Study: King Henry II’s Mistress Died From Drinking Too Much Gold

LONDON — A British medical journal has published findings saying a mistress of 16th-century French King Henry II may have died from consuming too much drinkable gold.

When French experts dug up the remains of Diane de Poitiers [no relation to Sidney Poitier] last year, they found high levels of gold in her hair. Since she was not a queen and did not wear a crown, scientists said it was hard to see how jewelry could have contaminated her hair and body.

Experts now say that the popularity of drinkable gold — believed to preserve youth — in the French court makes it very likely de Poitier’s beauty elixir ultimately killed her. The findings were published Thursday in British medical journal BMJ.

Despite being two decades older than King Henry, de Poitiers was one of his favorites.

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