Charles, Prince of Soubise

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Charles de Rohan
Duke of Rohan-Rohan, Duke of Ventadour, 4th Prince of Soubise, Prince of Épinoy, Marquis of Roubaix, and Count of Saint-Pol
Governor of Flanders and Hainaut
Tenure26 September 1751 – 1 July 1787
PredecessorCharles Joseph Marie de Boufflers
SuccessorCharles Eugène Gabriel de La Croix
MonarchLouis XVI
Born(1715-07-16)16 July 1715
Palace of Versailles, Kingdom of France
Died1 July 1787(1787-07-01) (aged 71)
Hôtel de Soubise, Paris, Kingdom of France
(m. 1734; died 1739)
(m. 1741; died 1745)
Noble FamilyRohan
FatherJules, Prince of Soubise
MotherAnne Julie de Melun
ReligionRoman Catholicism
Military career
Allegiance Kingdom of France
Service/branchKingdom of France French Royal Army
Years of service1732–1762
RankMarshal of France
Battles/warsSeven Years' War

Charles de Rohan, 4th Prince of Soubise (16 July 1715 – 1 July 1787), Prince of Soubise, Duke of Rohan-Rohan, Seigneur of Roberval, and Marshal of France from 1758, was a soldier, and minister to kings Louis XV and Louis XVI. He was the last male of his branch of the House of Rohan, and was great-grandfather to the Duke of Enghien, executed by Napoleon in 1804. Styled Prince d'Epinoy at birth, he became the Prince of Soubise after 1749.


The prince was born at the Palace of Versailles on 16 July 1715, the son of Jules, Prince of Soubise, lieutenant captain of the Gendarmes of the Royal Guard, and of Anne Julie Adélaïde de Melun. The eldest of five children, he was styled the Prince of Epinoy till his father's death in 1724.

His parents died in Paris of smallpox in 1724, remaining his siblings, including Marie Louise, making them orphans. His sister lost her husband to smallpox in 1743.

He was entrusted to his grandfather Hercule Mériadec, Duke of Rohan-Rohan, who raised Soubise to the court, where he became the companion of Louis XV, who was the same age as he. One of his great grandmothers was Madame de Ventadour, via his paternal grandmother Anne Geneviève de Lévis; Madame de Ventadour, who died in 1744, was close to her great grandson.

He accompanied Louis XV in the campaign of 1744–48 and attained high military rank, which owed more to his courtiership than to his generalship.[1]

Soon after the beginning of the Seven Years' War, through the influence of Madame de Pompadour, he was put in command of a corps of 24,000 men, and in November 1757 he sustained the crushing defeat of Rossbach.[1] Along with the failure to hold Hanover following the Invasion of Hanover (1757) this marked a dramatic turnaround for French fortunes as just months before they had seemed on the brink of victory in Europe.

He was more fortunate, however, in his later military career, and continued in the service until the general peace of 1763, after which he lived the life of an ordinary courtier and man of fashion in Paris.[1]

Marriages and issue[edit]

Charles married three times. His first marriage was in 1734 to Anne Marie Louise de La Tour d'Auvergne (1722–1739), daughter of Emmanuel Théodose de La Tour d'Auvergne and a granddaughter of the famous Marie Anne Mancini; Anne Marie Louise died in 1739 giving birth to a son, who died in 1742. They had one surviving child:

In 1741, he married Princess Anna Teresa of Savoy (1717–1745), a daughter of Victor Amadeus I, Prince of Carignano, and Maria Vittoria Francesca of Savoy (who in turn was an illegitimate daughter of Victor Amadeus II of Sardinia). Anna Teresa (known as Anne Thérèse de Savoie) gave birth to another daughter:

After Anne Thérèse died in 1745, Charles married that same year Princess Anna Viktoria of Hessen-Rheinfels-Rotenburg (1728–1792). They had no children.

Charles also notably had relationships with Madeleine Guimard and Anne Victoire Dervieux.[2]


Soubise sauce, based on onion and béchamel, is said to have been named after him.



  1. ^ a b c  One or more of the preceding sentences incorporates text from a publication now in the public domainChisholm, Hugh, ed. (1911). "Soubise, Benjamin de Rohan, Duc de s.v. Charles de Rohan, Prince de Soubise". Encyclopædia Britannica. Vol. 25 (11th ed.). Cambridge University Press. p. 436.
  2. ^ "DERVIEUX Anne Victoire (1752-1829)". (in French). 21 January 2011. Archived from the original on 12 October 2018. Retrieved 11 October 2018.