Louise d’Aumont – The Hereditary Princess of Monaco




(public domain)

Louise d’Aumont was born on 22 October 1759 in Paris, France as the only child and daughter of Louis Marie d’Aumont, Duke of Aumont, and his wife, Louise Jeanne de Durfort, Duchess of Mazarin et de La Meilleraye, in her own right. Through her mother, she was the heiress of the considerable fortune of Cardinal Mazarin, and she was the great-granddaughter of Hortense Mancini, who was the mistress of both Charles II of England and Prince Louis of Monaco.

She made a grand match in the form of Honoré IV, Prince of Monaco, back then the Hereditary Prince of Monaco. If he expected much of her fortune, he was in for a shock. Most of it was mortgaged or involved in lawsuits. Nevertheless, Louise lived the high life and racked up huge gambling debts. They had two sons, who both ended up as reigning Princes of Monaco.

During the French Revolution Honoré, his father, Louise and their younger son were imprisoned as enemies of the people in the barracks at the Rue de Sèvres. Louise and their younger son were rescued by the family doctor named Desormeaux, who managed to forge a release order. He hid them in his home until the Reign of Terror ended. At least one Grimaldi ended up under the guillotine, Honoré’s sister-in-law Thérèse Françoise de Choiseul (wife of his younger brother Prince Joseph), was executed on 27 July 1794. She was one of the last victims of the Reign of Terror.

Honoré’s father died on 12 May 1795, but because Monaco had officially become part of the French Alpes-Maritimes Departement, Honoré did not immediately succeed him as sovereign Prince. Honoré’s health never recovered from the time in prison. He and Louise divorced in 1798, but it wasn’t until 1814 that principality was restored to him, and so Louise is not known as Princess of Monaco.

Louise must have been pregnant when she was imprisoned because soon after her release she gave birth to an illegitimate daughter named, Amélie Céleste Erodore d’Aumont. Her father was rumoured to have been Antoine de Montazet, Archbishop of Lyon. A second daughter, Jeanne Marie Pétronille d’Aumont was born on an unknown date.

Louise remarried to René François Tirnand-d’Arcis on 6 February 1801, but this marriage too ended in divorce in 1803. She repeatedly threatened to cut her eldest son out of her will, and she was less than amused when he fathered an illegitimate son (yes, despite having done the same!). When she died on 13 December 1826, she left what remained of her estates, to her younger son. 1

 

  1. Anne Edwards (1992) The Grimaldis of Monaco






About Moniek 1449 Articles
My name is Moniek and I am from the Netherlands. I began this website in 2013 because I wanted to share these women's amazing stories.

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