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1783 portrait of Madame Grand by Élisabeth-Louise Vigée-Le Brun, now at the Metropolitan Museum of Art
Charles Maurice de Talleyrand-Périgord, Prince de Benevente, Catherine's second husband

Catherine Noele Grand (née Worlée; 1762 – December 10, 1834) was the mistress and later the wife of French diplomat Charles Maurice de Talleyrand-Périgord, the first Prime Minister of France. From their marriage in 1802 until her death she was Catherine Noele Grand de Talleyrand-Périgord, Princesse de Bénévent. Madame Grand was known for her striking Nordic beauty[1], as well as her ingenuous public comments[2].

Catherine Noele Worlée was born in the Danish possession of Tranquebar, India. Her father was a French official stationed at Pondicherry. In 1777 her family moved to Chandernagore where she met George Francis Grand, an British civil servant of Huguenot extraction stationed at Kolkata (then Calcutta). They were wed in 1778 in Calcutta when Catherine was barely sixteen.

They separated early after marriage owing to her brief and scandalous affair with Sir Philip Francis, deputy of Warren Hastings, and Madame Grand settled in London. By 1783, she had become a prostitute in Paris, although she returned to Britain just before the French Revolution in 1789. In 1794 she returned to France and attracted the attention of French diplomat Charles Maurice de Talleyrand, with whom she lived until 1802, when Napoleon Bonaparte pressured Talleyrand to marry her. After marriage the two gradually drifted apart. Madame Talleyrand began living alone, although her husband eventually gave her enough money to live luxuriously in London. For the last few years of her life she returned to Paris, dying there on 10 December 1834.




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