"Always going to bed, always pregnant, always giving birth" said Marie Leszczyńska, queen of France. Marie was chosen to be wife of Louis XV for two reasons. First of all, she was ready to get pregnant, unlike his definitely too young fiancee, Mariana Victoria of Spain, and it was very important, as Louis XV had weak health and his death could end the royal line of Bourbon dynasty. Secondly, being a daughter of Stanisław Leszczyński, Polish king in exile, marrying her wouldn't result with any undesired alliance, and France had already enough external problems after rules of Louis XIV.

The provided quote is Marie's complaint about her overall life as a queen. At the beginning she fell in love with Louis XV, but with time, her husband started to prefer his lovers over a wife, whose role downgraded mainly to taking care of children and giving birth to more of them.

But the question is - did she had any lover by herself, during her life at the French court? Are there any records of such person? I know she was very religious, but after all it was Versailles, world capitol of love affairs.

Also, once I've read an old article about her early life and there was a French officer, who felt in love with her, while guarding her on the way to Paris for the wedding ceremony. From what I remember, it was only a platonic romance, but still, I'd love to know his name.

  • This text seems like a kind of yellow journalism or cheap talking not a matter of history however history is full of cheap matters beside of bold matters paradoxically! Mar 2, 2013 at 22:36
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    You're talking about the last paragraph? It was in a book covering the topic of love affairs in Poland in 17-19th century, a very good one and well researched, unfortunately I don't remember the title as it was more than 10 years ago. Mar 2, 2013 at 22:58
  • To be honest I find such cheap matters in history far more interesting than the bold ones. I believe that if the kings made more love and less wars, the world would be so much better. Mar 2, 2013 at 23:07
  • I believe the term you're looking for is microhistory, which can focus on pretty much everything regarding the past times. Mar 2, 2013 at 23:12
  • To be honest I do not believe in a world which kings and queens have made it. A real change in the world needs minds as much as loves. I do not think our world needs aristocratic love stories. Mar 3, 2013 at 0:03

1 Answer 1


Unless someone can find a "smoking gun" such as a diary, we'll never know for sure. But the "indications" appear to be no, for several reasons.

Marie had a difficult childbirth with her last child. She was the one that said no to further marital relations, which amplified any tendencies that Louis XV might have had toward infidelity. It's unlikely that a queen consort would refuse her husband, then sleep with other men.

She was some seven years older than Louis XV, not the kind of woman most men would want for a mistress.

She was a "down to earth" woman from a "poor" family (for a noblewoman), not popular among other nobles.

She was a good-hearted woman who was basically in love with Louis XV, at least initially (which is on the "rare" side in those days).

  • Thanks, I guess there won't be any better answer. I accept this one as being a good overview to the subject. What's very interesting is that there seem to be much better opinion about her among French who are more likely to admit there were good things about her character than among Poles, who (as a nation, not particular historians) strongly accent her weak position at the court. I guess it's just some kind of national complexes, that a Pole at French throne just had to be no good. Mar 26, 2013 at 8:57
  • Ah, by "better answer" I meant "Oh, yes, there was a lover!", which would just better suit my personal interests and needs. Mar 26, 2013 at 9:00
  • But I've read that French speak of her more gently because of the comparison with Marie Antoinette, their next queen, while typical Pole is not aware of such subject, as it's just not part of our history. Mar 26, 2013 at 9:07
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    @DarekWędrychowski: Unfortunately, I have a recollection of Marie Antoinette being the "fix" paid to France for not interfering in the first partition of Poland, something that Poles should take note of (if true, or even plausible.
    – Tom Au
    Oct 13, 2014 at 21:52

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