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Royal Genealogy

Hortense Mancini
Duchesse de Mazarin


Duchesse de Rethel, 1661-99†[4]
Duchesse de Mayenne, 1661-99†[4]


Hortense went to France in 1653 with her mother, her brother Philippe, her sister Marie, her cousin Laura Martinozzi, and an aunt. She came close to marrying Charles II of England and Charles-Emmanuel II of Savoy, but her uncle Cardinal Mazarin arranged for her to be married to de La Porte, who turned out to be a religious fanatic and intensely jealous, keeping her away from court. Mazarin died in 1661 and Hortense was the heir to the bulk of his wealth. Once she discovered that her husband was squandering her inheritance, she filed a legal complaint. She made a number of attempts to leave her husband and tried to obtain a legal separation in 1666. In 1668, she finally fled Paris disguised as a man, along with her maid, and went to Italy to her sister Marie. There, she had an affair with the gentleman Courbeville which caused much scandal, and it was rumoured that she was expecting a child by him. She returned to Paris in 1670 with her brother Philippe to try and obtain her legal separation, along with a pension from her husband, but had no success. She returned to Italy, and in 1672, Marie decided to flee her own husband, so they both went to France and requested support from Louis XIV. He refused to receive them. Hortense then moved in with her former suitor Charles-Emmanuel until his death in 1675, and afterwards, she went to England at Charles II's invitation. He housed her near St Jame's Palace, and she kept a literary salon frequented by illustrious personages. She published her memoirs in 1675. Her husband continued to insist that she return to him, using all legal resources available, but his efforts came to nothing. After her death, he had her body shipped back to him which he kept in a coffin, and this he took with him on his travels until he finally had her entombed. In 1793, her bones, along with her husband's, were thrown into the Seine by revolutionaries.[3]

Place of birth: Rome[2]
Place of baptism: Church of Santa Maria in Via Lata, Rome (1646)[2]
Place of death: Chelsea, England[3]
Place of burial: Collège des Quatre Nations, Paris[3]




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