What do Hillary Clinton, Angelina Jolie, and Madonna have to do with saving the French Empire in 1663? My third book's research is teaching me about some interesting historical facts.
According to Wikipedia all three are descended from approximately 800 French women known as The King's Daughters (French: filles du roi) who left France to settle in North America between 1663 and 1673 as part of a state sponsored program.
In the mid-seventeenth century English and French colonies were competing to dominate North America. New France was largely populated by men; soldiers, fur traders and priests. Very few women would leave home to settle in such a harsh environment, and so there was a severe gender imbalance in the colony. When New France saw that the English were doing a better job at seeding their colony with women, Jean Talon - the first intendent of New France - suggested to King Louis XIV the state sponsor the passage (and dowry et al) of 500 young, single women. Eventually 800 women were sponsored, of whom 80% were between the ages of 12 and 25 years of age. Most were from the Paris area, from poorer circumstances, and each required a letter from their parish priest as to their suitability.
Marguerite Bourgeoys - a French nun and founder of the Congregation of Notre Dame of Montreal - was the first to use the phrase 'fillies du roi' to differentiate women sponsored by the state, and women emigrating using their own resources.
New France began with the exploration of the Gulf of Saint Lawrence by Jacques Cartier in 1534 and ending with the cession of New France to Great Britain and Spain in 1763 under the Treaty of Paris (1763). At its peak in 1712 the territory of New France consisted of five colonies stretching from Newfoundland to Louisiana and the Gulf of Mexico
King Louis XIV (who liked to be called The Sun King) reigned for 72 years and 11 days in the longest recorded reign in European History.