|No portrait of Catherine Bellier survives -|
but this is reputed to be a very close
likeness of the Baroness - it is obvious
that she was not beautiful.
Catherine was given a peculiar task by the Queen. She was to give the young Louis XIV sexual experience! At the time Louis XIV was fourteen years old and Catherine was about 24 years older than him when she was delivered this task in 1652. Exactly how Catherine managed to make the young King sleep with her has been the cause of a rather strange and almost perverse story. Rumours has it that Catherine surprised Louis when he was making his way from his bath in a very "familiar way" - and that was that, now Anne of Austria was assured that her son would know exactly how to produce an heir! Apparently, Catherine was successful and their relationship lasted for two years. Another rumour claims that Louis was infected with gonorrhoea after his little liaison.
The Queen was thankful for the job Catherine had done and decided to award her with an estate and a pension of 2000 livres - this also meant that Catherine's relationship with Louis XIV was over.
Catherine used her pension to establish the Hotel de Beauvais in Paris and remained in high favour with both mother and son. She died on June 7 1689.