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  • Elżbieta Grabowska (1748 - 1810)
    Elżbieta Szydłowska, married surname Grabowska, (b. 1748 – d. 1 June 1810) was a member of the Polish gentry, a mistress and a morganatic wife of the last elective King of Poland...
  • Urszula Meyerin (1570 - 1635)
    Profile photo: alleged portrait of Urszula Meyerin, 1599 Urszula Meyerin also Meierin (1570–1635) was mistress to King Sigismund III of Poland and a politically influential woman. Her real n...
  • Jadwiga Wypyska (c.1616 - c.1648)
    Jadwiga Łuszkowska – kochanka króla Władysława IV Wazy. Wikipedia PL Jadwiga Łuszkowska (born about 1616 in Lviv, died after 20 May 1648 in Merecz) was a P...
  • Esterka (deceased)
    Esterka was a legendary Jewish mistress of Casimir the Great, the King of Poland between 1333 and 1370. She was the daughter of a poor tailor from Opoczno named Rafael. Contemporary writers treated...

Royal mistress

A royal mistress is the historical position of a mistress to a monarch or an heir apparent. Some mistresses have had considerable power. These powerful mistresses have been commonly referred to as the "power behind the throne". The prevalence of the institution can be attributed to the fact that royal marriages were until recent times conducted solely on the basis of political and dynastic considerations, leaving little space for the monarch's personal preferences in the choice of a mate.

In European history the children of mistresses were not normally included in the line of succession, except perhaps when secret marriages were alleged. Hence the Monmouth Rebellion when James Scott, 1st Duke of Monmouth claimed the thrones of England and Scotland on the grounds that his mother had been the wife, rather than a mistress of Charles II.

Lists of Royal mistresses