Wednesday, August 24, 2011

She's way to old for you Henri!

                                                                Catherine de' Medici
           Ok, so how would you feel if your nineteen year-old husband of five years was in love with woman twice his age!! Catherine de'Medici had to deal with exactly that problem and that problems name was Diane de' Poitiers. Diane de' Poitiers was thirty-eight years old when Henri fell for her.
           The two eldest princes, François and Henri, were retained as hostages in Spain in exchange for their father. Because the ransom was not paid in time, the two boys, eight and seven at the time, had to spend nearly four years isolated in a bleak castle, facing an uncertain future. Henri found solace by reading the tale Amadis de Gaula. The experience may account for the strong impression that Diane made on him, as the very embodiment of the ideal gentlewomen he read about in Amadismentor to him and teach him courtly manners. At the tournament held for the coronation of Francis's new wife Eleanor, the dauphin, François saluted the new queen as expected, Henri addressed his salute to Diane. Diane and Catherine were actually related to one another, being both descendants of the La Tour d'Auvergne family. Indeed, to Catherine, Diane was an intrusive elder cousin as well as a rival. Diane helped nurse Catherine back to health when she contracted scarlet fever. Diane was in charge of the education of her and Henri's children until 1551;  While Henri and Catherine would eventually have 10 children together, and despite the occasional affair, Diane de Poitiers would remain Henri's lifelong companion, and for the next 25 years she would be the most powerful influence in his life.
Diane de' Poitiers


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