Facts and Events
Françoise Athénaïs de Rochechouart de Mortemart, marquise of Montespan (5 October 1640 – 27 May 1707), better known as 'Madame de Montespan', was the most celebrated maîtresse en titre of King Louis XIV of France, by whom she had seven children.
Born into one of the oldest noble families of France, the House of Rochechouart, Madame de Montespan was called by some the true Queen of France during her romantic relationship with Louis XIV due to the pervasiveness of her influence at court during that time.
Her so-called "reign" lasted from around 1667, when she first danced with Louis XIV at a ball hosted by the king's younger brother, Philippe I, Duke of Orléans, at the Louvre Palace, until her alleged involvement in the notorious Affaire des Poisons in the late 1670s to 1680s. Her immediate contemporary was Barbara Villiers, mistress of King Charles II of England.
She is an ancestress of several royal houses in Europe, including those of Spain, Italy, Bulgaria and Portugal.