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.

This entry was posted in Court, Courtiers, Duke of Orleans, Libertines, Louis XIV, Louvre, Madame de La Fayette, Princess Palatine. Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s