Charlotte Marguerite de Montmorency

Charlotte Marguerite de Montmorency (11 May 1594 – 2 December 1650) was an heiress of one of France's leading ducal families, and Princess de Condé by her marriage to Henri de Bourbon. She almost became a mistress of Henry IV of France, but her husband escaped with her after the wedding and did not return to France until after King Henry's death.[1]

Charlotte Marguerite de Montmorency
Princess de Condé
Charlotte Marguerite de Montmorency.jpg
Born(1594-05-11)11 May 1594
Died2 December 1650(1650-12-02) (aged 56)
SpouseHenri, Prince de Condé
IssueAnne Geneviève, Duchess de Longueville
Louis, Prince de Condé
Armand, Prince de Conti
Full name
Charlotte Marguerite de Montmorency
FatherHenri de Montmorency, Duke of Montmorency
MotherLouise de Budos


The daughter of Henri de Montmorency and his second wife, Louise de Budos,[2] Charlotte lost her mother before she was five years of age. She was brought up under the care of her aunt Charlotte, widow of Charles, Duke d'Angoulême.[3]

In 1609, fifteen-year-old Charlotte-Marguerite wed the Prince of Condé in a glittering ceremony.[4]

The king had arranged Charlotte's marriage to Condé for his own convenience, in order to sleep with her himself when he pleased. To escape from this predicament, the couple fled to Brussels. The king was enraged and threatened to march into Flanders with an army unless the Habsburg governors returned Condé and his wife at once. At the time, he was also threatening war with the Habsburgs over the succession to the United Duchies of Jülich-Cleves-Berg, so historians are unsure how crucial in itself Charlotte's return was as a reason for war. Condé continued to provoke Henry from Flanders. When asked to drink to the queen of France, he replied that there seemed to be more than one queen of France, maybe as many as four or five.[5]

Along with many other French nobles, her husband bitterly opposed the rule of Marshal d'Ancre, who abandoned the policy of the late King Henry IV. In September 1616, Condé and Charlotte-Marguerite were arrested and imprisoned at Vincennes, where their daughter Anne Geneviève was conceived and born three years later, in 1619.[6]

In 1632, Charlotte-Marguerite's only brother, Henri, Duke de Montmorency was executed for intriguing against Cardinal Richelieu.[7] The title passed to her. She was buried at the Carmel du faubourg Saint-Jacques, a Carmelite convent in Paris.


Arms as Princess de Condé

Her children with the Prince de Condé were:

  1. Anne Genevieve (1619-1679); married Henri d'Orléans, Duke de Longueville.[8]
  2. Louis, Prince of Condé, "le Grand Condé" (1621-1686); married Claire-Clémence de Maillé-Brézé.
  3. Armand de Bourbon, Prince of Conti (1629-1666); married Anne Marie Martinozzi.

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ Architectural record, Volume 16. Chantily Castle. p. 509.
  2. ^ Pardoe, Julia. The life of Marie de Medicis, queen of France. James Pott and Company, 1902, p. 389.
  3. ^ Holt, Emily Sarah (1861). "Princess of Condé". Memoirs of royal ladies. Nabu Press. p. 135. ISBN 1146580428.
  4. ^ Herman, Eleanor (2005). "The Penalties of Defiance". Sex with Kings: 500 Years of Adultery, Power, Rivalry, and Revenge. William Morrow Paperbacks. p. 95. ISBN 0060585447.
  5. ^ Buisseret, 173–74.
  6. ^ Chisholm, Hugh. 1911 Encyclopædia Britannica. 16, Navi-Ornithology. p. 986.
  7. ^ Fetridge, William Pembroke (1878). The American Travellers' Guides. 17, Part 1. France. p. 421.
  8. ^ The Encyclopædia Britannica. Ed. Thomas Spencer Baynes. Henry G. Allen and Company, 1888. Vol. 14, p. 867.

External linksEdit

Charlotte Marguerite de Montmorency
Born: 11 May 1594 Died: 2 December 1650
Preceded by
Henri II
Duchesse de Montmorency
Succeeded by
Louis, le Grand Condé