She is better known to history as the sister of Charles II of England and the sister in law of Louis the XIV of France. It was the latter association which made the luck of Henrietta’s life. She was the last child of Charles I and his French Queen Henrietta Maria. She had gone with her mother into exile in France after her father’s capture and execution, and endured a cold and miserable childhood flitting about the backstairs of the French court, noticed by the young Louis only for her extreme lankiness.
After the Restoration of her brother Charles’s crown, Henriette went from being a skinny girl of no consequence, to being one of the most eligible young women in France. She made a very grand marriage indeed (1661) to Phillippe d’Orleans, younger brother of Louis XIV. Continue reading