Louise Marie Caroline Heloise Albany, countess of, wife of the last of the Stuarts, and celebrated for her association with the poet Alfieri, born in Mons, Belgium, Sept. 20, 1753, died in Florence, Jan. 29, 1824. She was a daughter of Prince Gustavus Adolphus of Stolberg-Gedern, who fell in the battle of Leuthen. In 1772 she became the wife of Charles Edward Stuart, grandson of James II., and pretender to the British crown, known as the count of Albany, who was her senior by 33 years. The marriage was said to have been arranged with the hope of menacing the English sovereign with a legitimate heir to the rival Stuart dynasty. It proved most unhappy. She was young, refined, intellectual; he old, coarse, and intemperate. They lived at Florence, where she became acquainted with the poet Alfieri, who conceived a passionate regard for her. It was under her guidance that he began to write his tragedies. She was never charged with infidelity to her husband, whose brutality, however, became so unendurable that she left him, and sought refuge in a Florentine and subsequently in a Roman convent. In 1783 she obtained a formal separation from him through the interposition of Gustavus III. of Sweden, who also procured for her a pension from the French government, which was withdrawn after the outbreak of the revolution.

About a year after her husband's death (1788) the countess is said to have been secretly married to Alfieri, but they never appeared in public as husband and wife, though he was constantly in her society at Paris, London, and Florence, where she was received with distinction in the highest circles. In Florence her social and political influence was so great that Napoleon dreaded it almost as much as that of Mme, de Stael and of Mme. Recamier, especially in view of Alfieri's opposition to his rule. After the death of Alfieri (1803) the countess resided chiefly at Florence, where she is said to have formed an intimate relation with Francois Xavier Favre, a French painter. Alfieri says in his autobiography that without her inspiring influence he would have achieved nothing. She was buried in the church of Santa Croce at Florence, in the same tomb with Alfieri, which is adorned with a monument by Canova. A biographical work entitled Die Grafin von Albany has been published by Reumont (2 vols., Berlin, 1860).