This third woman who was one of Charles II’s many mistresses is Louise de Keroualle. This was actually one woman that I knew a little about before reading The Merry Monarch’s Wife but didn’t realize it was the same person I thought it was (I read Dark Angels by Karleen Koen but she goes by Renee not Louise).
Louise began her royal advancing in the French Court of Louis XIV. It is believed that she was placed there to become the mistress to the French King (well at least she became mistress to one king!). She was placed in the household of Henrietta, Duchess of Orleans – King Charles II’s sister. During a trip to England, visiting the court of Charles, the Duchess of Orleans suddenly died. This caused Louise to have nowhere to turn and Charles made her a lady in his wife, Catherine’s, household (first he places Barbara in her household, then Louise. I’m seeing a pattern here…).
There were many rumors that Louise had be specifically sent to England as a spy to be placed in Charles’ court. Maybe…maybe not, I don’t know. Louise became mistress to Charles around 1670. The people of England did not like Louise because she was French and Catholic, just as they really didn’t like their Queen because they were Catholic. Louise had one child with Charles II – Charles Lennox in 1672. She was given the title of Duchess of Portsmouth in 1673.
Louise was able to maintain her position as Charles’ mistress until his death. She then rather quickly fell from favor and moved back to France. She lived to be 85.
If you are interested in other reading about Louise try:
The French Mistress by Susan Holloway Scott or
Dark Angels by Karleen Koen
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