Princess Sophie of France

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Madame Sophie
Duchess of Louvois
Jean-Marc Nattier, Madame Sophie de France (1748) - 01.jpg
Sophie by Nattier
Born (1734-07-27)27 July 1734
Palace of Versailles, France
Died 2 March 1782(1782-03-02) (aged 47)
Palace of Versailles, France
Burial Royal Basilica, France
Full name
Sophie Philippine Élisabeth Justine de France
House Bourbon
Father Louis XV of France
Mother Marie Leszczyńska
Religion Roman Catholicism

Sophie Philippine Élisabeth Justine de France,[1] fille de France (27 July 1734 – 2 March 1782) was a French princess "Daughter of France". She was the sixth daughter and eighth child of Louis XV of France and his Queen consort Marie Leszczyńska. First known as Madame Cinquième, she later became Madame Sophie.

Early life[edit]

Madame Sophie de France by François-Hubert Drouais, 1762, at The Metropolitan Museum of Art

Sophie is less well known than many of her sisters. Her birth at the Palace of Versailles was relatively unremarked. Unlike the older children of Louis XV, she was not raised at Versailles, but sent to live at the Abbey of Fontevraud with her older sister Madame Victoire and younger sisters Madame Thérèse (who died young) and Madame Louise.


Her nephews included (among others) Ferdinand, Duke of Parma, Louis XVI of France, Louis XVIII of France, Charles X of France. Her nieces included Madame Élisabeth and Queen Maria Luisa of Spain.

Her niece, Madame Sophie, youngest daughter of Louis XVI and Marie Antoinette was named after her.

Life and nature[edit]

She had a shy, reserved nature, and was considered ugly and uninteresting. She is reported to have had a phobia of thunder, and it was known that she reacted strongly toward it. Her father called her Graille. She did not exercise any influence at the court, but let herself be directed by her older sister Madame Adélaïde, following her in her antipathy against her father's mistresses, Madame de Pompadour and then Madame du Barry.

She was one of the four royal sisters to survive their parents. Her mother died on 24 June 1768 and all of her children were badly affected. Her father died six years later on 10 May 1774.

During the reign of her nephew Louis XVI of France, she and her sisters were allowed to maintain their apartments at Versailles and often stayed at the Château de Bellevue, made famous by the mistress of her father. In 1776, Louis XVI made her the Duchess of Louvois with her sister Madame Adélaïde, both of whom held the duchy-peerage for their lifetime.

She was buried in the royal tomb at the Royal Basilica of Saint Denis which was plundered and destroyed at the time of the French Revolution.

In popular culture[edit]

In 2006, she was played by Scottish actress Shirley Henderson in the movie Marie Antoinette.



  1. ^ Achaintre, Nicolas Louis, Histoire généalogique et chronologique de la maison royale de Bourbon, Vol. 2, (Publisher Mansut Fils, 4 Rue de l'École de Médecine, Paris, 1825), 155.


Titles, styles, honours and arms[edit]

Titles and styles[edit]

  • 27 July 1734 – 2 March 1782 Her Royal Highness Princess Sophie of France (de facto Madame Sophie)

Further reading[edit]

  • Zieliński, Ryszard (1978). Polka na francuskim tronie. Czytelnik.