Friday, March 29, 2013

Madame Royale

Marie-Thérèse Charlotte de France, known as Madame Royale, was the only member of the immediate Royal Family to survive the Revolution.  She was released from the Temple, ironically, as part of a prisoner exchange that included the release of Drouet, who had been a major player in the Varennes debacle.  He was one of the people along the Royal Family's escape route that recognized and exposed her and her family as they tried to escape France.

Petite Madame Royale's early life was normal and happy by court standards although she had a reputation as being a bit of a brat.  (That word was tossed around in descriptions of me as a child, too, so I think it's a compliment.  My mother even tentatively put forward the term when I was exasperatingly describing Micah when she was about five.  I was shocked!  Mom had a point, though.  Micah was a bit of a dominitrix.  Weren't you, Micah?  Don't worry, baby, I think it's a sign of intelligence.  That's what La Leche League told me.  Another bit of misinformation they fed me that led  to who you are today.  Haha.)  Madame Royale was about eleven, I think, when the family's trials began, in earnest, and she spent the next six years or so as a prisoner.  After her release, to Austria, and some wrangling over whom she'd marry, she became the wife of her French first cousin, Louis-Antoine, duc d'Angoulême.  She's been criticized as being old-fashioned, negative and cheerless.  How thoughtless of her not to play the role of carefree, charming Princesse after spending her teen years in a prison, standing by while her family was murdered.

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