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bust of Louis by Francois Girardon (Troyes 1628 - 1715 Paris)

The Grand Dauphin

Louis, called le Grand Dauphin and Monsieur (1661-1711), eldest son of Louis XIV of France and Maria-Theresa of Spain.

He was given command of armies in Rhine campaign (1688) and in Flanders (1693) in the War of League of Augsburg and aided Villars in War of Spanish Succession (1709-10).

In 1679, he married Marie Christine of Bavaria. He fathered three children Louis, duc de Bourgogne, 1682-1712. (the father of Louis XV) ; Philip V of Spain, 1683-1746.; Charles, duc de Berry, 1684 (?)-1714.

Le Grand Dauphin,died of smallpox in 1711, aged fifty. His son and heir, the crippled Duc de Bourgogne, died one year later, and the throne was inherited by his infant grandson Louis (XV) in 1715. His aunt, Élisabeth Charlotte of the Palatine, Duchess of Orleans gave the following account :

"It is impossible to describe the Grand Dauphin. He feared nothing more in this world than to become king, not so much out of tendresse towards his father, than out of dread to rule; he was frightfully lazy, could sit the whole long day on a bed or chaise à bras, tap a cane against his shoes and utter not a single work; never in his life would he offer his opinion on anything, but if he happened to talk once in a year, he spoke well and in noble terms"