Movie heroes and their prototypes: what Milady was actually branded for
Movie heroes and their prototypes: what Milady was actually branded for
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Countess de la Motte and Margarita Terekhova as Milady

Of course, it would be more correct to call My lady a literary heroine, because its creator was Alexandre Dumas, but the film image, embodied in an inimitable Margarita Terekhova in the film "D'Artagnan and the Three Musketeers", so bright and memorable that now it is simply impossible to imagine Lady Winter in another way. But this character also had a real prototype - the famous adventurer Jeanne de la Motte, whose scams influenced the course of historical events in France in the 18th century.

Still from the film D'Artagnan and the Three Musketeers

At the age of 16, Dumas branded Milady as a criminal who seduced a priest and forced him to steal church vessels. Lily was a symbol of the royal Bourbon dynasty, she was branded criminals by court verdict. But the woman, who became the prototype of Lady Winter, committed a more serious theft, totaling 1.6 million livres.

Countess de la Motte, prototype of Milady

Jeanne de Luz de Saint-Remy de Valois, according to legend, came from the family of the illegitimate son of King Henry II. Despite the connection with the oldest family of Valois, the family was poor, Jeanne in childhood begged for alms on the street. There the Marquis of Bouleville saw her, took pity on her and decided to help. She put her in a boarding school for noble maidens at the monastery.

Margarita Terekhova as Milady

At 22, the girl escaped from the convent with her fiancé, an officer of the Guards, whom she soon married, and became Countess de la Motte. Jeanne made acquaintance with the Bishop of Strasbourg, Cardinal Louis de Rogan. He introduced her to high society. Her cunning, acting skills and intelligence opened the doors of the best houses in France for her.

The famous adventurer Jeanne de la Motte

Jeanne de la Motte went down in history for her grandiose diamond necklace scam. It is to this fact that not only the episode with the diamond pendants of Anna of Austria in The Three Musketeers is dedicated, but also Dumas's novel The Queen's Necklace. Once King Louis XV decided to make a gift to his favorite Madame Dubarry and ordered a necklace of 629 diamonds from the jewelers. The order was fulfilled, but the king died before he could redeem it. Louis XVI refused to purchase a necklace for Marie Antoinette as it was too expensive.

Still from the film D'Artagnan and the Three Musketeers

Jeanne managed to convince the cardinal that she was close friends with the queen and could help him restore good relations with the royal couple. Marie Antoinette later denied her acquaintance with the swindler, but it is possible that she knew about her existence. Be that as it may, Jeanne managed to twist the cardinal around her finger: she convinced him that she had organized a correspondence with the queen, although in fact the letters were written by her accomplice, forging handwritings.

Fatal necklace (reconstruction) and Marie-Antoinette who suffered because of it

In 1785, de la Motte forced the cardinal to sign an agreement with the jeweler to buy back the necklace, allegedly at the request of the queen. Jeanne de la Motte took the necklace to give to Marie Antoinette, and of course, no one else saw the jewelry. Because of this crime, a loud scandal erupted. The jewelers never received any money and turned to the queen. The swindlers were arrested, Jeanne was branded and sentenced to life imprisonment. Despite the fact that Marie Antoinette was not involved in this story, her name was tarnished. The scandal with the necklace contributed to the decline in the prestige of royal power, led to its crisis and the uprising of the people during the Great French Revolution.

Countess de la Motte, prototype of Milady

The Countess managed to escape from prison.According to legend, she spent the rest of her life in Russia under the name of Countess Gachet and was buried in the Crimea. The fate of the stolen diamonds is not known.

Margarita Terekhova as Milady

The image of Milady, created by Margarita Terekhova, remains one of the brightest in Soviet cinema, and the actors of the cult film are still popular. Then and now: 15 photos of the heroes who starred in the film "D'Artagnan and the Three Musketeers"

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