Hortense Mancini

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Hortense Mancini, duchesse Mazarin (6 June 1646, Rome – 9 November 1699, Chelsea), was the favourite niece of Cardinal Mazarin, chief minister of France, and a mistress of Charles II, King of England, Scotland and Ireland. She was the fourth of the five famous Mancini sisters, who along with two of their female Martinozzi cousins, were known at the court of King Louis XIV of France as the Mazarinettes.

Early life, family and marriage

One of five sisters noted for their great beauty, she was born Ortensia in Rome to Baron Lorenzo Mancini, an Italian aristocrat. After his death in 1650, her mother, Girolama Mazzarini, brought her daughters from Rome to Paris in the hope of using the influence of her brother, Cardinal Mazarin, to gain them advantageous marriages. Hortense's four famous sisters were:



The sisters' cousins, the Martinozzis, also moved to France at the same time, for the same goal (to marry well). The elder,...
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