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"Every woman is born with a dream to become the king's favorite" - this is the phrase that characterizes the state of affairs at the court of the French monarchs. Title the king's official mistress allowed the ladies not only to freely dispose of the state treasury, but also to interfere in the political affairs of the country, and even to influence the personal relationships of the royal couple. Louis XV went down in history as a monarch who allowed his favorites to rule the country. This time was called the "reign of three skirts".
Duchess de Chateauroux
Marie-Anne de Mayy-Nel is better known as the Duchess de Chateauroux. She had four sisters, three of whom managed to become the favorites of Louis XV. When Marie-Anne was widowed early, she moved to live with her older sister in Versailles. The king immediately noticed the beauty, but she, on the contrary, behaved very restrained with His Majesty. But it is not customary for kings to refuse. Then Marie-Anne de Mayy-Nel set several conditions to the monarch: the removal of her older sister (former favorite) from the courtyard, the appointment of a pension of 50,000 crowns and the official recognition of possible joint children. Agreeing with the requirements of the obstinate beauty, Louis XV in 1743 also bestowed on her the title of Duchess de Chateauroux.
The duchess had a tremendous influence on the king. In 1744, Louis XV personally led the French army, wanting to appear in a more favorable light before his favorite. The Duchess followed him in secret. During her stay, she settled two houses from the royal monastery. Moreover, secret passages were made in advance in the houses so that the lovers could meet without hindrance.
At the age of 27, Marie-Anne died suddenly. Many said that she was poisoned, but the woman died of rotten fever (typhus). The ill-wishers rejoiced at the premature death of an influential mistress, but the appearance of the subsequent favorites - Madame Pompadour and Madame Dubarry - made them regret it.
Marquise de Pompadour
In 1745, Madame d'Etiol arrived at the royal masquerade ball. She was dressed in the costume of the goddess Diana. Louis XV met her, invited her to dinner, and she spent the night in the royal chambers. Six months later, Madame d'Etiol was declared the official favorite of the king, now her name was the Marquise de Pompadour. Surprisingly, for many years, the marquise was the center of the king's amorous pleasures, being completely frigid. She was a wonderful actress: she could act out lust, passion and orgasm at any moment. But the king, who had an insatiable sexual appetite, often locked himself with the marquise in his chambers several times a day. Hoping to stimulate her libido, the Marquis de Pompadour introduced celery, truffles, and vanilla into the diet.
But to remain the king's favorite for many years, one bed is not enough. The Marquis could predict the mood of Louis from just one glance, amazed him, delighted him. Over time, this woman replaced the monarch at the meetings. She influenced domestic and foreign policy. Historians call the seven-year war "the war of angry women" because Frederick II (Prussia) opposed Elizabeth Petrovna (Russian Empire), Maria Theresa (Austria) and Madame Pompadour (France). Frederick II himself christened the anti-Prussian coalition "the union of three women."
When the marquise began to understand that she did not satisfy the king's sexual needs, she began to select mistresses for him herself, while remaining in the status of an official favorite. When the love faded, their relationship grew into a strong friendship. Louis XV continued to visit the Marquis and consult on many issues until her death in 1764.
After the death of the Marquise de Pompadour, she was succeeded by Madame Dubarry. This woman was of an ordinary origin, but, thanks to her feminine charm and relaxedness in bed, in 1769 she found herself in the favorites of the aging Louis XV. The courtiers were very indignant at DuBarry's sloppiness, but, oddly enough, her "style" briefly became fashionable.
This woman did not specifically interfere in politics, but everyone took her opinion into account. The king himself was delighted with DuBarry. He said that this woman was the only one who could make him forget about 60 years of age. During the revolution, after the death of Louis XV, Madame Dubarry was accused, like many, of political crimes and sent to the guillotine.
The most Agnes Sorel was named the first official favorite of the king. She was able to become not only the constant mistress of Charles VII, but also a friend of his wife, Queen Mary of Anjou.