Princess Michael and the Duchess of Orléans Commemorate Diane of Poitiers

  June 17, 2010 at 11:05 am by

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On May 29th the remains of Diane de Poitiers, mistress of King Henri II of France, was reinterred at the Chateau d’Anet. The ceremony was attended by the Duchess of France, sister-in-law to the pretender of the French throne, and by princess Michael of Kent. Princess Michael wrote the book ‘The Serpent and the Moon’ about the rivalry between Henri II’s wife Catherine de Medici and his mistress Diane of Poitiers and can trace her anscestery back to both of them.

Apart from the reinterment there were also some festivities. Over 500 artists and extra’s reenacted a party from the Reneaissance days. Princess Michael was also dressed dramatically for the occassion with a long black dress, a string with pearls over her forehead and a three-string pearl necklace covering her chest.

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Diane de Poitiers (1499-1566) was a mistress of King Henri II of France. Diane was said to be the brains behind his government, urging him to prosecution of the protestant hugenots. She was also involved in raising the children of the king and his wife Catherine de Medici. In 1559 the king got critically wounded in a jousting tournament. His wife, Catherine de Medici assumed control, restricting access to him. Although the king was alleged to have called out repeatedly for Diane, she was never summoned or admitted. Immediately after Henri’s funeral Catherine banished Diane to the chateau de Chaumont. Diane only stayed here for a short time, as she left the castle to settle in Chateau d’Anet, which was built for her by Henri.

She was interred in a chapel next to the chateau d’Anet. But during the French revolution , her tomb was opened and her remains thrown into a mass grave. Two years ago her remains were found and dug up by French experts. They found high levels of gold in her hair, which was caused by drinkable gold – believed to preserve youth – used by Diane as a beauty elixir.

Filed under France, Historical Royals, The United Kingdom
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