There hasn’t been a French monarchy since the French Revolution and 1792, yet people love learning about French monarchs with all their glamour, political errors, extravagance, scandals, etc.
One of the more interesting figures associated with French monarchs is Madame de Pompadour, one of King Louis XV’s mistresses who made quite an impact during her time at the Palace of Versailles.
Madame de Pompadour, otherwise known as Jeanne Antoinette Poisson, was the chief mistress of Louis XV during his reign as the king of France from 1745 to 1751.
Many royal mistresses often had scandalous reputations, and Madame de Pompadour was no exception.
However, she was a particularly powerful mistress, to the point where some French citizens blamed her for the monarchy’s downfall.
Jeanne had met Louis XV for the first time in 1744. She was married then and very popular amongst French salons, which is how Louis XV learned who she was before they met.
By 1745, she became the king’s mistress, separated from her husband, and moved to Versailles, where she had her own apartment directly above the king.
Jeanne was given her official title, Marquise de Pompadour, to be presented to the royal court. Once she formed a good relationship with the royal family, she was “in” and became well-known at Versailles.
Jeanne quickly became Louis XV’s favorite mistress and closest advisor. Because of that, she was given a lot of power and would control who was and wasn’t allowed to meet with the king. It’s been said that she would occasionally give public statements in place of the king.