Anne de Rohan-Chabot

Anne de Rohan-Chabot
Princess of Soubise

Anne from the studio of the Beaubrun brothers
Born 1648
Died 4 February 1709[1]
Hôtel de Soubise, Paris, France
Spouse François de Rohan
Hercule Mériadec, Duke of Rohan-Rohan
Armand, Cardinal de Soubise
Full name
Anne Julie de Rohan-Chabot
Father Henri Chabot
Mother Marguerite de Rohan

Anne de Rohan-Chabot (Anne Julie; 1648 4 February 1709) was a French noble. A member of the House of Rohan, she was wife of the Prince of Soubise. It was she who brought the lordship of Soubise into the junior line of the House of Rohan. She was for some time the mistress of Louis XIV. She was sometimes called Madame de Frontenay due to being the Dame of Frontenay.


Born to Henri Chabot and his wife Marguerite de Rohan, she was the third of five children. Her parents' marriage had caused a scandal as Marguerite was a Foreign Princess as a member of the House of Rohan.[2] This had obliged Louis XIV to issue a decree that she was able to marry Henri and still hold her high rank at court.

Her family were allowed to bear the name of Rohan-Chabot, the Rohans being her maternal family.[3]

Her younger sister Jeanne Pelagie de Rohan-Chabot married the Prince of Epinoy, who was the paternal grandfather of Louis de Melun Duke of Joyeuse, and Anne Julie de Melun - a future Princess of Soubise.

On 17 April 1663,[1] at not more than fifteen years old, Anne married Lieutenant-General François de Rohan. François was a widower and the younger son of Hercule de Rohan Duke of Montbazon, and his wife Marie de Bretagne d'Avaugour. His older half sister was Marie de Rohan, Duchess of Chevreuse, a key figure in the Fronde (also known as the Lorraine War) an event which had a profound influence on the spirit of the era. She was presented at court in 1665.

Anne was the Dame of Soubise in her own right. As such, at the time of her marriage she passed the title onto her husband. The couple styled themselves as the Prince and Princess of Soubise after March 1667 based on letters patent which raised the title of Soubise to a principality.[4] Anne was also the Dame of Frontenay in her own right.

She received an excellent education for the time[5] . Although only a teenager, she was devoted to her husband. She was also a great beauty of the era with her red hair, fresh pale skin and almond eyes. Known as la Belle Florice, she maintained her beauty by keeping to a strict diet of chicken and salad, fruit, dairy products, and water with wine sometimes added.[6]

Anne became Louis XIV's mistress in 1669 when he was staying at the Château of Chambord where Anne was also present. At the time, Louis' affections were split between Louise de La Vallière and her future successor Madame de Montespan. Some time later Anne gave birth to her second son, Hercule Mériadec de Rohan (future Prince of Soubise yet styled at birth as the Duke of Rohan-Rohan).

In January 1674[1] Anne became a Lady-in-waiting to Queen Marie Thérèse and five months later she gave birth to another son Armand Gaston Maximilien de Rohan. It was by then common knowledge that the King and Anne were lovers and it was commonly said that her son was really from Louis XIV and not Monsieur de Soubise although he acknowledged the baby as his son. Although nothing was proved, Louis XIV did allot a large sum of money to the compliant husband, "in consideration of his services." In the portraits of the time, the similarity between the king and Armand is obvious. Her husband quickly became wealthy.[5]

The couple's affair ended in 1675[5] having been on an off for some six years. At the same timethe relationship between Madame de Montespan and the King also came to an end.[7]

She persuaded her husband to purchase the Hôtel de Guise from the trustees of the late Duchess of Guise. He bought the property on 27 March 1700 and renamed it the Hôtel de Soubise. She died there of a cold on 4 February 1709.[1][8]



References and notes

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  1. 1 2 3 4 5 van de Pas, Leo. "Anne de Rohan". Genealogics .org. Retrieved 2010-04-08.
  2. This prestigious rank had been given to the House of Rohan early in the 17th century as they were descended from the old Rulers of Brittany and their hereditary control of the Archbishopric of Strasbourg, which made them princes of the Holy Roman Empire
  3. Spangler, Jonathan. The Society of Princes: The Lorraine-Guise and the Conservation of Power and Wealth in Seventeenth-Century France. Retrieved 2010-04-08.
  4. Velde, François. "French principalities". Archived from the original on 24 March 2010. Retrieved 2010-04-07.
  5. 1 2 3 "Anne de Rohan-Chabot, Petite Maîtresse de Louis XIV". Retrieved 2010-04-08.
  6. Fraser, Antonia (Lady), Love and Louis XIV, Nan A. Talese, 2006, p.114
  7. Reconciliation with her husband came in the form of a daughter in 1677 and a son in 1678
  8. "Mitford, Nancy, The Sun King" p.221
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