Charlotte of Savoy

Charlotte of Savoy (c. 1441/3 – 1 December 1483) was queen of France as the second spouse of Louis XI. She served as regent during the king's absence in 1465, and was a member of the royal regency council during her son's minority in 1483.

Charlotte of Savoy
Charlotte de Savoie
Portrait of Charlotte of Savoy, c. 1472
Queen consort of France
Tenure22 July 1461 – 30 August 1483
Bornc. 1441/3
Died1 December 1483 (aged 42)
Amboise, France
Notre-Dame de Cléry Basilica, Cléry-Saint-André, France
Louis XI of France
(m. 1451; died 1483)
IssueAnne, Duchess of Bourbon
Joan, Queen of France
Charles VIII of France
FatherLouis, Duke of Savoy
MotherAnne of Cyprus
ReligionRoman Catholicism


She was a daughter of Louis, Duke of Savoy[1] and Anne of Cyprus.[2] Her maternal grandparents were Janus of Cyprus and Charlotte de Bourbon-La Marche. Her maternal grandmother, for whom she was probably named, was a daughter of John I, Count of La Marche, and Catherine de Vendôme. She was one of 19 children, 14 of whom survived infancy.


On 11 March 1443, when Charlotte was just over a year old, she was betrothed to Frederick of Saxony (28 August 1439- 23 December 1451), eldest son of Frederick II, Elector of Saxony.[1] For reasons unknown, the betrothal was annulled. Less than eight years later on 14 February 1451, Charlotte married Louis, Dauphin of France (future Louis XI), eldest son of Charles VII of France and Marie of Anjou.[3] The bride was nine years old and the groom twenty-seven. The marriage, which had taken place without the consent of the French king,[3] was Louis' second; his first spouse, Margaret of Scotland, had died childless in 1445. Upon her marriage, Charlotte became Dauphine of France.

Louis reportedly neglected her. When the news upon his succession to the throne of France reached the couple at the Burgundian court, he immediately abandoned her in Burgundy to secure his inheritance, leaving her dependent upon Isabella of Bourbon to borrow the carts and entourage necessary to travel to France to join him.


On 22 July 1461, Charlotte became Queen of France. The following year, she became seriously ill and was close to death by August 1462. Although she recovered, her health was weakened.

Louis XI did not keep much of a representational court life. He had Queen Charlotte and her household kept secluded at the Château of Amboise, where she spent her days with her sisters and courtiers, supervising the education of her daughters (her son was educated by the king), playing chess and marbles, listening to her lute player, doing needlework and fulfilling her religious duties. On rare occasions she was asked to fulfill ceremonial tasks as queen such as greeting foreign guests, for example in 1470, when the king took the powerful Earl of Warwick and the Duke of Clarence from England to Amboise to visit her. Charlotte was interested in literature and praised for the taste and excellence of her personal library.[2] She left a collection of about one hundred manuscripts, which would become the genesis of the Bibliothèque nationale of France.

Charlotte was regarded as virtuous. A contemporary noted that "while she was an excellent Princess in other respects, she was not a person in whom a man could take any great delight";[2] However, after the birth of her last child in 1472, Louis swore that he would no longer be unfaithful, and according to the chronicler Phillip de Commynes, he kept this vow.

Charlotte served as regent in September 1465.

Queen dowager

Charlotte was widowed on August 30, 1483, upon which Louis XI was succeeded by their son Charles VIII, who was still a minor.

Louis XI did not make Charlotte regent if his son should succeed him while still a minor; he did in fact not formally appoint a regent at all, but he did leave instructions for a royal council to govern during such a minority, in which Charlotte, alongside Duke Jean de Bourbon II and their two sons-in-law Louis d'Orleans (married to their daughter Jeanne) and Peter II, Duke of Bourbon (married to their daughter Anne), were made members. In practice, her daughter Anne took control over France as regent during the minority of Charles.

Charlotte died on 1 December 1483 in Amboise, just a few months after her spouse's death. She is buried with him in the Notre-Dame de Cléry Basilica [4] in Cléry-Saint-André (Loiret) in the arrondissement of Orléans.


Charlotte became the mother of eight children, but only three survived infancy. These were Charles VIII, who became king of France, Anne, who acted as regent of France for Charles, and Joan, who became queen of France as the spouse of Louis XII.

  • Louis (1458–1460)
  • Joachim (1459)
  • Louise (1460)
  • Anne (3 April 1461 – 14 November 1522), Duchess of Bourbon, Viscountess of Thouars (1468–1473), Regent of France (1483–1491); married Peter II, Duke of Bourbon, by whom she had one daughter, Suzanne, Duchess of Bourbon.
  • Joan (23 April 1464 – 4 February 1505), who was briefly Queen of France as the first spouse of Louis XII
  • Francis (1466)
  • Charles VIII (30 June 1470 – 7 April 1498), who married Anne of Brittany; he died childless.
  • Francis (1472–1473)

Upon the death of her daughter, Anne, Charlotte's line became extinct; her granddaughter, Suzanne having died in 1521 without surviving issue.


  1. ^ a b Joachim W. Stieber, Pope Eugenius IV, the Council of Basel and the Secular and Ecclesiastical Authorities in the Empire, (E.J. Brill, 1978), 254.
  2. ^ a b c Sharon L. Jansen, Anne of France: Lessons For My Daughter, ed. Jane Chance, (Boydell & Brewer, 2004), 2-3
  3. ^ a b Richard Vaughan, Philip the Good, (The Boydell Press, 2010), 353.
  4. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2006-07-20. Retrieved 2006-08-26.CS1 maint: Archived copy as title (link)
  • Pauline Matarasso, “Queen’s Mate: Three women of power in France on the eve of the Renaissance”
  • John Seargeant Cyprian Bridge, “A History of France from the Death of Louis XI”
  • Paul Murray Kendall, “The Universal Spider: Louis XI”
French royalty
Preceded by
Marie of Anjou
Queen consort of France
22 July 1461 – 30 August 1483
Succeeded by
Anne of Brittany
1441 in France

Events from the year 1441 in France


Year 1451 (MCDLI) was a common year starting on Friday (link will display the full calendar) of the Julian calendar.

1451 in France

Events from the year 1451 in France


Year 1483 (MCDLXXXIII) was a common year starting on Wednesday (link will display the full calendar) of the Julian calendar).

1483 in France

Events from the year 1483 in France

Adelaide of Aquitaine

Adbelahide or Adele or Adelaide of Aquitaine (or Adelaide of Poitiers) (c. 945 or 952 – 1004), was queen consort of France by marriage to Hugh Capet.

Anne of France

Anne of France (or Anne de Beaujeu; 3 April 1461 – 14 November 1522) was a French princess and regent, the eldest daughter of Louis XI by Charlotte of Savoy. Anne was the sister of Charles VIII, for whom she acted as regent during his minority from 1483 until 1491. During the regency she was one of the most powerful women of late fifteenth-century Europe, and was referred to as "Madame la Grande". Between 1503 and 1521, she also acted as de facto regent of the Duchy of Bourbon during the reign of her daughter Suzanne, Duchess of Bourbon.

Antonia of Savoy

Antonia of Savoy (died 1500), was Lady of Monaco by marriage to Jean II, Lord of Monaco.Antonia or Antoinette of Savoy was the illegitimate daughter of Philip II, Duke of Savoy and his mistress Libera Portoneri. She was raised in the household of the queen of France, Charlotte of Savoy. In 1487, she was arranged to marry the heir to the throne of Monaco in a peace agreement between Monaco and Savoy supported by France. The marriage was of high importance to Savoy, and part of a process in which was compleeted in 1489, when Savoy acknowledged the independence of Savoy.

The couple had a daughter, Marie Grimaldi, wo was in 1515 married to Geronimo della Rovere and was forced to renounce her rights to the throne upon her marriage.

Charles VIII of France

Charles VIII, called the Affable (French: l'Affable; 30 June 1470 – 7 April 1498), was King of France from 1483 to his death in 1498, the seventh from the House of Valois. He succeeded his father Louis XI at the age of 13. His elder sister Anne acted as regent jointly with her husband Peter II, Duke of Bourbon until 1491 when the young king turned 21 years of age. During Anne's regency, the great lords rebelled against royal centralisation efforts in a conflict known as the Mad War (1485–1488), which resulted in a victory for the royal government.

In a remarkable stroke of audacity, Charles married Anne of Brittany in 1491 after she had already been married by proxy to the Habsburg Holy Roman Emperor Maximilian I in a ceremony of questionable validity. Preoccupied by the problematic succession in the Kingdom of Hungary, Maximilian failed to press his claim. Upon his marriage, Charles became administrator of Brittany and established a personal union that enabled France to avoid total encirclement by Habsburg territories.

To secure his rights to the Neapolitan throne that René of Anjou had left to his father, Charles made a series of concessions to neighbouring monarchs and conquered the Italian peninsula without much opposition. A coalition formed against the French invasion of 1494-98 finally drove out Charles' army, but Italian Wars would dominate Western European politics for over 50 years.

Charles died in 1498 after accidentally striking his head on the lintel of a door at the Château d'Amboise, his place of birth. Since he had no male heir, he was succeeded by his cousin Louis XII of France from the Orléans cadet branch of the House of Valois.

Charlotte (given name)

Charlotte is a female given name, a female form of the male name Charlot, a diminutive of Charles. It is of French origin meaning "free man" or "petite". The name dates back to at least the 14th century. King Charles II of England had two illegitimate daughters with the name, the second wife of King Louis XI of France was Charlotte of Savoy, and Charlotte de Bourbon-La Marche (1388-1422) was Queen of Cyprus. Other names for Charlotte are Charlie, Lottie, Lotte, Carlota and Carlotta.

These women are usually identified as Charlotte with an appended title rather than a surname:

Princess Charlotte of Cambridge

Charlotte Stuart, Duchess of Albany

Charlotte, Grand Duchess of Luxembourg

Charlotte, Princess Royal, later Queen Charlotte of Württemberg

Charlotte of Belgium, Empress of Mexico

Charlotte of Bourbon, Queen of Cyprus (1388-1422)

Charlotte of Cyprus (1444-1487), Queen of Jerusalem and Armenia

Charlotte FitzRoy, Countess of Yarmouth (1650-1684)

Charlotte Lee, Countess of Lichfield (1664-1718)

Charlotte of Mecklenburg-Strelitz ("Queen Charlotte"), the queen consort of George III

Charlotte of Savoy (1441-1483), wife of Louis XI of France

Charlotte Amalie of Hesse-Cassel (or Hesse-Kassel), Queen of Denmark

Princess Charlotte, Duchess of Valentinois, Princess of Monaco

Charlotte Casiraghi, eighth in line to the Monegasque throne after her mother, Caroline, Princess of Hanover

Princess Charlotte Augusta of Wales, only legitimate child of George IV of the United Kingdom

Archduchess Charlotte of Austria

Amber O'Neal, a professional wrestler, who has also performed under the ring name Charlotte

Princess Charlotte (disambiguation), several women with the name

Queen Charlotte (disambiguation), several women with the name

Claude of France

Claude of France (13 October 1499 – 20 July 1524) was a queen consort of France by marriage to Francis I. She was also ruling Duchess of Brittany from 1514. She was a daughter of the French king Louis XII and Anne of Brittany.

Dauphin of France

Dauphin of France (French: Dauphin de France [dofɛ̃ də fʁɑ̃s]), originally Dauphin of Viennois (Dauphin de Viennois), was the title given to the heir apparent to the throne of France from 1350 to 1791 and 1824 to 1830. The word dauphin is French for dolphin. At first the heirs were granted the County of Viennois (Dauphiné) to rule, but eventually only the title was granted.

Dauphine of France

The Dauphine of France (French pronunciation: ​[dofin]) was the wife of the Dauphin of France (the heir apparent to the French throne). The position was analogous to the Princess of Wales (the wife of the heir apparent to the British throne).

Félizé Regnard

Félizé Regnard (1424-1474) was a French courtier. She was a lady-in-waiting to the queen of France, Charlotte of Savoy, and mistress to king Louis XI of France.

She was the daughter of Aymar Reynard, seigneur de Saint Didier, and married to Jean Pic (d. 1452). She became a lady-in-waiting as a widow and had the daughter Guyette de Valois with Louis XI. She remarried Charles de Seillons.

Joan of France, Duchess of Berry

Joan of France (French: Jeanne de France, Jeanne de Valois; 23 April 1464 – 4 February 1505), was briefly Queen of France as wife of King Louis XII, in between the death of her brother, King Charles VIII, and the annulment of her marriage. After that, she retired to her domain, where she soon founded the monastic Order of the Sisters of the Annunciation of Mary, where she served as abbess. From this Order later sprang the religious congregation of the Apostolic Sisters of the Annunciation, founded in 1787 to teach the children of the poor. She was canonized on 28 May 1950 and is known in the Roman Catholic Church as Saint Joan of Valois, O.Ann.M..

Joanna of Bourbon

Joanna of Bourbon (3 February 1338 – 6 February 1378) was Queen of France by marriage to King Charles V. She acted as his political adviser and was appointed potential regent in case of a minor regency.

Louis XI of France

Louis XI (3 July 1423 – 30 August 1483), called "Louis the Prudent" (French: le Prudent), was King of France from 1461 to 1483, the sixth from the House of Valois. He succeeded his father Charles VII.

Louis entered into open rebellion against his father in a short-lived revolt known as the Praguerie in 1440. The king forgave his rebellious vassals, including Louis, to whom he entrusted the management of the Dauphiné, then a province in southeastern France. Louis's ceaseless intrigues, however, led his father to banish him from court. From the Dauphiné, Louis led his own political establishment and married Charlotte of Savoy, daughter of Louis, Duke of Savoy, against the will of his father. Charles VII sent an army to compel his son to his will, but Louis fled to Burgundy, where he was hosted by Philip the Good, the Duke of Burgundy, Charles' greatest enemy.

When Charles VII died in 1461, Louis left the Burgundian court to take possession of his kingdom. His taste for intrigue and his intense diplomatic activity earned him the nicknames "the Cunning" (Middle French: le rusé) and "the Universal Spider" (Middle French: l'universelle aragne), as his enemies accused him of spinning webs of plots and conspiracies.

In 1472, the subsequent Duke of Burgundy, Charles the Bold, took up arms against his rival Louis. However, Louis was able to isolate Charles from his English allies by signing the Treaty of Picquigny (1475) with Edward IV of England. The treaty formally ended the Hundred Years' War. With the death of Charles the Bold at the Battle of Nancy in 1477, the dynasty of the dukes of Burgundy died out. Louis took advantage of the situation to seize numerous Burgundian territories, including Burgundy proper and Picardy.

Without direct foreign threats, Louis was able to eliminate his rebellious vassals, expand royal power, and strengthen the economic development of his country. He died on 30 August 1483, and was succeeded by his minor son Charles VIII.

Marie of Anjou

Marie of Anjou (14 October 1404 – 29 November 1463) was Queen of France as the spouse of King Charles VII from 1422 to 1461. She served as regent and presided over the council of state several times during the absence of the king.


Neufchâtel-en-Bray (French: [nøʃatɛl ɑ̃ bʁe]) is a commune situated in the Seine-Maritime department of the Normandy Region, northern France. The cheese of the same name is made in the area.

Ancestors of Charlotte of Savoy
16. Amadeus VI, Count of Savoy
8. Amadeus VII, Count of Savoy
17. Bonne of Bourbon
4. Amadeus VIII, Duke of Savoy
18. John, Duke of Berry
9. Bonne of Berry
19. Joanna of Armagnac
2. Louis, Duke of Savoy
20. John II of France
10. Philip the Bold
21. Bonne of Bohemia
5. Mary of Burgundy
22. Louis II of Flanders
11. Margaret III, Countess of Flanders
23. Margaret of Brabant
1. Charlotte of Savoy
24. Hugh IV of Cyprus
12. James I of Cyprus
25. Alice d'Ibelin
6. Janus of Cyprus
26. Duke Philip of Brunswick-Grubenhagen
13. Helvis of Brunswick-Grubenhagen
27. Helisia of Dampierre
3. Anne of Cyprus
28. James I, Count of La Marche
14. John I, Count of La Marche
29. Jeanne of Châtillon
7. Charlotte of Bourbon-La Marche
30. John VI, Count of Vendôme
15. Catherine of Vendôme
31. Jeanne of Ponthieu
1st generation
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20th generation

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