the royal children in favour of Victoire, who was her niece. From 1778 to 1782, Victoire was in charge of the household of King Louis XVI's oldest child, Marie Thérèse of France, known at court as Madame Royale. In this role, she was in charge of a staff of over one hundred courtiers and servants.

In 1782, Victoire was forced to resign her post due to a scandal created by her husband's mounting debt, a debt that eventually led to the sale of the Hôtel de Rohan-Guémené after the French Revolution. Victoire and her husband went on to various affairs with others.

She became the mistress of Augustin Gabriel de Franquetot de Coigny, comte de Coigny' (1740 - 1817), the father of one of her charges, Aimée de Franquetot de Coigny, duchesse de Fleury (1769 - 1820). Madame de Fleury inspired the famous poet André Chénier. The prince de Guéméné meanwhile had an affair with a Victoire's close friend, Thérèse Lucy de Dillon, comtesse de Dillon, (1751 - 1782), first wife of Arthur Dillon.

At the death of her father, her husband became the legal heir to the title Prince of Soubise.

Victoire and her husband lived to see the French Revolution, later fleeing to Austria. They eventually settled in Bohemia. They lived at Sychrov Castle, and it was here that the Rohan Family lived for 125 years.

Victoire died in Paris in September 1807 at the age of sixty-three, having far outlived her older half-sister, Charlotte, who had died in 1760. Her husband, the prince, outlived her by two years.

Issue[edit]

Ancestry[edit]

Titles, styles, honours and arms[edit]

Titles and styles[edit]

  • 28 December 1743 – 15 January 1761 Her Highness Victoire Armande Josèphe, Princess of the House of Rohan
  • 15 January 1761 – 10 December 1788 Her Highness the Duchess of Montbazon
  • 10 December 1788 – 20 September 1807 Her Highness the Princess of Guéméné

References and notes[edit]

  1. ^ sometimes Guéménée
  2. ^ sometimes Joséphine
Court offices
Preceded by
The Countess of Marsan
Governess of the
Children of France

1776–1782
Succeeded by
The Duchess of Polignac