Science Fair Project Encyclopedia
Also note that, in France, this name is very often misspelled in various ways.
|Coat of Arms||Wieniawa|
|Parents|| Stanislaw Leszczyński|
|Consorts||Louis XV of France|
|Children|| with Louis XV of France|
|Date of Birth||June 23, 1703|
|Place of Birth||Poznań, Poland|
|Date of Death||June 24, 1768|
|Place of Death||Versailles, France|
Maria Karolina Katarzyna Leszczyńska (1703–1768) was a queen consort of France and a Polish princess. She was a daughter of King Stanisław Leszczyński of Poland (later Duke of Lorraine) and Katarzyna Opalińska. She married King Louis XV of France and was a grandmother of Louis XVI, Louis XVIII, and Charles X
Marie's early life was troubled by her father's political misfortune. Ironically, King Stanisław's hopeless political career was eventually the reason that his daughter Marie became queen of France. Cardinal Fleury, Louis XV's Prime Minister, wanted to find his king a royal bride who would not drag France into any complicated political alliances. Since Stanisław's royal power no longer existed, Marie was chosen to marry the young French king.
Their marriage was initially happy and they had many children - most of whom were incredibly loyal to their mother. However, Louis was a notorious womaniser and several of his mistresses - particularly the glamorous Madame de Pompadour eventually eclipsed Queen Marie's social status at Versailles.
Marie died in 1768, six years before her husband. His new mistress was a former prostitute, Madame du Barry. Her children and grandchildren sincerely grieved at Marie's death. Two years later, her grandson Louis-Auguste was married to a young Austrian archduchess - Marie Antoinette - who was destined to become the last legitimate queen of France.
Two of Marie's grandchildren met their deaths on the guillotine during the French Revolution - Louis XVI and Princess Elisabeth, as did Marie Antoinette. Another two, Louis XVIII and Charles X became kings of France after the Restoration of the monarchy in 1814.
Marie is a major character in the novel The Royal Merry-Go-Round, the story of Louis XV's adventurous love life.
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