Charles Louis de Bourbon, duc de Berry (1686 - 1714) MP

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Nicknames: "Charles de France"
Birthplace: Versailes, France
Death: Died in Marly-le-Roi, Yvelines, Île-de-France, France
Occupation: duc de Berry, d'Alençon and d'Angoulême (1710), Duc de Berry
Managed by: Henn Sarv
Last Updated:

About Charles Louis de Bourbon, duc de Berry

Golden Fleece - Knights: Spanish Branch

Biography

Born at the Palace of Versailles, Charles was the youngest son of Louis, Dauphin of France, "le Grand Dauphin", and of Duchess Maria Anna of Bavaria.

One of three children, he was the uncle of the future Louis XV, the son of his brother, Louis, Duke of Burgundy. Charles other brother, Philip, Duke of Anjou, was the future Philip V of Spain. Charles was styled Duke of Berry (duc de Berry) at his birth, but never actually possessed that Duchy. In 1710, he was invested with his apanage, consisting in the duchies of Alençon, of Angoulême, county of Ponthieu and other minor fiefs.[1] Ponthieu was exchanged some month later for other domains. By a special brevet, his grandfather permitted him to keep the title "Duke of Berry", which he held until his death.

As the third son of the Dauphin, Berry was not expected to inherit the throne; and at his father's death in 1711, his oldest brother Louis, Duke of Burgundy became Dauphin.

However, in agreement with the testament of Charles II, king of Spain, the Duke of Berry was heir presumptive to the Spanish throne from November 1700 until 15 August 1707 (birth of his nephew Louis, Prince of Asturias).[2] He renounced all his rights to the Spanish succession on 24 November 1712, in application of the treaties of Utrecht.

As a result of the prestige of his birth, cadet branches of the royal family saw in him a splendid match for their daughters. One of his aunts, Louise-Françoise de Bourbon, princesse de Condé, a legitimised daughter of Louis XIV and Madame de Montespan, proposed her beautiful daughter, Louise Élisabeth de Bourbon, but the marriage proposal came to naught, much to the annoyance of the House of Bourbon-Condé.

The Princess de Condé's sister, Françoise-Marie de Bourbon, duchesse d'Orléans, then suggested a union with her eldest daughter, Marie Louise Élisabeth d'Orléans. The marriage with Marie Louise Élisabeth, daughter of Philippe d'Orléans, Duke of Orléans, the future Regent of France, took place on 6 July 1710. It was an unhappy marriage, and after a miscarriage which ended her first pregnancy, Marie Louise Élisabeth never gave birth to a child that lived for more than a day or a few weeks.

Elizabeth Charlotte, Duchess Dowager of Orléans and the grandmother of Berry's wife, nicknamed him "Berry-Bon Cœur" ("Berry Good Heart") and later wrote on the marriage between him and her granddaughter:

At first he was passionately fond of his wife; but at the end of three months he fell in love with a little, ugly, femme de chambre. The Duchess, who had sufficient penetration, was not slow in discovering this, and told her husband immediately that, if he continued to live upon good terms with her, as he had done at first, she would say nothing about it, and act as if she were not acquainted with it; but if he behaved ill, she would tell the whole affair to the King, and have the femme de chambre sent away, so that he should never hear of her again. By this threat she held the Duke, who was a very simple man, so completely in check, that he lived very well with her up to his death, leaving her to do as she pleased, and dying himself as fond as ever of the femme de chambre. A year before his death he had her married, but on the condition that the husband should not exercise his marital rights. He left her pregnant as well as his wife, both of whom lay-in after his decease. Madame de Berry, who was not jealous, retained this woman, and took care of her and her child. The Duchess gave birth prematurely to a girl who died the next day. During the regency of her father, the young widow became known as a Messalina, ill-reputed for the debauched life she led in her Luxembourg Palace. Her health rapidly undermined by gluttony, alcoholism and a series of clandestine pregnancies, Madame de Berry died on 21 July 1719. The autopsy revealed that the princess was again with child although she had almost died at the end of March 1719, when giving birth to a still-born child allegedly fathered by her captain of the guards.[citation needed]

In 1712, Berry's eldest brother, Louis, Duke of Burgundy, Dauphin of France, and the later's elder son, Louis, Duke of Brittany died. It was foreseeable that Berry would serve as Regent for his brother's younger son, Louis, Duke of Anjou. But, on 5 May 1714, he died from internal injuries sustained in a hunting accident. His death rendered the details of the Regency less straightforward than before.

Titles and styles

   birth - 30 June 1710 Most High and Most Powerful Prince Charles, Son of France, Duke of Berry (Duke of Berry only as a courtesy title, and as such ignored for example in the letters patent conferring him his apanage, where he is only called "Charles, Son of France")
   30 June 1710 - September 1710 Most High and Most Powerful Prince Charles, Son of France, Duke of Berry, of Alençon and of Angoulesme, Count of Ponthieu, Lord of the castellanies of Noyelles, Hiermont, Coutteville and Le Mesnil (Duke of Berry "by brevet", as a personal title for life, other titles hereditary as an apanage)
   September 1710 - 5 May 1714 Most High and Most Powerful Prince Charles, Son of France, Duke of Berry, of Alençon and of Angoulesme, Viscount of Vernon, Andely and Gisors, Lord of the castellanies of Rignac and Merpins

Other honours

   knight of the Holy Spirit (at birth)
   knight of Saint Michael (automatically when received as a knight of the Holy Spirit in 1699)
   knight of Saint Louis (1693)

knight of the Golden Fleece (1701)

Descendance

Trois enfants sont nés de son mariage [1] :

   Une fille, Mlle de Berry, née et morte le 21/07/1711 à Fontainebleau
   Charles, Duc d'Alençon, né à Versailles le 26/03/1713, y mort le 16/04/1713 (21 jours)
   Marie Louise Élisabeth, posthume, née à Versailles le 16/06/1714, morte le lendemain

Un enfant naturel né d'une femme de chambre de la duchesse de Berry quelques mois après sa mort.

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Charles Louis de Bourbon, duc de Berry's Timeline

1686
July 31, 1686
Versailes, France
1710
July 6, 1710
Age 23
Chateau de Versailles, Versailles, France
1711
July 21, 1711
Age 24
1713
March 26, 1713
Age 26
Versailles, Ile-de-France, France
1714
May 4, 1714
Age 27
Marly-le-Roi, Yvelines, Île-de-France, France
May 15, 1714
Age 27
Saint-Denis, Ile-de-France, France
June 16, 1714
Age 27
Versailles, Ile-de-France, France
????
Bourbon - house of France
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