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Louis XV of France plays a minor role in the Outlander series.

Personal History[]

Louis XV was born in the Palace of Versailles on 15 February 1710 during the reign of his great-grandfather Louis XIV. His grandfather, Louis Le Grand Dauphin, had three sons with his wife Marie Anne Victoire of Bavaria: Louis, Duke of Burgundy; Philippe, Duke of Anjou(who became King of Spain); and Charles, Duke of Berry. Louis XV was the third son of the Duke of Burgundy and his wife Marie Adélaïde of Savoy, the eldest daughter of Victor Amadeus II, Duke of Savoy, and Anne Marie d'Orléans. At birth, Louis XV received a customary title for younger sons of the French royal family: Duke of Anjou.

In April 1711, Louis Le Grand Dauphin suddenly died, making Louis XV's father, the Duke of Burgundy, the new dauphin. At that time, Burgundy had two living sons, Louis, Duke of Brittany and his youngest son, the future Louis XV.

A year later, Marie Adélaïde, Duchess of Burgundy, contracted smallpox (or measles) and died on 12 February 1712. Her husband, said to be heartbroken by her death, died the same week, also having contracted smallpox. Within a week of his death, it was clear that the couple's two children had also been infected. The elder son was repeatedly treated by bloodletting in an unsuccessful effort to save him. Fearing that the Dauphin would die, the Court had both the Dauphin and the Duke of Anjou baptised. The Dauphin died the same day, 8 March 1712. His younger brother, the Duke of Anjou, was personally treated by his governess, Madame de Ventadour, who forbade any bloodletting. He survived the smallpox and, at the age of two, became first in the line of succession to his great-grandfather Louis XIV. The elderly king would die in 1715 and Louis, aged just five, would succeed his great-grandfather.

In 1721, Louis XV at the age of 11 was betrothed to his first cousin, the Infanta Maria Anna Victoria of Spain. The eleven-year-old king was not interested in the arrival of his future wife, the three-year-old Spanish Infanta. In June 1722, the king and the court returned to Versailles, where they resided until the end of the reign. In October of the same year, Louis XV was officially crowned in Reims Cathedral.

Events of the Novels[]

Dragonfly in Amber[]

In 1744, Jamie Fraser first meets King Louis when he attends the King's lever at Versailles. Louis meets Claire Fraser at the ball at the Palace of Versailles. Louis stubbornly refuses to meet Charles Stuart at court.

After Jamie is arrested for dueling Jack Randall, Claire has an audience with Louis and begs him to free Jamie. She learns that he remains imprisoned because the Duke of Sandringham demands it as he wishes to keep Jamie away from Charles Stuart. Claire reveals to Louis that Jamie is not a Jacobite and Louis agrees to release Jamie on the condition that he leaves France. Louis will make sure that the charges against Jamie are dropped so that he can return.

Once these negotiations are over Louis asks Claire for a small service in return. Thinking that she is going to have to sleep with him, Claire follows Louis through a door but it does not lead to a bedroom. Louis takes Claire into a darkened round room, lit only by tiny oil-lamps. In the center of the room is a huge round table and the people sitting around it are all hooded. Standing in the room are the Comte St. Germain and Master Raymond, both of whom have been accused of sorcery.

Louis instructs Claire to listen to their testimony then use her powers as La Dame Blanche which enable her to see the soul of a man, to determine who is telling the truth. When Claire declares that the Comte is associated with a group called Les Disciples du Mal, the Comte retaliates by accusing Claire of being the servant of Satan in league with Master Raymond. The Comte produces a snake from his shirt and quotes a passage from the Bible that says that servants of the true God can handle snakes without being harmed. Master Raymond then speaks up and provides the rest of the quote which is that servants of the true God will not die if they drink deadly poison. As Claire, the Comte and Raymond now all stand accused of sorcery, Raymond suggests that they all drink some poison to prove their innocence. He produces a flask of 'Dragon's blood' and pours out three cups. Both he and Claire drink it without effect, but the Comte falls down writhing and then subsides into limpness.

Louis takes Claire back through the door and leads her to the chaise and lifts her skirts. He oils her with rose oil and then penetrates her with a few thrusts before leaving to go to his mistress to finish off.


Physical Appearance[]

Louis is described to be about 5'6", and not particularly handsome. He has dark hooded eyes and a haughty nose,[1] with thin lips, bad teeth and breath that smells of decay. It's noted that King Louis smells of violets.[2]


  • Louis is a French form of Ludovicus, the Latinized form of Ludwig[3] from the Germanic name Chlodovech, which was composed of the elements hlud "famous" and wig "war, battle".[4]


TV Series[]

French actor Lionel Lingelser portrays King Louis XV in the Outlander television adaptation.


Season Two



  1. Dragonfly in Amber, chapter 9
  2. Dragonfly in Amber, chapter 27
  3. Behind the Name: Louis - access 22 May 2016
  4. Behind the Name: Ludwig - accessed 22 May 2016