| || |
Duchess of Manchester
Carte de visite
Luise von Alten married the 7th Duke of Manchester in 1852. The marriage was not a successful one, and when the Duke died in 1890, after a decent interval his widow became the wife of the 8th Duke of Devonshire, whose mistress she had by then been for some thirty years. She was thereafter known as 'the Double Duchess'.
An occasional visitor to the French imperial court, her great beauty was praised by Princess Metternich in her memoirs. Consuelo, Duchess of Marlborough, who knew - and detested - her later in life, remembered her differently: 'Rumour had her beautiful, but when I knew her she was a raddled old woman, covering her wrinkles with paint; her pate was a brown wig, her mouth was a red gash'.