Portrait of the Week – Minette


Henrietta-Anne, Duchesse d’Orleans, French school, c1665. Photo: Royal Collection.

My poor heroine, Henrietta-Anne died on this day in 1670. It feels like a bit of a SPOILER to post about this now but that’s the thing about historical fiction – spoilers are a bit moot. My husband hates this – he won’t watch or read anything that he knows the ending of so he absolutely loathes it when I tell him what is going to happen in, for example, Wolf Hall or The Tudors (although this is a bit tenuous as they changed things so much) whereas I think it’s insane that he DOESN’T ALREADY KNOW. Yes, we’re a well matched pair and no mistake.

Henrietta-Anne, Duchesse d’Orleans, French school, c1665. Photo: Royal Collection.

Anyway, in honour and deepest sorrow about poor Minette’s death day, here is this week’s portrait of the week – a really lovely piece in the Royal Collection, which was first recorded during the reign of Minette’s niece Queen Anne, who was at one point brought up in her household in France so they knew each other well.

I love this painting, which was probably painted, possibly by Nocret, just after Minette’s marriage to her first cousin, Philippe de France, Duc d’Orléans in spring 1661. Mind you, I love all paintings of Henrietta Anne as she seems to have had such an irrepressible and over abundance of brightness of spirit and sense of mischief that it never fails to shine out from her portraits. Just look at those bouncy curls and those eyes that brim over with fun.

Henrietta-Anne, Duchesse d’Orleans, French school, c1665. Photo: Royal Collection.

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‘Frothy, light hearted, gorgeous. The perfect summer read.’ Minette, my novel of 17th century posh doom and intrigue is now £2.02 from Amazon UK and $2.99 from Amazon US.

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