Jeanne du Barry will soon be the subject of a movie with Johnny Depp. We tell you more about the last favorite of King Louis XV.
Seduced by her beauty
Jeanne du Barry will soon be the title of the new film by Maiwenn Le Besco (ex-wife of the director of the 5th element, Luc Besson). This favorite of King Louis XV stirred up jealousies, starting with Marie-Antoinette. When he meets Madame Du Barry, Louis XV is old. He lost, among others, his son the Dauphin Louis-Ferdinand, his wife, Marie Leszczynska and his mistress who became a friend, Madame de Pompadour. When Marshal Richelieu heard of Jeanne Bécu, he wanted to introduce her to Louis XV. It was done in 1768, thanks to Le Bel, First Valet of the King’s Chamber. Hastily married to Count Guillaume Du Barry in 1768, the Countess was presented to the Court and became the new favorite of the sovereign, seduced by her beauty. And this despite the plans of the Duke of Choiseul who would have liked his sister, the Duchess of Gramont, to occupy this place of choice.
She arouses the jealousies
Like many favourites, Madame du Barry lives comfortably. Installed on the second floor of the king’s cabinets, she enjoyed her privileges, received jewelry and estates, in particular that of Louveciennes where she stayed regularly. She arouses the jealousies and hatred of the aristocratic milieu. Although she is not very interested in politics, the Comtesse du Barry still supports the party of the Duke of Richelieu against the enemy camp, that of the Duke of Choiseul. Prime Minister, former protege of Madame de Pompadour, he counts the Dauphine Marie-Antoinette among his supporters. This is one of the conflicts between the two women. In 1770, Louis XV dismissed Choiseul.
Guillotined by an old friend
Hated by the court, Madame du Barry continues to boast, walking around Versailles with extremely expensive jewels given to her by her royal lover. In 1772, she went so far as to order a necklace worth 1.6 million pounds from jewelers. This incredible river of diamonds, which she will never wear, will give rise to a scam that will later tarnish the reputation of her rival, the future Queen Marie-Antoinette. On the King’s death in May 1774, by order of his successor Louis XVI, she was expelled from Versailles and taken to the convent of Pont-aux-Dames in Meaux. In 1776, she retired to Louveciennes. Denounced during the Terror, she was guillotined in December 1793. As she climbed the steps of the scaffold one by one, advancing towards her disastrous destiny, Jeanne du Barry would have uttered a heartbreaking plea, begging for a final respite from the one who was going to put her to death: “Another moment, Monsieur le executioner!”. To make matters worse, the executioner in question, Charles Henri Sanson, was one of his old friends.