History of Palazzo Madama

The "Madama" of Turin

The Madama of the Turin palazzo is Christine of France, Duchess of Savoy, who was commonly referred to as Madama Reale, Royal Madam. A daughter of King Henry IV of France and Maria de' Medici, she married Victor Amadeus I of Savoy in 1619. As regent for their children after the death of her husband, she ruled the small state of Piedmont for almost thirty years with a firm and authoritarian hand. Her foreign policy led to closer ties between the Savoy family and France and to an alliance with her brother Louis XIII, King of France.
However, her policies earned her the hostility of her brothers-in-law, Prince Thomas of Savoy-Carignano and Cardinal Maurizio, who, supported by Spain, forced her to flee Turin in 1639. With the assistance of the French, she returned a year later, sustained by a political marriage between her daughter and Cardinal Maurizio, who, in the circumstances, renounced cardinalship.