Sophie of France (1786-1787)

Sophie Helena Beatrice of France (Sophie Hélène Béatrix, 9 July 1786 – 19 June 1787) was a French princess, the second daughter and last child of Louis XVI of France and Marie Antoinette. She was styled as Madame Sophie at birth. As the daughter of a King of France, she was a Fille de France until her death in 1787.

Sophie of France
Sophie Beatrice of France.jpg
Sophie of France, portrait by Élisabeth Vigée Le Brun.
Born(1786-07-09)9 July 1786
Palace of Versailles, France
Died(1787-06-19)19 June 1787 (aged 11 months 10 days)
Palace of Versailles, France
French: Sophie Hélène Béatrix de France
FatherLouis XVI of France
MotherArchduchess Maria Antonia of Austria


Sophie of France, drafted by Vigée Le Brun.

Sophie was born at the Palace of Versailles, the youngest of the four children of King Louis XVI and Queen Marie Antoinette. She was named after her great-aunt Madame Sophie, Louis XV's fifth daughter, who had died four years earlier.

Sophie was born a very large baby,[1] but her fragile health was undermined by tuberculosis. She died in Versailles after suffering 5 or 6 days of convulsions.[2] She was only 11 months old.

Baptismal act of Sophie Hélène Beatrix, Archives départementales des Yvelines.

Her death was a cause for much sorrow on the part of her parents. When Marie Antoinette's foster-brother, Joseph Weber,[3] attempted to console her with the fact that given Sophie's tender age Marie Antoinette must not have grown overly attached to her, the bereaved mother is supposed to have said, "Don't forget that she would have been my friend." This was a reference to her words after the birth of Sophie's older sister, Marie Thérèse, in 1778:[4]

"Poor little one, you are not desired, but you will be nonetheless dear to me! A son would have belonged to the state—you will belong to me."[5]

Sophie was buried in the necropolis of the Kings of France, the Royal Basilica of Saint Denis, 5 km (3.1 mi) north of Paris.

The Royal Family of France, 1787
Queen Marie Antoinette with her children, 1787 at Versailles; (L-R); Marie Thérèse, known as Madame Royale at court; the Queen with the Duke of Normandy on her lap; the Dauphin is on the right pointing into an empty cradle; the cradle used to show Madame Sophie; she died later in the year and had to be painted out; by Élisabeth-Louise Vigée-Le Brun; the Fleur-de-lis of France and the Bourbons can be seen behind on the cabinet



  1. ^ Lever, Evelyne, Marie-Antoinette, Fayard, Paris, 1991, p. 414, ISBN 2-213-02659-9,
  2. ^ Fraser, Antonia, Marie Antoinette, The Journey, Anchor Books, USA, 2001, p. 257, ISBN 0-385-48949-8.
  3. ^ Fraser, p. 4. Joseph Weber was the son of Marie-Antoinette's wet nurse, Constance Weber. His memoirs were published by Baudouin Frères, Imprimeurs-Libraires, in Paris, in 1822:
  4. ^ Fraser, p. 257.
  5. ^ Thieme, Hugo Paul (1908). Women of Modern France. 7. Philadelphia, Pennsylvania: George Barrie & Sons.