Madame de Montesson

French noblewoman (1738-1806)

Charlotte Jeanne Béraud de La Haye de Riou (4 October 1738 – 6 February 1806) was a mistress of Louis Philippe d'Orléans, Duke of Orléans, and later his wife. However, Louis XV would not allow her to become the Duchess. She is known simply as Madame de Montesson. For her husband's fun and her own, she set up a small theatre and wrote many plays, in which she acted. She was a friend of Joséphine de Beauharnais. She married twice but had no children. In 1770, a small home was built in Paris for her use. The building was called the Hôtel de Montesson. It was destroyed by fire in 1810.

Charlotte Béraud de La Haye de Riou
Marquise of Montesson
Madame de Montesson circa 1780 after Vigée Le Brun (Versailles).
Full name
Charlotte Jeanne Béraud de La Haye de Riou
Born(1738-10-04)4 October 1738
Paris, France
Died6 February 1806(1806-02-06) (aged 67)
Hôtel de Montesson, Paris, France
BuriedÉglise Saint-Roch, Paris
Spouse(s)Jean Baptiste, Marquis of Montesson
Louis Philippe, Duke of Orléans
FatherJean Béraud de La Haye de Riou[1]
MotherJosefa Minard

Brief biography


Born in Paris in 1738 she was the only daughter of Jean Béraud de La Haye de Riou, Seigneur of la Gauvrillère and Josefa Minard. Her father was from an old Breton family. She first married a seventy-year-old widower Jean Baptiste de Montesson, Marquis of Montesson on 11 October 1757. He died in 1769. Her beauty and intelligence attracted the attention of the widowed Louis Philippe d'Orléans[2] who she secretly married in 1773 with the authorisation of King Louis XV. After her marriage to the Louis Philippe, Duke of Orléans, a member of the royal family and a Prince du Sang, her low rank did not allow her the title of Duchess of Orléans, nor having the rank of a Princess of the blood. During the French Revolution, she was arrested and imprisoned in the Temple Prison in Paris. She died in Paris aged 67. She was buried at the Église Saint-Roch, Paris.

Titles and styles

  • 4 October 1738 – 11 October 1757 Mademoiselle de La Haye de Riou.
  • 11 October 1757 – 1769 The Marquise of Montesson. (Madame la marquise de Montesson)
  • 1769 – 6 February 1806 The Dowager Marquise of Montesson. (Madame la marquise de Montesson douairière)

References and notes


Other websites


  Media related to Madame de Montesson at Wikimedia Commons