Barbara Palmer was married to Roger Palmer, but they were mostly separated after the birth of her first child. She was a well-known courtesan in England.
She met Charles II in about 1660 while he was still abroad in the Hague. At court, Barbara held much more power than Queen Catherine of Braganza. The two were constantly butting heads. Charles appointed Barbara as Lady of the Bedchamber to his Queen, something Catherine was not too happy about (can you blame her?)
Barbara had many children during him time with Charles and he acknowledged 5 of them:
Lady Anne Palmer (Fitzroy)
Charles Palmer (Fitzroy)
(Another interesting note: I didn't know until recently that Fitzroy means "son of the king" and was usually a last name given to the illegitimate children of kings).
Around the mid 1670's Barbara's power over the king began to wane and he passed her aside for his new mistress, Louise de Keroualle (tomorrow's topic). She eventually died of dropsy (oedema).
If you would like to read more about Barbara Palmer try:
Royal Harlot: A Novel of the Countess Castlemaine and King Charles II by Susan Holloway Scott
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