Henrietta Anne Stuart
Henrietta Anne (June 16, 1644 - June 30, 1670), in French Henriette d'Angleterre, sometimes known familiarly as Minette, was the youngest daughter of King Charles I of England and Queen Henrietta Maria of France. The Stewart Legitimist Claims to the throne following the death of Henry Benedict Stuart, descend from her.
Henrietta was born at Bedford House, Exeter, at a time when the English Civil War was raging across the land. Two weeks after Henriette's birth, her mother, the Queen, fled the country leaving her in the care of Lady Villiers. Henrietta-Anne (the "Anne" was added after she was baptized into the Catholic Church) was not reunited with her mother until she was two years old. After Henrietta's father Charles I was beheaded in 1649 and a republic was proclaimed in England, Henrietta's mother made her home at the French court, nominally presided over by her minor nephew, Louis XIV. Henrietta thus grew up at the French court.
At age 17, Henrietta married her first cousin, Philippe duc d'Orléans, who was the younger son of her maternal uncle Louis XIII and the only brother of Louis XIV, then King of France. The wedding was held at the Chapel Palais Royal in Paris on March 31, 1661. The marriage was unhappy, since her husband was a flamboyant bisexual; it is also said that Henrietta-Anne had a secret affair with her brother-in-law Louis XIV, although historians now tend to dismiss such rumours as court gossip.
Henrietta-Anne was the mother of four children, being:
- Marie Louise d'Orléans (March 27, 1662 - February 12, 1689), who married Charles II of Spain on November 18, 1679.
- Philippe Charles, Duke of Valois (July 16, 1664 - December 8, 1666)
- Anna Maria d'Orléans (August 27, 1669 - August 26, 1728). On April 10, 1684 she married Victor Amadeus II of Savoy.
- A still-born daughter (July 9, 1665).
- Four other miscarriages in 1663, 1666, 1667 and 1668.
Henrietta-Anne is best known through her correspondence with her brother King Charles II of England, with whom she was very close. With her brother, she helped to negotiate the Secret Treaty of Dover (1670), which was an offensive and defensive alliance between England and France. She died at the Palace of Saint-Cloud, near Paris on June 30, 1670, just two weeks after the treaty was signed. At the time of her death, it was widely believed that Henrietta-Anne had been poisoned by her husband’s jealous lover, the Chevalier de Lorraine. An autopsy was performed and it was determined that Henrietta-Anne had died of peritonitis caused by a perforated ulcer.