Henriette of England at the French Court


It was Madame de la Fayette who told us the following anecdote from the life of Henriette of England; this English princess was the first wife of Monsieur, Duke of Orleans (1); his second wife, Princess Palatine later claimed in one of her letters that Henriette was poisoned; but the autopsy, ordered by the king, produced no evidence. According to La Fayette Henriette d’Angleterre was seriously involved with a certain Count de Guiche: to La Fayette, of course, all true love existed only on the outside of marriage; and yet, the dangers of passion required a red flag of moral lesson: The Count would sneak into Henriette’s chamber dressed as a woman, and the appearances were preserved; but, the pregnancy assured, the affair had to be broken off — courtly love was always intertwined with politics; and I imagine it was pretty tough for the princess to bring the news to de Guiche; as for de Guiche, he completely fell apart and fainted in public, all spiffed up in his compromising attire, while the princess was carried away down a hallway of Louvre.

(1) Duke of Orleans was nick-named Monsieur; so, if a courtier said Monsieur, he meant the brother of Louis XIV.

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About versaillesgossip, before and after Francis Ponge

The author of the blogs Versailles Gossip and Before and After Francis Ponge, Vadim Bystritski lives and teaches in Brest France. The the three main themes of his literary endeavours are humor, the French Prose Poetry, the French XVII and XVIII Century Art and History. His writings and occasionally art has been published in a number of ezines (Eratio, Out of Nothing, Scars TV, etc). He also contributes to Pinterest where he comments on the artifiacts from the Louvre and other collections. Some of his shorter texts are in Spanish, Russian and French.
This entry was posted in Court, Courtiers, Duke of Orleans, Libertines, Louis XIV, Louvre, Madame de La Fayette, Princess Palatine. Bookmark the permalink.

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