Agnes Sorel (1422-1450) was the official mistress of Charles VII of France. And the first to be recognized as such in the french courts.
She was only 20 when first introduced to the King. She was working as a maid of honour (a junior attendant to a Queen or Royal Household) to one of Charles’ consorts- Isabella, Duchess of Lorraine. After that, she was to serve as the lady-in-waiting (a personal assistant) for Marie d’Anjou, Charles’ wife.
She had tremendous influence over the king, and extravagant taste- these traits did not win her favor at court.
She gave birth to three of the King’s daughters: Marie de Valois, Charlotte de Valois and Jeanne de Valois. At the age of 28, a pregnant Agnes joined the King in Jumieges. It was there she became very ill and died giving birth to a son. With so many powerful enemies, many have speculated she was deliberately poisoned.
In 2005, her reamins were exhumed and they determined she died of Mercury poisoning, but there was no indication as to whether or not it was murder.
To be said in an overly DRAMATIC voice…
Heartbroken over the loss of his 28 year old beauty, he quickly replaced her with Agnes’ cousin- Antoinette Maignelais. Oh Mon Dieu!
(back of hand to forehead in distress.)
If you would like to learn more about the seedy stories of Royal Mistresses, I highly recommend this book: http://tinyurl.com/mnepj2y