Kings and Their Mistresses

As Caroline had feared, Henrietta was replaced by younger, prettier, more manipulating mistresses. Dying from an umbilical rupture in 1737, wrapped in towels as her intestines spilled out, the queen, sensible to the end, suggested that George remarry. But the king, heartbroken, hovering near her bed in her last agonizing moments, swore he would have only mistresses and never remarry.

“Oh, my God!” the dying queen said in French, with characteristic practicality, “that won’t make any difference!”

-Excerpt from Sex with Kings by Eleanor Herman. Famous last words of Queen Caroline to her gallivanting husband King George II of England.