Her Heart Soared as the King Spoke At last, at long last, Perpetua was to have her heart's desire. Gaston, the man she loved, had just been granted permission to marry her. How wonderful the future looked now, Perpetua thought. Surely nothing could mar it! Yet barely had Henri II, King of France, bestowed his blessing when Diane de Poitiers, the King's beloved mistress, cried out in pain and slumped forward in her seat. Oh, no, oh, no! Perpetua cried inwardly. For Madame Diane had been poisoned, and it was Gaston who had handed her the goblet of wine.