• Anne d’Autriche

    Ana María Mauricia de Austria y Austria-Estiria or short Anne d’Autriche was born on 22 September 1601 as oldest daughter of Philip III of Spain and his second cousin and wife Margaret of Austria.   Anne received her first name in honour of her grandmother Anne of Austria, fourth wife of Philip II, her second name María in honour of…

  • Marie-Thérèse d’Autriche

    Marie-Thérèse d’Autriche was born on September 10 in 1638, five days after her future husband, which made many believe they were meant for each other.   As daughter of the reining King of Spain Philip IV and his Queen Élisabeth de France, sister of Louis XIII, Marie-Thérèse was Infanta of Spain – meaning as much as Princess – from the day she…

  • Anne-Marie Martinozzi, Princesse de Conti

    Born in 1637, as youngest daughter of Comte Girolamo Martinozzi and Laura Margherita Mazzarini, sister of Cardinal de Mazarin, Anne-Marie came to France in 1648 together with her mother and sister Laura.  Mother and daughters lived first at Aix-en-Provence, then in the Palace of her brother and finally settled at the court of Anne d’Autriche, in the apartment of the…

  • Château de Saint-Cloud, Une Histoire.

    There is a gem, just west of Paris, which once was a place as grand as Versailles, the Domaine National de Saint-Cloud. Close to the banks of the Seine, on an elevation with a magnificent view of Paris, stood a much admired château, surrounded by a large park, fabulous bosquets and fountains. The Russian Tsar Peter I was there in 1717,…

  • Dangeau’s Diary, January 1685

    1st. — The King gave Monseigneur, le Grand Dauphin, a New Year’s present of four thousand pistoles, besides the fifteen hundred he allows him monthly. He also presented Monsieur with a similar gift. 2d. — The Nuncio came, on the part of the Pope, to solicit a month’s delay for the Genoese. The King replied, that he was resolved to…

  • Philippe de Lorraine-Armagnac, dit le Chevalier de Lorraine

    Born in 1643 (day and month unknown), Philippe was the second born son of Monsieur le Grand, Henri de Lorraine, pair de France, Comte d’Harcourt, d’Armagnac, de Brionne, and de Charny, Vicomte de Marsan and de Pagny, Grand écuyer de France, Vice-Roi de Catalogne in 1645, grand Sénéchal de Bourgogne, Gouverneur d’Anjou, and Marguerite-Philippe du Cambout. Philippe’s father, Henri, did his first…

  • L’Homme au Masque de Fer, The Man in the Iron Mask

    We all know the story of the mysterious prisoner in the iron mask Alexandre Dumas tells us in his 1847 roman The Vicomte of Bragelonne and that has been put on the screen in various forms with various alterations ever since. Dumas tells us of a man imprisoned “for the good of France” shortly after his birth, this man is…

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