Everyone knows the Queen of Hearts from the children’s story Alice in Wonderland, but is it true that there was a French noblewoman that inspired such a lovely villain?
Marguerite of Valois, remembered today as Queen Margot, was born into French nobility in 1553 and according to some is considered to be one of the first feminists who enjoyed free love, thinking for herself, and not sitting back and allowing men to make decisions for her.
No stranger to death and loss, Queen Margot managed to gather an interesting reputation when it came to the deaths of her many lovers, so much so that these supposed quirks are what she is remembered for today.
In 1574, her lover, Boniface de la Môle, was accused of attempting to kill the king (Margot’s brother) and he was beheaded for his crimes. According to legend, Margot bought la Môle’s head from the executioner and embalmed it before placing it in a jeweled casket.
The macabre rumors don’t end there. It is said that throughout her entire life, Queen Margot carried the hearts of her dead lovers in the pockets of her elegant gowns, successfully gaining the nickname the Queen of Hearts.
Of course, many historians consider these stories about Queen Margot to be “black legends.” These tales are thought to be fabricated by Queen Margot’s enemies throughout her lifetime and even decades after, used to taint her image.
One way or another, you have to admit, its a ghastly and beautiful love story that helps make love seem a bit more twisted… but in a good way.
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