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  • Maria Stella was the self-styled legitimate daughter of Louis Philip II, Duke of Orléans. According to her, Louis-Philippe was not the son of Philip duke of Orleans, but a suppositious child, his father being one Lorenzo Chiappini, constable at the village of Modigliana in Tuscany. The story is that the duke and duchess of Orleans, travelling under the incognito of Comte and Comtesse de Joinville, were at this village on 16 April 1773, when the duchess gave birth to a daughter; and that the duke, desiring a son in order to prevent the rich Penthièvre inheritance from reverting to his wife's relations in the event of her death, bribed the Chiappinis to substitute their newborn male child for his own. Maria Stella Petronilla Chiappini was born to an ordinary Italian family in 1773, in a small village called Modigliana in Tuscany. According to Maria's autobiography, she was treated poorly by her mother as a child, while her brothers and sisters gained all the attention.

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