• The two marriages of Philippe de France

    A 17th century marriage was more or less a business contract. It was about wealth, titles, patronage, heirs, and if one was a member of a royal house about politics. Everyone involved was aware of it.   Monsieur had the bliss, he would probably call it misfortune, to be married twice. As brother of the Sun King it was his duty to…

  • The contest for precedence, or a turbulent day on London’s streets…

    A long-lasting dispute over whether the Spanish ambassadors had precedence over the French, or the other way around, reached a bloody pinnacle on the streets of London on September 30 in 1661. On that very day the new Swedish ambassador was to arrive in London and according to custom, the King’s barge was to meet him at Gravesend and accompany him to Tower-Wharf. The…

  • Dangeau’s Diary, March 1685

    4th. — There was a little carousel. It consisted of two quadrilles, the quadrille of the Christians was composed of myself, representing Charlemagne, Monseigneur as Zerbin, Monsieur de la Roche Guyon as Aquilan le Nuir, Monsieur de Liancourt as Griffon le Blanc, the Prince de Tingri as Renaud and Monsieur d’Antin as Roland. This quadrille was dressed in black and…

  • Dangeau’s Diary, February 1685

    4th. – Madame de Montespan has this day returned from Paris, where she had passed two or three days during her absence, the King went every evening after supper to Madame de Maintenon’s. I learn that the Dauphine named, at the commencement of the ball, those who were to lead off the dance with the Princesses of the blood; this…

  • Hortense Mancini, Duchesse Mazarin

    Born on June 6 in 1646, Ortensia was the second youngest of the Mancini sisters, who along with their Martinozzi cousins were known as les Mazarinettes.   Ortensia was six years old as she arrived in France with her sisters and like them, swiftly adopted the French style of her name, Hortense. She was part of the second group of…

  • 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…

  • Louise de Kérouaille

    Born on 6 September in 1649, into a noble but relatively poor Breton family, Louise Renée de Penancoët de Kérouaille, was the daughter of Guillaume de Penancoët, Seigneur de Kérouaille, and Marie de Ploeuc de Timeur.   Louise was introduced, at an young age, into the household of Henriette d’Angleterre, Duchesse d’Orléans, sister of Charles II of England, and sister-in-law…

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