Olympia Mancini, Royal Mistress of Louis XIV (1638 - 1708)

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Birthdate:
Birthplace: Rome, Province of Rome, Lazio, Italy
Death: Died in Brussels, Brussels, Belgium
Occupation: countess de soissons
Managed by: Doug Robinson
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About Olympia Mancini, Royal Mistress of Louis XIV

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Olympia_Mancini

Olympia Mancini, Countess of Soissons (French: Olympe Mancini) (11 July 1638, Rome – 9 October 1708) was the second eldest of the five celebrated Mancini sisters, who along with two of their female Martinozzi cousins, were known at the court of King Louis XIV of France as the Mazarinettes because their uncle was Louis XIV's chief minister, Cardinal Mazarin. Olympia was later to become the mother of the famous Austrian general Prince Eugene of Savoy. She also involved herself in various court intrigues including the notorious Poison Affair, which led to her expulsion from France.

Youth

Olympia Mancini was born on 11 July 1638 and grew up in Rome. Her father was Baron Lorenzo Mancini, an Italian aristocrat who was also a necromancer and astrologer. After his death in 1650, her mother, Geronima Mazzarini, brought her daughters from Rome to Paris in the hope of using the influence of her brother, Cardinal Mazarin, to gain them advantageous marriages.

The other Mancini sisters were:

Laura Mancini (1636 - 1657), the eldest, who married Louis de Bourbon, duc de Vendôme, the grandson of King Henri IV and his mistress, Gabrielle d'Estrées.

Marie Mancini (1639 - 1715), the third sister, was considered the least beautiful of the sisters but she obtained the biggest prize of all: Louis XIV. He was so besotted with her that he wanted to marry her but he was constrained to give her up for political reasons. She later married Prince Lorenzo Colonna who remarked that he was surprised to find her a virgin as one does not expect to find 'innocence among the loves of kings'. (from Antonia Fraser's book Love and Louis XIV)

Hortense Mancini (1646 - 1699), the beauty of the family, escaped her abusive husband, Armand-Charles de la Porte, duc de La Meilleraye, and went to London, where she became the mistress of King Charles II.

Marie Anne Mancini (1649 - 1714) married Maurice Godefroy de La Tour d'Auvergne, duc de Bouillon, a nephew of the famous field marshal Turenne.

The Mancinis were not the only female family members that Cardinal Mazarin brought to the French court. The others were Olympia's first cousins, daughters of Mazarin's eldest sister. The elder, Laura Martinozzi, married Alfonso IV d'Este, duke of Modena and was the mother of Mary of Modena, second wife of James II of England. The younger, Anne Marie Martinozzi, married Armand, Prince de Conti.

The Mancini also had three brothers: Paul, Philippe, and Alphonse.

Marriage

Olympia was married on February 24, 1657 to Prince Eugène-Maurice of Savoy-Carignano (1633-1673), by whom she had eight children, amongst whom was the famous soldier Prince Eugene of Savoy. At court, the comte de Soissons was addressed as Monsieur le Comte. As his wife, Olympia was referred to at court as Madame la Comtesse.

Intrigues

Soon after her sister Marie's marriage to Prince Colonna, Olympia was appointed Superintendent of the Queen's Household which gave her authority over and above that of all of the other ladies at Court with the exception of the Princesses of The Blood. Olympia was, by nature, an intrigante. Shortly after her marriage, she became involved in various intrigues at Court. There were rumours that prior to her marriage, she was briefly the mistress of Louis XIV. While not exactly beautiful, Olympia was described as possessing great charm and indisputable fascination. Her hair was dark, her complexion brilliant, her eyes black and vivacious, and her figure plump and rounded. After her marriage, she allied herself with Louis' new mistress, his sister-in-law, Henriette-Anne, duchesse d'Orléans, who was known at court as Madame. When Henriette and Louis sought to hide their relationship from others, Olympia is said to have introduced one of Henriette's ladies-in-waiting, Louise de La Vallière, to the King so that he might claim that his attendance upon Henriette and her ladies was based on his affection for Louise and not Henriette. Olympia turned against Louise, however, after the King fell in love with the latter at the expense of Henrietta Anne.

The Affaire des Poisons (Poison affair)

Olympia was accused in 1679 in the Affaire des Poisons of having plotted with La Voisin to poison Louise de La Vallière. She was even said to have threatened the King himself with the words, "come back to me, or you will be sorry". In addition, she was suspected of poisoning her own husband, and also on 12 February 1689 Queen Maria Luisa of Spain, the daughter of Henriette-Anne and niece of Louis XIV whose confidence she had gained after having taken up residence in Spain following her expulsion from France as a result of the Poison Affair.

Later life

On January 23, 1690, she was ordered to leave the Spanish court; she moved to Brussels, claiming her innocence. Occasionally she travelled to England with her two sisters Marie and Hortense. In Brussels she gave her patronage to musicians Pietro Antonio Fiocco and Henry Desmarest. She died in Brussels October 9, 1708 just three months after her son Eugene's victory at The Battle of Oudenarde on 11 July 1708, her 70th birthday.

Issue

Louis Thomas of Savoy (1657–1702), Count of Soissons

Philippe of Savoy (1659–1693), abbot

Louis Jules of Savoy (1660–1683), killed at the battle of Petronell against the Turks.

Emanuel Philibert of Savoy (1662–1676), count of Dreux

Eugene of Savoy (1663–1736), general in the imperial army.

Marie Jeanne of Savoy (1665–1705), Mademoiselle de Soissons

Louise Philiberte of Savoy (1667–1726), Mademoiselle de Carignan

Francoise of Savoy (1668–1671), Mademoiselle de Dreux

view all 13

Olympia Mancini, Royal Mistress of Louis XIV's Timeline

1638
July 11, 1638
Rome, Province of Rome, Lazio, Italy
1639
1639
Italy - Olympe niece of Cardinal Mazarin
1657
February 21, 1657
Age 18
Church of St. Genevieve at Paris (cousins)
August 1, 1657
Age 19
1660
1660
Age 21
1662
1662
Age 23
1663
October 18, 1663
Age 25
Paris, Paris, Île-de-France, France
1680
1680
Age 41
(His mistress)
1708
October 9, 1708
Age 70
Brussels, Brussels, Belgium
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