Royal mistress  

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Kunstformen der Natur (1904) by Ernst Haeckel
Kunstformen der Natur (1904) by Ernst Haeckel
mistress, court, courtesan

A royal mistress is the historical position of a mistress to a monarch or senior Royal. Some mistresses have had considerable power. 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.

See also favourite, a term sometimes used for mistresses, although also used for court favourites of the monarch with no sexual element in the relationship, often serving as ministers.

In European history the children of mistresses were not normally included in the line of succession, except perhaps when secret marriages were alleged. Hence Britain's Monmouth Rebellion when James Scott, 1st Duke of Monmouth claimed the throne on the grounds that his mother had been the wife rather than one of the mistresses of Charles II.

Arguably the most famous French royal mistress was Madame de Pompadour.


Royal Mistresses in Russian History

Royal Mistresses in English History

Royal Mistresses in Scottish History

Royal Mistresses in British History

See also


  • Herman, E. Sex with Kings : 500 Years of Adultery, Power, Rivalry, and Revenge ISBN 0-06-058543-9

Unless indicated otherwise, the text in this article is either based on Wikipedia article "Royal mistress" or another language Wikipedia page thereof used under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License; or on original research by Jahsonic and friends. See Art and Popular Culture's copyright notice.

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