Marie-Louise Coidavid

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Marie Louise
Queen Consort of Haiti
Reign 26 March 1811 – 8 October 1820
Born (1778-05-08)8 May 1778
Bredou, Ouanaminthe,
Saint-Domingue
Died 14 March 1851(1851-03-14) (aged 72)
Pisa, Italy
Burial Convent of the Capuchins, Pisa
Spouse Henri I of Haiti
Issue François-Ferdinand Christophe
Princess Françoise-Améthyste
Princess Anne-Athénaïre
Jacques-Victor Henry, Prince Royal
Father M. Melgrin [1]
Mother Célestina Coidavid
Religion Roman Catholicism

Marie Louise Coidavid (1778– March 11, 1851[2]), was the Queen of the Kingdom of Haiti 1811–20 as the spouse of Henri I of Haiti.

Early life[edit]

Marie-Louise was born into a free black family; her father was the owner of a hotel, Hotel de la Couronne, Cap-Haïtien. She married Henri Christophe in Cap-Haïtien in 1793, having had a relationship with him from the year prior. They had four children: François Ferdinand (born 1794), Françoise-Améthyste (d. 1831), Athénaïs (d. 1838) and Victor-Henri.

At her spouse's new position in 1798, she moved to the Sans-Souci Palace. During the French invasion, she and her children lived underground until 1803.

Queen[edit]

In 1811, Marie-Louise was given the title of queen upon the creation of the Kingdom of Haiti. Her new status gave her ceremonial tasks to perform, ladies-in-waiting, a secretary and her own court. She took her position seriously, and stated that the title "given to her by the nation" also gave her responsibilities and duties to perform. She served as the hostess of the ceremonial royal court life performed at the Sans-Souci Palace. She did not involve herself in the affairs of state. She was given the position of Regent should her son succeed her spouse while still being a minor.[3] However, as her son became of age before the death of his father, this was never to materialize.[3]

After the death of her spouse in 1820, she remained with her daughters at the palace until they were escorted from it by the followers of her spouse together with his corpse; after their departure, the palace was attacked and plundered. Marie-Louise and her daughters were given the property Lambert outside Cap. She was visited by president Jean Pierre Boyer, who offered her his protection; he denied the spurs of gold she gave him, stating that he was the leader of poor people. They were allowed to settle in Port-au-Prince. Marie-Louise was described as calm and resigned, but her daughters, especially Athenais, were described as vengeful.

Exile[edit]

The Queen was in exile for 30 years.[2] In August 1821, the former queen left Haiti with her daughters under the protection of the British admiral Sir Home Popham, and travelled to London. There were rumours that she was searching for the money, three million, deposited by her spouse in Europe. Whatever the case, she did live the rest of her life without economic difficulties.

Marie Louise lived the rest of her life discreetly with her daughters in Pisa in Italy, where they were somewhat bothered by fortune hunters and throne claimers who wanted their fortune. They made a grand visit to Rome in 1828. Shortly before her death, she wrote to Haiti for permission to return. She never did, however, before she died in Italy.

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Royal Ark
  2. ^ a b LeGrace, Benson, (2014-10-01). "A Queen in Diaspora: The Sorrowful Exile of Queen Marie-Louise Christophe (1778, Ouanaminth, Haiti-March 11, 1851, Pisa, Italy)1". Journal of Haitian Studies. 20 (2). ISSN 1090-3488. 
  3. ^ a b Louis Marceau, Marie - Louise d'Haiti, Publié à Buenos Aires, Se, 1953, pages 2 à 18.