Monday, 22 April 2013

Anne de Rohan-Chabot

Anne de Rohan-Chabot was born in 1648 to Henri Chabot and Marguerite de Rohan; her parent's marriage had been a scandal from the beginning because Marguerite de Rohan was a foreign princess and that meant that Louis XIV had to make a special decree so Marguerite could hold her position at court.
On April 17 1663 Anne was married to François de Rohan - she was just 15 at the time. The marriage was advantageous to her new husband as well because Anne was a Dame de Soubise - a title that would pass to her husband. Anne and François was made the Prince and Princess de Soubise in 1667.

Anne was well-educated and renowned for her beauty. Despite her young age, she adored her husband. She was focused on maintaining her beauty by following a diet of chicken, salad, fruits, wine, dairy products and water. Of course, Louis XIV noticed her beauty when he stayed at Château de Chambord where Anne happened to be staying as well. Anne was not to be one of Louis' maîtresse-en-titres - instead she provided Louis with a pretty distraction while the King was wavering between Louise de La Vallière and Madame de Montespan. It is possible that Anne conceived the King's son who was made de Duc de Rohan-Rohan despite being a Prince de Soubise by birth.
By January 1764 the King had Anne installed as a lady-in-waiting to the Queen Marie-Thérèse. Everyone knew that Anne was the King's mistress when she gave birth to another son that Francois acknowledged as his own. But the child was almost certainly Louis XIV's. Not only did he look remarkably similar to the newborn son but François also received a large sum of money after publicly acknowledging his son.

Anne and Louis's affair ended in 1675 after six years - Anne had always been "the mistress in the shadow" behind Madame de Montespan. Anne convinced her husband (recently made wealthy by the generous pension from Louis XIV) to buy a hôtel that belonged to the late Duchesse de Guise. Francois complied and renamed it the Hôtel de Soubise. Anne stayed there until her death from a cold in 1709.

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