She is better known for her death than for her life which was however far from being negligible, as her biographer Emmanuel de Valicourt recalls: widow at 19 of a debauched prince, Freemason, close to the encyclopedists, this rich heiress , the richest in the kingdom, was also the first to organize a dinner reserved for women…. But his ordeal on September 3, 1792, will have eclipsed everything, embodying the savagery of a Commune determined not to make a quarter among the close servants of the sovereigns, annoying witnesses of certain compromises of the leaders of the Revolution.
Extracted from the Force prison, near the rue Saint-Antoine, she was killed with a saber, disembowelled, beheaded, her head placed on a pike that was brandished under the windows of the Temple prison where her son resided. friend Marie-Antoinette, while their corpse was dragged through the capital.
“No, my dear Lamballe, don’t come back, that you are a good and true friend. “Despite the queen’s defense, the princess, superintendent of the Tuileries, who went abroad during the flight from Varennes, listens only to her heart to help a beleaguered queen who had neglected her. From the Tuileries to the Temple, she will be present during the darkest hours, triumphing over uncertain health and mentality. When a scapegoat has to be found, it is on her that the retribution intentionally falls: she is attributed all the turpitude, sexual and political. Perhaps one day we will make a film of its last fifteen days, hectic, dizzying, where the people will have committed all the outrages on the body of a princess.
The Princess of Lamballe, by Emmanuel de Valicourt (Tallandier, 320 p., € 21.90)