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His greatest deed - he legitimized all his illegitimate children, gave them education, position in society and married them in such way, that they become real princes and princesses.

Maria Mancini
Maria Mancini
Louis XIV with women
Louis XIV with women

His first love was Maria Mancini. She was niece of Cardinal Mazarin. Maria was good educated and made Louis to be interested in literature. Louis felt in love with her and they were several years together until he had to marry Marie-Therese of Austria.

That was a very hard step for him - his love was so strong, that he wanted Maria Mancini to be his wife, although he was a king. After he married Marie-Therese, he devoted himself to her and a year later they had a dauphin. But later he began to pay too much attention to the ladies of his court. One of his lovers was the wife of his own brother- Henrietta of England. Louis was the most powerful man in Europe and every woman was dreaming to be his mistress.

In 1682, as he was 45 years old, he decided that he does not have much time to live and that he has to live according to church laws in order to be later in paradise and not in hell. So he decided to be only with his wife. Unfortunately Marie-Therese died a year later, so Louis was forced to marry somebody else. As he didn't want to marry another princes from foreign land, he decided to marry somebody from his court. His choice was Madame de Maintenon, who was the best educated woman at the court. He married her secretly in 1683 and he had never had any other woman after that (for 32 years). What about his "man power"- it's known, that at the age of 72 years he was making love with his wife 2 times a day.


Marie Thérèse of Austria - Queen of France

Infanta of Spain, daughter of Felipe IV, King of Spain 1621-1665 and Princess Elisabeth de France, Born 20 September 1638 Madrid Louis married her in order to make peace with Spain and, as you could read it on the top of that page, he was not exited of that marriage. Louis never loved her, but he was coming to her every night to fulfill his husband's duty. They had a lot of children (almost all of them died in infancy).
She loved him all her life and she was very happy in 1682 as Louis decided to be only with his wife. She was not very clever, she never learned french language well: she was almost alone.
Marie Thérèse loved small animals, to play cards (she always lost) and was, in general, as a child.
Died on 30 July 1683 in Versailles in the age of 45 years.

Louise Françoise de La Baume Le Blanc de La Vallière

Louis mistress from 1661 to 1667 (lived 1644–1710). Maid of honor to Louis's sister-in-law, Henrietta of England, she became the king's mistress in 1661. She bore him four children, of whom two died in infancy. In 1667, by the same government act that legitimized her daughter, she was created duchess. She was replaced in the king's affections by Mme de Montespan. In 1674 she retired to a Carmelite convent and became celebrated for her piety.

Françoise Athénaïs marquise de Montespan

Louis mistress (lived 1641–1707). She was maid of honor to Queen Marie Thérèse and replaced (c.1667) Mlle de La Vallière as the king's mistress. She bore the king several children. Their education was entrusted to Mme de Maintenon, who succeeded her in the king's favor. She later retired to a convent.

Françoise d'Aubigné marquise de Maintenon

1635–1719, second wife of Louis XIV. Her grandfather was Agrippa d'Aubigné, the Huguenot hero. The family spent some years in Martinique, but upon her father's death she and her mother returned to France. Although baptized a Roman Catholic, the child was educated by a Protestant aunt. Later cared for by Catholic relatives, she became a very devout Catholic. At 16 she married the poet Paul Scarron and became a figure in the literary and intellectual world of Paris. After his death in 1660 the queen mother continued the poet's pension to his widow, and later Mme de Montespan obtained a pension for her. She became (1669) the governess for the children of Mme de Montespan and the king and gradually supplanted Mme de Montespan in the esteem and affections of Louis XIV, who made her a marquise. Mme de Maintenon exercised considerable influence over Louis and greatly lifted the moral tone of the court, although the ascription to her of Louis's mistakes (particularly the revocation of the Edict of Nantes) is an exaggeration. The queen, Marie Thérèse, was devoted to her and died in her arms. In 1684 she was morganatically married to the king. In her later years Mme de Maintenon gave much of her attention to the famous school of Saint-Cyr, which she had founded for the daughters of poor but noble families. She also wrote remarkable essays and letters dealing with education.


© Elena Steingrad     2000 -

the image of Louis XIV in the menu is taken from PC-Game "Versailles II" created by Cryo Interactive Entertainment. See the description of that game under "Software" for more information.

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