King Louis XIV Had At Least 20 Mistresses (Video)
In French history, it was a common expectation that monarchs, like King Louis XIV, maintained intriguing love lives. Louis, known for his insatiable desires, fathered over a dozen illegitimate children, in addition to the legitimate offspring from his marriage to Maria Teresa of Austria. Faithfulness to his wife was never a priority for him, and he indulged in affairs with approximately 20 mistresses. Louis believed in kings deriving pleasure, and he lived by that creed. His nighttime arrivals to his wife's bed were sporadic, often blaming paperwork for his tardiness. Meanwhile, his other lovers, like Madame de Montespan, were frequented by the king, reportedly engaging in passionate encounters multiple times daily.
Court life was not devoid of intrigue, with mistresses resorting to slanderous tactics to undermine rivals. In the grand court of Versailles, women held substantial sway, each vying to capture the King's attention. Their natural beauty, attire, and fragrance were their tools in this endeavor. Becoming the King's mistress came with luxuries, from lavish garments to newfound status. Some even bore him more children than his lawful wife, with a few being legitimized. History reveals a complex tapestry of desire and ambition in the private lives of monarchs like Louis XIV.
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Top image: King Louis XIV had many mistresses. Source: Archivist / Adobe Stock.