Thursday, August 4, 2011

More fascinating characters from the court of the Sun King

The Duc de Lauzun: a picture from wikipedia:

The Grand Mademoiselle

I believe that this is a very elegant portrait of the Grande Mademoiselle
from wikipedia: the gold and blue colours are exquisite:
The Grande Mademoiselle towards the end of her life wrote that
with all of her wealth she would have been expected to live a very happy
life but that this was not the case.

Born Anne Marie Louise d'Orleans, Duchess de Montpensier, a wealthy heiress of the Bourbons, whose mother
had died not long after she was born, lived with her father Gaston d”Orleans at Blois Castle. She became
involved in the Fronde, fired a canon at the young Louis XIV, who could have
become a possible future spouse, was sent away into exile and returned to court at a later time.
In the book “Royal Flush” by Margaret Irwin, it was reported by the widow
queen Henrietta Maria, queen of
Charles I, that one should not be the cause of one's own misfortune.

The Grand Mademoiselle fell in love with the Duc de Lauzun, wished to marry him,
which the king consented to initially but because of pressure from other members of
the royal family the king decided to withdraw his consent a few days before the wedding.
The Grande Mademoiselle felt greatly let down by people whom she was relying on for
support with the king.

The Duc de Lauzun spent many years in prison.  A fellow prisoner was Nicholas Fouquet,
also rumours of a prisoner who may have been The Main in the Iron Mask, though this may
have been a fallacy, even being a prisoner who occasionally wore a velvet mask.

The Grande Mademoiselle was required eventually to sell important properties to the king, the principality of Dombes and the county of Eu and the Duchy of Aumole for the Duc
de Maine, a son of the king and Madame de Montespan.  This was to effect the release of
the Duc de Lauzun finally from the prison.

I will return to more characters of the court at a later stage.  The Duc de Lauzun did seem to make 
enemies of both the king and Madame de Montespan for various reasons.  He also seemed to have sometimes acted in an erratic and unconventional manner though this may have been more when he was held a prisoner at a remote prison.   

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