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Diane de Poitiers could have?and should have?been Queen of France. King Henri II was devoted to her throughout his life. His childhood attachment turned into an adolescent attraction, and eventually into a passionate and consuming love. His greatest wish was to make her his wife and to have her rule France at his side. However, theirs was a time when royal marriages were arranged for political gain, and Henri?s first duty was to France; he was forced to marry a woman he could never love.

Diane de Poitiers was beautiful, wealthy, and well educated. Nineteen years his senior, she was Henri?s ideal woman. Diane and Henri loved each other with a love that was not only romantic and physical, but which also existed on a pure and spiritual level. Henri lavished gifts upon the woman he loved, and Diane guided and inspired him like no other?until they were separated for eternity by a cruel twist of fate.

Over five hundred years later, historians credit Diane with the success of Henri?s reign. But who was this woman who won the heart of the King of France? Let her tell you, in her own words?

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