Saturday, 5 June 2010

The early romance of Henriette-Anne of England and Louis XIV

The year 1661 saw the birth of a new, innocent romance in the in the French royal family. This was between Henriette-Anne the seventeen year old daughter, of the ill-fated Charles I of England who was executed in 1649 and the twenty-two year old Louis XIV King of France. Henriette-Anne had recently married Louis XIV younger brother Monsieur and Louis was married to the Spanish infana Maria Therese. So the relationship was certainly doomed, and it remained innocent through out like an impossible fantasy or a dream but certainly flirting was not out of the way.

It seems in her early years Louis never thought much of his young cousin in fact he thought her bony and dreaded being asked by his mother to dance with the young, shy girl. But at sixteen she blossomed into a quite a different person, she grew tall, and with a complection seem to be like a blend of roses and jasmine, she had perfect teeth, and beautiful dark eyes inherited from her mother. Most importantly she seemed to posses a quality that made people love her, even her homosexual husband was in love with her for a while and so Louis XIV was no exception.

She loved dancing and was in fact thought to have been the best dancer in Versailles at the time, Louis shared this hobby just like he shared her love of gardening, she also loved art and became a muse for many writers such as Racine. Louis was seen to spend a lot of time in the company of Henriette-Anne, he was seen dancing with her and just talking in her company, Anne of Austria who warned her of the terrible consequences if gossip would start to spread more wildly. 

Yet it did not end just yet, Louis continued to be in Henriette-Anne's company by pretending that he had a fancy for one of her ladies in waiting, it was arranged so that everyone would think that Louis was actually instead in Louise de la Valliere but it did not quite turn out like that and Louis actually fell in love with with the girl.

Still throughout Henriette-Anne's life he continued to be very fond of her and it is actually quite interesting that it could have been quite possible that Henriette-Anne would have married Louis if only Spanish marriage with Maria Therese did not go through.     

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