Entrancing Facts About Madame de Pompadour, France’s Most Powerful Mistress


Madame de Pompadour didn’t just share King Louis XV‘s bed, she also shared his power. As the most commanding mistress in the French court, she bettered the lives of many and became a beloved figure in European history and pop culture. But what do we really know about this fascinating woman? How did she gain the eye of the king? More importantly, how did she keep it? This is the entrancing tale of Madame de Pompadour.

Madame de Pompadour Facts

1. She was Destined to Make History

The woman who would become Madame de Pompadour entered the world as little Jeanne Antoinette Poisson. Born on December 29, 1721, she began life as a regular girl—but fate had other plans in store. When Pompadour was young, her mother took her to a fortune teller. The seer allegedly foretold that Pompadour “would one day reign over the heart of a king”. Pompadour would fulfill that prophecy, but her path to the top would be anything but smooth.


2. Her Father was a Criminal

A terrible scandal emerged when Pompadour was only a young girl. It turned out that her father, Francois Poisson, was deeply in debt. Desperate, the doomed financier went into exile in 1725 and couldn’t come home until the charges were cleared eight long years later. Frankly, though, he should’ve counted himself lucky. At the time, failure to pay debts carried the death penalty.


3. Her Legacy is Scandalous

Madame de Pompadour’s amorous legacy is alive and well even to this day. According to one long-standing legend, Louis XV based the shape of the French champagne glass, also known as the coupe, on a scandalous part of his mistress. He apparently modelled the decadent glass on the size and shape of his mistress’ breast.


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