Anne Marie d'Orléans

Anne Marie d'Orléans (27 August 1669 – 26 August 1728) was the first queen of Sardinia by marriage to Victor Amadeus II of Savoy. She served as regent of Savoy during the absence of her spouse in 1686 and during the War of the Spanish Succession.[1] She is also an important figure in British history (see Jacobite Succession below).

Anne Marie d'Orléans
Anna Maria d'Orléans duchessa di Savoia - Galleria Sabauda.jpg
Queen consort of Sardinia
Tenure24 August 1720 – 26 August 1728
Queen consort of Sicily
Tenure11 April 1713 – 17 February 1720
Duchess consort of Savoy
Tenure10 April 1684 – 26 August 1728
Born(1669-08-27)27 August 1669
Château de Saint-Cloud, France
Died26 August 1728(1728-08-26) (aged 58)
Villa della Regina, Piedmont
SpouseVictor Amadeus II of Savoy
Maria Adélaïde, Dauphine of France
Maria Luisa, Queen of Spain
Victor Amadeus, Prince of Piedmont
Charles Emmanuel, King of Sardinia
FatherPhilippe I, Duke of Orléans
MotherHenrietta of England
ReligionRoman Catholicism
SignatureAnne Marie d'Orléans's signature


She was the daughter of Philippe I, Duke of Orléans, younger brother of Louis XIV, and Henrietta of England, the youngest daughter of Charles I of England. Her mother died at the Château de Saint-Cloud ten months after Anne Marie's birth. A year later, her father married 19-year-old Elizabeth Charlotte of the Palatinate, who became very close to her stepdaughters. Her half-brother Philippe II, Duke of Orléans, the future regent of France, was born of her father's second marriage.

Her stepmother later described her as one of the most amiable and virtuous of women.[2]


To maintain French influence in the Italian states, her uncle King Louis XIV arranged her marriage, at the age of fourteen, to her third cousin Victor Amadeus II of Savoy, then Duke of Savoy, later King of Sicily and then of Sardinia. Louis XIV was an ally of her future mother-in-law, Marie Jeanne, and supported Marie Jeanne when she extended her regency even after her actual mandate as regent had come to an end in 1680: Marie Jeanne did, in fact, not surrender her position as regent until shortly before her son's wedding.[3]

The proxy marriage of Anne Marie and Víctor Amadeus took place at Versailles on 10 April 1684, the day after the signature of the marriage contract. Her husband-to-be was represented by her cousin, Louis Auguste, Duke of Maine. Louis XIV gave her a dowry of 900,000 livres.[4]

The Duke of Orléans accompanied his daughter as far as Juvisy-sur-Orge (18 kilometers south of Paris), and the comtesse de Lillebonne accompanied her all the way to Savoy. She met her husband Victor at Chambéry on 6 May, the nuptials being performed at the castle by the Archbishop of Grenoble. Two days later, the newlyweds made their "Joyous Entry" into Turin.

Anne Marie bore eight children, beginning with Marie-Adélaïde just a few months after Anne Marie's 16th birthday. The birth nearly cost Anne Marie her life, prompting administration of the viaticum.[5] Marie-Adélaïde married Louis, Duke of Burgundy, grandson of Louis XIV in 1697, and was the mother of Louis XV.

This marriage was arranged with the assistance of the maréchal de Tessé and of Jeanne Baptiste d'Albert de Luynes, comtesse de Verrué, who was Victor's mistress from 1689 till 1700.

Duchess and QueenEdit

Queen Anne Marie

After her arrival in Savoy, Anne Marie came under the influence of her pro-French mother-in-law, who maintained a powerful position as a French ally at the court of Savoy. She was described as a dutiful and humble daughter-in-law, who loyally adhered to Marie Jeanne's wishes.[6] Her close relationship with her mother-in-law was not viewed favorably by her spouse, who regarded it as a political threat, as he had long been opposed to his mother's influence in politics.[7]

The personal relationship between Anne Marie and Victor Amadeus was reportedly somewhat cool during the first years of their marriage, partly due to the adultery on his part and his disappointment that she did not give birth to a son for several years.[8] Anne Marie served as regent for the first time during the trip of Victor Amadeus in 1686, and was said to have handled the task well despite her young age.[9]

When Victor Amadeus severed his ties with France in 1690, Anne Marie and her children accompanied her mother-in-law when they demonstratively left the capital in protest.[10]

Despite his marriage ties to France, Victor Amadeus joined the anti-French side in the War of the Spanish Succession. Anne Marie was appointed by him to serve as regent of Savoy during his absence in the war, a task she handled with maturity and judgement.[11] In 1706, Turin was besieged by French forces under the command of Anne Marie's half-brother Philippe d'Orléans, and Spanish forces of her cousin and son-in-law Philip V. She and her sons Victor Amadeus and Carlo Emanuele were forced to flee to Genoa.[12]

When the war was ended in 1713 by the Treaty of Utrecht, Victor Amadeus received the Kingdom of Sicily, formerly a Spanish possession. Anne Marie's stepmother wrote: I shall neither gain nor lose by the peace, but one thing I shall enjoy is to see our Duchess of Savoy become a queen, because I love her as though she were my own child ...[13] When Victor Amadeus left for his coronation in Sicily, he had originally planned to leave Anne Marie behind to function as regent in his absence, but as he feared that she would let herself be directed by his mother because of her loyalty to her, he changed his mind and took her along with him instead.[14] Anne Marie was crowned with him in Sicily.

At the death of her eldest son in 1715, both she and Victor Amadeus fell into severe depression and left the capital to mourn, leaving Marie Jeanne to handle their official duties.[15] Victor Amadeus was forced to exchange Sicily for the less important domain of Sardinia in 1720, but retained the title of King.

As the Savoyard consort, Anne-Marie had the use of the Royal Palace of Turin, the vast Palazzina di caccia di Stupinigi outside the capital, and the Vigna di Madama Reale.[16]

Queen Anne Marie died of heart failure at her villa on 26 August 1728, the day before her 59th birthday. She is buried at the Basilica of Superga in Turin, where all her children, except Marie-Adélaïde and Maria Luisa, are also buried.

Jacobite successionEdit

From 1714 to 1720, Anne Marie d'Orléans was the heiress presumptive to the Jacobite claim to the thrones of England, Scotland, and Ireland. These claims were held at the time by her first cousin James Francis Edward Stuart ("the Old Pretender", son of James II). Anne Marie became heiress presumptive with the death of James' daughter Queen Anne in 1714 which left her and her cousin James as the only surviving grandchildren of Charles I. She was displaced as heir by the birth of the Old Pretender's son, Charles Edward Stuart ("Bonnie Prince Charlie"), on 31 December 1720. Charles Edward and his brother Henry, Cardinal Stuart, both died without legitimate issue, so the descendants of Anne Marie d'Orléans inherited the Jacobite claim, i.e. they would have inherited the British crown had it not been for the Act of Settlement, which excluded the claims of the Catholic Stuarts and d'Orléans' and settled the throne on the nearest Protestant relatives, the Hanoverians.


During her marriage, Anne Marie gave birth to eight children, of whom only three survived to adulthood and one outlived her:



  1. ^ Dizionario Biografico degli Italiani - Volume 3 (1961)
  2. ^ Williams, H. Noel. "A Rose of Savoy, Marie Adelaide of Savoy, duchesse de Bourgogne, Mother of Louis XV". Retrieved 2009-12-15.
  3. ^ Clarissa Campbell Orr: Queenship in Europe 1660-1815: The Role of the Consort. Cambridge University Press (2004)
  4. ^ Williams. H. Noel, A Rose of Savoy, Marie Adelaide of Savoy, duchesse de Bourgogne, Mother of Louis XV, New York, 1909, p. 17
  5. ^ Williams, H. Noel. A Rose of Savoy: Marie Adelaide of Savoy, duchesse de Bourgogne, Mother of Louis XV, New York, 1909, p. 34
  6. ^ Clarissa Campbell Orr: Queenship in Europe 1660-1815: The Role of the Consort. Cambridge University Press (2004)
  7. ^ Clarissa Campbell Orr: Queenship in Europe 1660-1815: The Role of the Consort. Cambridge University Press (2004)
  8. ^ Dizionario Biografico degli Italiani - Volume 3 (1961)
  9. ^ Dizionario Biografico degli Italiani - Volume 3 (1961)
  10. ^ Clarissa Campbell Orr: Queenship in Europe 1660-1815: The Role of the Consort. Cambridge University Press (2004)
  11. ^ Dizionario Biografico degli Italiani - Volume 3 (1961)
  12. ^ Storrs 1999, p. 3-4.
  13. ^ Pevitt, Christine. Philippe, Duc d'Orléans: Regent of France Weidenfeld & Nicolson, London, 1997, p.133
  14. ^ Clarissa Campbell Orr: Queenship in Europe 1660-1815: The Role of the Consort. Cambridge University Press (2004)
  15. ^ Clarissa Campbell Orr: Queenship in Europe 1660-1815: The Role of the Consort. Cambridge University Press (2004)
  16. ^ Fraser, Antonia. Love and Louis XIV Anchor Books, 2006. pp. 70–71.


  • Storrs, Christopher (1999). War, Diplomacy and the Rise of Savoy 1690-1720. Cambridge University Press. ISBN 0521551463.
Anne Marie d'Orléans
Cadet branch of the House of Bourbon
Born: 27 August 1669 Died: 26 August 1728
Italian royalty
Preceded by Duchess consort of Savoy
Succeeded by
Preceded by Queen consort of Sicily
Succeeded by
Preceded by Queen consort of Sardinia
Succeeded by