Saturday, 24 October 2015

Madame de Montespan and Isabelle de Ludres

No one challenges the King's mistress. Few rules were as clear as this one but occasionally someone would forget it.

Even though the King already had his official maitresse-en-titre this was no reason as to now have more casual liaisons once in a while. Since a relationship with the source of power itself could be very advantageous it is no wonder that the then reigning mistress Madame de Montespan was eager to keep any potential rivals at bay.

Madame de Montespan

Isabelle de Ludres was one such rival. Her affair with Louis XIV began in 1675 but it not to be a threat to Madame de Montespan. By all appearances Louis XIV made it very clear that the affair was to remain a secret - perhaps the immense temper of his favourite was a deciding factor in that.

However, Isabelle de Ludres simply could not resist the temptation and quickly spread the news of their affair. That would have been a nuisance at best but Isabelle made her final mistake when she publicly declared that the King loved her more than Madame de Montespan.

Isabelle de Ludres

Angered by such arrogance Louis XIV sent her packing in 1678. While Madame de Montespan continued her reign as royal favourite for some years to come Isabelle de Ludres first went to a convent and was eventually given a marquisate. But her dreams of ever replacing Madame de Montespan as royal favourite was thoroughly crushed.

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