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Anne-Élisabeth de France & Marie-Anne de France – Party like 1660

Anne-Élisabeth de France & Marie-Anne de France

After the Dauphin was born in 1661, Louis XIV and his wife Marie-Thérèse became the parents of two daughters. Both of them died in infancy.


Posthumous portrait of Anne-Élisabeth and her sister Marie-Anne

Anne-Élisabeth de France, named after her grandmothers Anne d’Autriche and Élisabeth de France, was born at the Louvre on November 18 in 1662. A bit over a month later, on December 30, the little girl died at the dark and gloomy Louvre, probably due to pneumonia. She was buried at Saint-Denis.

Marie-Anne de France, was born at the Louvre as well and also in November. (The Dauphin was born in November too.) Her birth on November 16 in 1664 caused quite the ado.

According to some of the people who were present during it, the little girl was born with dark, some say black, skin and horribly deformed. Madame de Motteville, who was one of those present, said the little girl looked like a mauress and the doctors thought she would die. La Grande Mademoiselle, who was not present herself, heard of it from Monsieur, who was there, and wrote the girl resembled a small Moor that Monsieur de Beaufort had brought.

That moor was called Nabo and a page. He died only a few days after the birth of Marie-Anne.

Since the link between Nabo and the Queen had been made, a lot of people believed the little girl was the result of an affair the Queen had with Nabo… which led to the assumption that a nun called Louise-Marie Thérèse, which had dark skin, might actually be Marie-Anne, whose death had been faked. (More about that here.)

Marie-Anne’s dark skin might actually have been more blue or grey than black. Which is pretty much what the doctors thought too. It is likely that the condition was caused by a lack of oxygen. The little princesse lived only for forty days and, just like her birth, there were people present at her demise. Like her sister, she was buried at Saint-Denis.