Louise de Kéroualle, Duchess of Portsmouth (1649-1734), Mistress of Charles II
Sitter in 15 portraits
Louise de Kéroualle came first to England from France in 1670 as a maid of honour to Charles II's sister, the Duchess of Orleans. She returned to become the King's mistress in 1671, with the encouragement of the French government, who hoped she would be a diplomatic asset. Created Duchess in 1673, she bore Charles one son, Charles, Duke of Richmond, and exercised some influence at court, but was generally unpopular for her nationality and religion. John Evelyn noted her 'childish, simple and baby face'.