Historical Moment

In 1768, King Louis XV, who was then 59 years old, took as his mistress Jeanne Bécu, a 25-year-old illegitimate milliner who was then the mistress of the Count du Barry. The king arranged a marriage between Jeanne and the Count’s brother, and the royal affair continued until the king’s death in 1774. Criticized for her common origins, Madame du Barry was despised by the court and by the common people. She was guillotined during the Revolution, in 1793.

French embassy