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Chateauneuf, La Belle

CHATEAUNEUF, LA BELLE, the name popularly given to Renée de Rieux, daughter of Jean de Rieux, seigneur de Châteauneuf, who was descended from one of the greatest families of Brittany. The dates both of her birth and death are not known. She was maid of honour to the queen-mother Catherine de' Medici, and inspired an ardent passion in the duke of Anjou, brother of Charles IX. This intrigue deterred the duke from the marriage which it was desired to arrange for him with Elizabeth of England; but he soon abandoned La Belle Châteauneuf for Marie of Cleves (1571). The court then wished to find a husband for Renee de Rieux, whose singular beauty gave her an influence which the queen-mother feared, and matches were in turn suggested with the voivode of Transylvania, the earl of Leicester, with Du Prat, provost of Paris, and with the count of Brienne, all of which came to nothing. Ultimately, on the ground that she had been lacking in respect towards the queen, Louise of Lorraine-Vaudémont, Renée was banished from the court. She married a Florentine named Antinotti, whom she stabbed in a fit of jealousy (1577); then she remarried, her husband being Philip Altoviti, who in 1586 was killed in a duel by the Grand Prior Henry of Angoulême, who was himself mortally wounded.

Note - this article incorporates content from Encyclopaedia Britannica, Eleventh Edition, (1910-1911)

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