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Marie-Charlotte de Castelnau, Duchesse de Gramont – Party like 1660

Marie-Charlotte de Castelnau, Duchesse de Gramont

Marie-Charlotte was the last born child of Jacques de Castelnau-Mauvissiere, who became a Maréchal de France, and his wife Marie de Girard.


Charlotte de Castelnau

In 1667, during a ball at court, Mare-Charlotte spotted the very dashing Antoine-Charles de Gramont and was at once taken with him. He was a very gallant young gentleman and rather handsome to behold, someone whose vices were just as charming as virtues. And from a very good family.

His father was the Duke de Gramont and his older siblings, the infamous Comte de Guiche and the charming Princesse de Monaco. At this time, Antoine-Charles de Gramont held the title of Comte de Louvingy and was just as taken with Marie-Charlotte as she was with him. Being quite the flirt, he tested how far he could go with the lady in question and his advances were rather well received… which led to a bit of talk at court.

They got married on May 15 in 1668 and Marie-Charlotte had to discover that her hubby wasn’t just a bit of a flirt with her. On top of it, he was also a bit of a gambler. He distinguished himself in the King’s armies during the campaign against Holland in 1672 and during the Siege of Besançon in 1674. Later he was made Ambassador extraordinary in Spain, Viceroy of Navarre and Béarn, governor of Bayonne, a Knight of the King’s order and Knight of the Golden Fleece… but he did not make his wife happy.

Around the time as Madame de Montespan was pregnant with Françoise-Marie de Bourbon and Louis XIV ogled various other ladies, Marie-Charlotte was apparently one of them and received a couple of visits from the King. But the whole thing did not last for long and Louis le Grand returned to the bosom of la Montespan.

In 1678, her father-in-law died. Five years earlier, the Comte de Louvigny became his sole heir after the sudden demise of his older brother, now he became Duc de Gramont and his wife Duchesse. It did not improve their marriage nor the hubby’s libertine attitude.

The couple had two children: Antoine, who inherited his father’s title, born in 1672, and Catherine-Charlotte, who became Duchesse de Boufflers.

Marie-Charlotte died in her late fifties on January 29 in 1694 and the Duc married again in 1710, without the knowledge of his family. The bride was Anne Baillet, a commoner.