Polignac was a stone fox. I mean, she had violet eyes. She was said to be a dead ringer for one of Raphael’s Madonnas though the Duc de Levis said she was a “rather insipid Madonna.”
She wasn’t much brighter than the Princesse de Lamballe, but she was somewhat more sophisticated, and was known to have a lover (the domineering – if somewhat boorish – Comte de Vaudreuil). She certainly wasn’t as prudish as Lamballe, and that attitude, combined with Marie Antoinette’s seeming fascination with her, may have contributed to ongoing rumors that they were lesbian lovers.
And quite unlike the Princesse de Lamballe, the Comtesse de Polignac was broke. She came from a very good family, as did her husband, but they were deeply in debt. When Marie Antoinette encouraged Polignac to move to Versailles, the Comtesse quite straightforwardly (surprising for the time, more surprising than nipples!) said that she couldn’t afford to. Marie Antoinette responded by paying off all of the Polignac family’s debts. Marie Antoinette also moved her into a stunning 13 room apartment – a rare amount of space at Versailles’s notoriously crowded quarters. Later, the Comtesse de Polignac was made a duchess.
Maria Antoinette’s mother claimed that , “It is almost unexampled that in so short a time, the royal favour should have brought such overwhelming advantages to a family.”