The Princesse de Lamballe was born in Turin in 1749, and married to the Prince de Lamballe at the age of 16. He had a massive fortune. He was also a spendthrift who gambled wildly. Honestly, I think this is pretty much all people did during this period. They just hung out at gambling tables. Marie Antoinette reportedly gambled for 72 hours straight leading up to her 21st birthday.
So, in addition to gambling wildly, the Prince de Lamballe kept an opera dancer as a mistress and, at one point, tried to sell off the Princesse’s diamonds to pay his debt.
Then he died. At age 20. After the Princesse had been married to him for three years. His obituary read:
Louis Alexander Joseph Stanislas de Bourbon, Prince de Lamballe, first huntsman of France, died at the Château de Louveciennes, near Versailles, the 6th of this month, at half-past eight o’clock in the morning, aged twenty years and eight months. He was born the 6th of September, 1747. He was married the 17th of January, 1767, to Marie Thérèse Louise de Carignan. We cannot too highly commend the sentiments of piety and resignation and the courage which this prince showed during his long illness, up to the last moments of his life. On account of his death the court will wear mourning for ten days.
Right. He died of venereal disease. But it was still very sad. It also meant that, at the age of 19, the Princesse de Lamballe was left the wealthiest widow in France. And she went to Versailles.