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  • Anna Jeanne de Pisseleu d'Heilly, Duchess of Étampes (1508 - 1580)
    Anna Jeanne de Pisseleu d'Heilly, Duchess of Étampes (1508 – 1580), was the mistress of Francis I of France. She was a daughter of Adrien de Pisseleu, seigneur d'Heilly, a nobleman of Picardy, who,...
  • Elizabeth Jane Lambert (c.1445 - c.1527)
    Elizabeth "Jane" Shore (c.1445 – c.1527) was one of the many mistresses of King Edward IV of England, the first of the three whom he described respectively as "the merriest, the wiliest, and the holi...
  • Lady Margaret Erskine, mistress of James V (1515 - 1572)
    Find A Grave: Margaret Erskine Douglas Birth:  1515 East Linton East Lothian, Scotland Death:  May 5, 1572 North Middleton Midlothian, Scotland Lady Margaret Erskine Birth: Abt.1515 Linlithgow Palace...
  • Miss Lucy Walter (c.1630 - 1658)
    Walter1 F, #105022, b. circa 1630, d. 1658 Last Edited=10 Jun 2009 Lucy Walter2 Lucy Walter was born circa 1630.3 She was the daughter of Richard Walter.1 She died in 1658 at Paris, France.3 Luc...
  • Barbara Palmer, 1st Duchess of Cleveland (Royal Mistress of Charles II) (1640 - 1709)
    Wikipedia: English: __________________ Barbara Palmer, 1st Duchess of Cleveland (27 November [O.S. 17 November] 1640 – 9 October 1709) was an English courtesan and perhaps the most notorious of...

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