<u>Maria Theresa of Spain</u>
Maria was Louis' first wife, who was the daughter of the king of Spain and was a marriage made as part of a treaty with Spain to create peace between France and Spain. She is generally known to have been virtuous. However, one major possible scandal may have concerned her. In the series and in the first episode, she is shown giving birth to a dark colored baby. This may, in fact, have happened, although the reasons for this are not agreed upon. There may have been a baby born to Maria who was
dark in color; however, this may have been due to oxygen deprivation. Another rumor, however, suggested that the queen had an affair with her black jester and this baby was the result of that affair. Years later, a black nun, whose parents were unknown, was rumored to be the child that Maria gave birth to. In effect, there were rumors about the events depicted in the series, but the circumstances are not clear and the French court was often full of often false rumors.
<u>Philippe I, Duke of Orléans</u>
Philippe, Louis' brother, is shown as being close but also competitive with his brother, where their rivalry often boils over in Philippe's defiance of the king. Philippe is shown as gay and this is a well known fact. Despite being married to Henrietta, Philippe had a lover named Chevalier de Lorraine, a French noble, who was a historical figure. In one episode, Philippe dresses in woman's clothing, which was known to have occurred, as since his childhood his mother was known to have dressed him as a girl.
<u>Henrietta of England</u>
While Louis' affairs with Henrietta are in dispute, she was known to have largely tolerated her husband's homosexual relationship with the Chevalier. Henrietta's relationship with her husband was likely awkward, even by the French court's standards. She may have had an affair with one of her husband's lovers, Guiche, although Henrietta and Philippe did manage to have several children, but the paternity of the children was rumored to be from others. In the series, Henrietta and Philippe are depicted as a couple in name only. Historically, the Chevalier did join Phillippe's household, where she did have to compete with her husband's lover for attention in the royal household despite her status. Nevertheless, she proved to be instrumental to the French crown when she helped secure the Treaty of Dover between England and France, where Henrietta, the sister of the English king, having played an important role in negotiations in the treaty. The portrayal in the series is largely accurate, as it credits her with the success of the treaty.
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