Princess Benedetta d'Este

Benedetta Maria Ernestina d'Este (18 August 1697 – 17 September 1777) was a noblewoman and princess of the Duchy of Modena and Reggio.

Benedetta d'Este
Princess of Modena and Reggio
Benedetta Ernestina d'Este.jpg
Portrait by Rosalba Carriera, 1723.
Born(1697-08-18)18 August 1697
Palazzo Ducale, Modena
Died17 September 1777(1777-09-17) (aged 80)
Sassuolo, Modena
Benedetta Maria Ernestina d'Este
FatherRinaldo d'Este
MotherDuchess Charlotte of Brunswick-Lüneburg
ReligionRoman Catholicism


She was the first child and eldest daughter of Duke Rinaldo d'Este and Duchess Charlotte of Brunswick-Lüneburg, daughter of the Duke of Brunswick and Lüneburg. Her parents' marriage had required papal dispensation because of the close interrelationships of the ducal families of Brunswick and Modena. She was given the name Benedetta ‘blessed’ after her maternal grandmother, Benedicta Henrietta of the Palatinate.

Her cousin James Francis Edward Stuart, then the Jacobite claimant to the thrones of England, Scotland, and Ireland, paid a visit to Modena in March 1717. He quickly fell in love with Benedetta and asked her to marry him.[1] However, their union was seen as an undesirable entanglement by Rinaldo, who wanted to maintain good relations with George I.[2] Rinaldo first insisted that the betrothal remain secret, and then definitively refused his consent to it in September 1717, while James was living in Urbino.[3]

After the death of her father in 1737, her brother Francesco succeeded him as Duke of Modena. While her brother was fighting in the Russo-Turkish War, Benedetta and her younger sister Amalia assumed the regency of the duchies.

Benedetta never married and had no children. She died on 16 September 1777 at Modena at the age of 80.


  1. ^ Bevan (1967), pp. 98-99.
  2. ^ Bevan (1967), p. 99.
  3. ^ Bevan (1967), pp. 99, 103.


  • Bevan, Bryan (1967). King James the Third of England: A Study of Kingship in Exile. London: Robert Hale.
  • Rocca, Emilio Nasalli (1969). I Farnese. Dell'Oglio Editore.