Day of the Dupes

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Day of the Dupes is the name given to the day in November 1630 on which the enemies of Cardinal Richelieu mistakenly believed that they had succeeded in persuading Louis XIII, King of France, to dismiss Richelieu from power. The actual day is thought to have been on the 10th, 11th, or 12th of the month.

In November 1630, the political relations between the cardinal and the queen mother, the Italian-born Marie de' Medici, reached a crisis. In a stormy scene on 10 November, in the Luxembourg Palace, Marie de' Medici and the cardinal met in the king's presence. The queen mother demanded the cardinal's dismissal, declaring that the king had to choose between him and her.

No immediate decision came from this conference, but the king retired to his hunting lodge in Versailles. Richelieu seems to have believed that his political career was over, but the intercession of influential friends saved the minister from impending disgrace. While the apartments of the Luxembourg Palace were thronged by the cardinal's enemies celebrating his fall, Richelieu followed the king to Versailles, where the monarch assured him of continued support. Marie was subsequently exiled to Compiègne. The "Day of the Dupes," as this event was called, marks the complete restoration of the cardinal to royal favor.

In fiction[edit]

An historical novel by Stanley J. Weyman, Under the Red Robe, concerns the Day of the Dupes.