Portrait of Henriette Adelaide of Savoy (1636-1676), Electress of Bavaria (1651-1676)
Henriette Adelaide of Savoy (German: Henriette Adelheid von Savoyen; 6 November 1636 – 13 June 1676), was Electress of Bavaria by marriage to Ferdinand Maria, Elector of Bavaria. She had much political influence in her adopted country and with her husband did much to improve the welfare of the Electorate of Bavaria. Born at the Castello del Valentino in Turin, she was the older of twin girls; her sister Princess Catherine Beatrice of Savoy died in Turin 26 August 1637. On 7 October 1637 she lost her father Victor Amadeus I, Duke of Savoy, when she was just one year old. Her mother, Christine of France, was the daughter of Henry IV of France and Marie de' Medici. After the death of her father, her mother served as Regent of Savoy on behalf of two of Henriette Adelaide's brothers: Francis Hyacinth (1632–1638), then Charles Emmanuel II (1634–1675) after the older brother died. On 8 December 1650 Henriette married Ferdinand Maria, heir to the Electorate of Bavaria future. The next year he became Elector upon the death of his father Maximilian. Henriette Adelaide had a strong influence on Bavarian foreign affairs in favor of France, whose royal family counted her mother as a member. This led to an alliance between France and Bavaria against Austria. One of the results of the alliance was the marriage of Henriette's eldest daughter Maria Anna and her cousin Louis, Dauphin of France (le Grand Dauphin), in 1680. She had a leading role in the building of Nymphenburg Palace and the Theatine Church in Munich. Many Italian artists were invited to Munich, and she also introduced Italian opera to the court of Bavaria. Henriette died in Munich and was buried in the Theatine Church - the church she and her husband built as a gesture of thanks for the birth of the long-awaited heir to the Bavarian crown, Prince Maximilan II Emanuel, in 1662.
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