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Élisabeth Thérèse de Lorraine


Élisabeth Thérèse de Lorraine

Élisabeth of Lorraine
Princess of Epinoy

Élisabeth Thérèse after Etienne Achille Demahis
Spouse Louis de Melun, prince d'Epinoy
Louis, Duke of Joyeuse
Anne Julie, princess de Soubise
Full name
Élisabeth Thérèse de Lorraine
Father François Marie de Lorraine
Mother Anne de Lorraine
Born (1664-05-04)May 4, 1664[1]
Died 7 March 1748(1748-03-07) (aged 83)
Hôtel de Mayenne, Paris, France[2]

Élisabeth of Lorraine (Élisabeth Thérèse; 5 April 1664 – 7 March 1748) was a French noblewoman and the Princess of Epinoy by marriage. She is often styled as the princesse de Lillebonne. She was the mother of Louis de Melun, Duke of Joyeuse who disappeared under mysterious circumstances in 1724 and of Anne Julie de Melun, princesse de Soubise.


A member of a cadet branch of the House of Guise, her father was the youngest son of Charles II de Lorrain, Duke of Elbeuf and Catherine Henriette de Bourbon, a natural daughter of Henry IV of France and Gabrielle d'Estrées. Her mother, Anne, was her father's distant cousin and was the only daughter of Charles IV of Lorraine and his secret wife Béatrice de Cusance.

The fifth of her parents' nine children, she was the only one of her siblings to marry or have children. She was styled Mademoiselle de Commercy at the French royal court, the princedom of Commercy being a subsidiary domain of the House of Lorraine.

On 7 October 1691, Mademoiselle de Commercy married Louis de Melun, Prince of Epinoy and Duke of Joyeuse, who was nine years younger than his bride). The couple had two children, one son born in 1694 and a daughter born in 1698. Only the latter would have issue.

Élisabeth Thérèse was the Duchess of Luxembourg-Saint-Pôl[3] in her own right. She bought the duchy from Marie d'Orléans[3][4]

She was a lady in waiting to Marie Anne de Bourbon, Princess of Conti (1666–1739), a legitimised daughter of Louis XIV of France.

She and her sister were said, by Saint-Simon, to be spies for Madame de Maintenon. While in the circle of the Grand Dauphin, she became close to his other half sister Louise Françoise de Bourbon known as Madame la Duchesse.[5] She was also close to her uncle Charles Henri, Prince of Vaudémont and to Louis Joseph, Duke of Vendôme.[6]

In 1721, at the death of her great-aunt, Marguerite Louise d'Orléans, Grand Duchess of Tuscany, Élisabeth Thérèse was designated her heiress, despite Marguerite Louise having allegedly promised that she would make her children her heirs.[7]

She lost both her children in 1724: Louis, having secretly married Marie Anne de Bourbon (1697–1741),[8] disappeared while at a ball at the Château de Chantilly in July. Anne Julie had died earlier from smallpox, leaving five young children.

She and her husband died on 7 March 1748 at the Hôtel de Mayenne.[2] She was aged eighty-three.[2]

Through her daughter, she is an ancestor of the present Duke of Montbazon of the House of Rohan.



Titles and styles

  • 5 April 1664 – 7 October 1691 Her Highness Mademoiselle de Commercy
  • 7 October 1691 – 7 March 1748 Her Highness Madame d'Epinoy

References and notes

See also

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