Madame du Barry was born Marie-Jeanne Bécu at Vaucouleurs, Champagne, France. She was born to poor parents, but relationships with rich men increased her social standing, and in 1769 she became the mistress of Louis XV of France, whose best known mistress Madame de Pompadour had died a few years earlier. She was an enemy of Marie Antoinette's
Madame du Barry was a light hearted woman, whose influence stayed limited. After the death of the King she left the court. She was executed by guillotine on the Place de la Concorde in 1793 after a predetermined trial. Her last words to the executioner ("Encore un moment, monsieur le bourreau, un petit moment.") were her most famous.