Royal Mistresses – How You can Rival their Appeal

11. May 2011

For a normal man, a wife is all the woman he needs in life. However, for a king or an heir apparent, there needs to be something truly special about the women taken as lovers. These women must be affable, caring, and endlessly entertaining, so as to keep their royal friends as happy as possible. It’s a lot of pressure to know your man can have people executed if he isn’t pleased—including his royal consorts.

The appeal these women possess is almost always sexual in nature, but often extends well beyond that. While having a pretty face and a nice body is always good for making a man want you, it won’t necessarily land you a king. Each of these women had an extra something, or je ne sais quoi.

Let’s review precisely what kind of girl power each of these mistresses had, and how you can cultivate something like it for yourself.

1. Maria Fitzherbert

VIRTUE: Diligence
KING: George IV

Maria had a rather troubled early life. Originally she married a man who subsequently fell off of his horse and died, before he could even sign his will. After that, she married another man who died within a few years, and she inherited a reasonable income to live on. Later, Maria attracted the attentions of the future King George IV. While it was rumored that she may have been pregnant with George’s child, this was never substantiated.

Maria’s steadfast desire to stay with him lasted far beyond the traditional seven year itch. She was George’s mistress for nearly 30 years—through George’s official marriage to another woman, and additional affair with still another.

Many years later, when George died and was replaced with William IV, the new king offered Maria the noble title of duchess. She declined it on the grounds that she had been Mrs. Fitzherbert (her deceased husband’s surname) for a very long time, and that she had no intention of changing to another name.

If Maria can teach you anything about how to live, it’s that you can do anything if you stay strong through all of the hardships life throws at you. While she never ruled anything, this is a woman who lived the concept of girl power, and lived her own life. Women today can learn from her example, being more independent and diligent during hardships.

2. Jane Shore

VIRTUE: Kindness
KING: Edward IV

Jane Shore was originally baptized as Elizabeth, but changed her name later in life. Some theorize it was as a show of respect to her lover Edward IV’s wife Elizabeth. This would be one of many of Jane’s kind acts of positive karma. While she held a great deal of sway over Edward’s reign during the time she was his mistress, she used this influence to garner pardons for people who had fallen from his favor and been punished.

After Edward IV died, Jane was instrumental in easing the tensions between the future king, Richard III, and the Woodville faction who held influence over the young Edward V. Jane is even rumored to have carried messages between the two parties, risking her safety in the process.

If Jane can teach you anything about how to be great, it’s that being good to others will ultimately be rewarded. While many of the people from her early life were killed during the War of the Roses, and Edward died, Jane ended up doing a minor penance, and then marrying into a middle class family later on.

She lived to be an old lady, and was beloved by everyone for her kindness. Considering they still write books about her, Jane is proof positive that being a kind person is worth the effort.

3. Camilla Parker Bowles

VIRTUE: Patience
PRINCE: Charles

Camilla and Prince Charles have a real love story. Because of England’s rules concerning royalty, they couldn’t marry for a long time when they first got together. So Charles left Camilla and married Diana, and Camilla married someone else. But as time went on, their love never waned, and some suspected their affair contributed to the failure of Charles and Diana’s marriage.

Eventually, Charles and Diana divorced, and Diana later died. A few respectful years later, Camilla left her husband and finally married Charles. And Camilla can teach every woman a valuable lesson in how to be amazing.

When you find something or someone you want, keep going for it no matter what. While it’s not very nice to go after another woman’s man, you’ve got to give a girl credit for never giving up. Patience is a virtue everyone can benefit from, both in dating and in other aspects of life.

4. Mary Robinson

VIRTUE: Fortitude
KING: George IV

Mary was starring in a play adapted from Shakespeare called Florizel and Perdita when the future King George IV discovered her. He immediately offered her 20,000 Pounds Sterling to be his mistress. While he never paid the full amount, and she had to literally extort any sizable sum out of King George through selling letters he had written to her, Mary does embody a very attractive trait in the form of her artistry.

She has been called the Sappho of England, because she was the quintessential writer. In the long years after George IV dumped her, Mary wrote several books, plenty of poetry, and was even working on a script of her autobiography when she died.

Perhaps the best lesson you can take from Mary Robinson’s life is that, even when you get dumped, there’s a long and beautiful road ahead of you. It can be way too easy to get into a funk, or to start looking at the world through jaded eyes. The belief that things can still be great no matter what a man does to you is worth keeping; fortitude is a strength all dating women need.

In another way, however, Mary was also a role model to future generations. During her stint as George IV’s mistress, she introduced a flowing muslin style of dress to the glitterati in England that came to be known as Perdita, after the character she played.

5. Isabella, Marchioness of Hertford

VIRTUE: Impartiality
KING: George IV

Isabella experienced an interesting time of British history. With the French Revolution not far in the past, the traditionalist Tories were under threat during a time when the rule of monarchies was being seen as less than divine.

She used her influence over George IV as his mistress to sway him into providing financial support for the Tories, and may have contributed to the continuation of the monarchy in England by helping him keep the common people from revolting as they did in France.

The most important lesson you can draw from Isabella is to never set your friends and your man against one another. The more harmoniously they get along, the better life is for everyone; that is why impartiality is a great virtue for dating women.

6. Lillie Langtry

VIRTUE: Assertiveness
PRINCE: Albert Edward

Lillie was a firecracker. On stage, she dazzled audiences, and at a dinner party in 1877 she dazzled Prince Albert Edward and became his mistress for several years. While her beauty was what kept her at the top of London high society, her personality was something that women everywhere would do well to emulate.

Lillie’s most enviable trait was her outspoken nature. At one point Edward complained to her that he had spent enough on her to construct a battleship. While there are innumerable ways a girl could respond to such a statement, her retort was one to keep any king on his toes.

While she fell out of favor for misbehaving in polite society during the early 1880s, far too many women prefer to simply sit coyly instead of asserting themselves. This sassy lass learned how to make her voice heard, and how to be seated at the big boys’ table. Assertiveness like Lillie’s became more acceptable because of her; it is a trait we can all learn.

7. Alice Keppel

VIRTUE: Tranquility
KING: Edward VII

A lot of people think women gossip excessively. Alice Keppel is not one of those women: she was exceptional at being discrete when it mattered. Not only did she take a large number of lovers among the highest social circles of England during the late 19th and early 20th centuries to gain social status for herself and her husband, she was also a good enough communicator to handle Edward VII’s notorious mood swings.

While Alice’s popularity at the highest levels was mixed on its best day, she was able to handle King Edward’s temper. She soothed him, and made his moods manageable for all around him.

While many women nowadays feel that working in the support of a man is just a throwback to the sexist days when women’s interests were subjugated and ignored, one of the most attractive features anyone can bring to the table is the power to soothe your partner. You may or may not find tranquility appealing, but a lot of men have love for a woman who can keep them calm.

8. Anne Boleyn
VIRTUE: Perseverance

Long before ejecting Queen Katharine of Aragon from her rightful seat as the Queen of England, Anne Boleyn ejected her own sister from the king’s bed! Anne was insanely jealous of the relationship her sister shared with the king, and plotted for years to become the royal mistress.

After training in the art of seduction at the French Court, Anne returned to England to woo the King, and successfully removed her sister and newborn son of the king from favor. Though she would later become the Queen of England, Anne was first and forever a temptress and mistress.

If at first a man is not interested, becoming unavailable and focusing on your own skills and interests can heighten his notice of you. However, be cautioned by Anne’s end—pushing a man too far can result in resentment and dissatisfaction. Perseverance must be tempered by reason.

9. Madame de Pompadour
VIRTUE: Magnanimity
KING: Louis XV

Intelligent and educated, Madame de Pompadour was the delight of parties in the aristocracy for ages. She married Charles-Guilaume Le Normant d’Etoilles, her nephew and guardian. With her husband, she was invited to a masquerade in celebration of the king’s son’s birth.

Her masque costume, Diana the Huntress, was so intriguing to the king who had dressed as Diana’s counterpart, that he quickly had her installed at Versailles as his official mistress, where she would stay until her death at the age of 43.

After a few years together, King Louis XV no longer shared a bed with Madame de Pompadour, but she notoriously found his pretty, young substitutes. He kept her in place as the official mistress because she was a beloved friend to him, and to the queen. The lazy king would often allow Madame de Pompadour to do his business with ministers while he slept or snacked.

In one instance, one of King Louis XV’s young consorts referred to de Pompadour as, “the old gal,” while they were unclothed and in bed together; she was immediately removed from the castle, still unclothed.

A sound education and a playful spirit will keep a man intrigued, even if he’s a French hound. Magnanimity made de Pompadour an indomitable force in French Court; being lively and present can help all women to seem interesting while dating.

10. Madame de Montesspan
VIRTUE: Temperance

A beauty of her day, Madame de Montespan was the official mistress of Louis XIV long before de Pompadour was born. She had seven children with the king, and was known for having greater influence with the king than his wife, the queen.

Notoriously, Madame de Montespan dabbled in the dark arts, including the usage of poisons and spirit talkers. It is due to de Montespan that we enjoy crystal goblets, which do not absorb poison, in lieu of the old favorites—gold, silver, and other precious metals. To keep her influence over the king, she would soak the precious metal goblets in poison and give them to enemies during appertifs

L’affaire des poisons was the name of the poison affair which finally drove de Montespan from the castle, and the influence of the king. Though she was known for wit, beauty, and her education, the lady chose to use other factors to keep an iron fist on the fine society of France.

Good is good enough; sometimes pushing your power to the extreme can result in rejection. In the case of Madame de Montespan, one can learn that exerting influence invidiously will never have favorable results. Temperance is a trait the good lady could have used to keep her influence.

Throughout history, men who are at the height of power have looked to strong, compassionate women to offset personal weaknesses, and to make them feel better. After all, there’s a lot of stress at the top.

Even though most of these women stole another woman’s man, they still had a fair share of traits that are worth cultivating today, regardless of your personal moral standards.



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