Saint Vallier-sur-Rhône

Who was
Diane de Poitiers ?



Diane de Poitiers was born on January 9th 1500 in Saint-Vallier-sur-Rhône.
Diane is the daughter of Jean de Poitiers, viscount of Estoile and lord of Saint-Vallier, and Jeanne de Batarnay. Her parents belong to the inner circle of royal power.
Through Anne de Beaujeu, she married Louis de Brézé, grandson of Charles VII and Agnès Sorel, Count of Maulévrier, Grand Seneschal of Normandy and Grand Veneur of France in the Hôtel de Bourbon in Paris, on April 16th 1515, at the age of fifteen. He was almost forty years older than she. From this marriage were born two daughters.
Widowed at 32, she was a woman of great culture and blossoming beauty. She was a great figure of the French Renaissance, and by the age of 38 she became the favorite of Henri II, King of France. This relationship lasted for more than twenty years.
To keep the love of the King and especially not to show the years which passed on her beautiful face, Diane de Poitiers had an elixir of youth: she drank a little gold every day. The beautiful Diane inspired many painters, sculptors and poets.
When the King was mortally wounded on June 30th 1559, during a tournament in Paris, she was driven out of the Court by her enemy Queen Catherine de Medici, and had to return her jewelry and the Château de Chenonceau in exchange for the Château de Chaumont sur Loire.
Diane de Poitiers retired to Château d’Anet, where she died in 1566 at the age of 66, slowly poisoned by the gold she absorbed in order to stay young.