|The young prince
|The Prince at the Battle of Rocroi
The Battle of Rocroi, however, was only the beginning for the Prince de Condé. He next shifted to Alsace to meet the Bavarians. Although he did not destroy their army totally as he had the Spanish, in three sharp battles he forced the Bavarians to quit French soil and retreat back across the Rhine. When they returned the following year, Condé, along with another giant of French military history, Turenne, again defeated the Bavarians and forced them to withdraw. Time and again, over the next decade, Condé was called upon to chastise the enemies of France but with each victory he also gained enemies at court where jealously about the young man who so dominated the battlefields was not uncommon. The greater his popularity, the greater the envy many felt towards him. He did have his setbacks as well. In 1647 he was dispatched to Spain and met with a bitter loss at Lerida, a failure of logistics rather than battlefield tactics. Nonetheless, it was an aberration and he still succeeded in carrying out the occupation of Catalonia.
|The Prince at the Battle of Lens
|The Prince received at Versailles
The success at Seneffe, however, would prove to be his last victory. Although only in his mid-fifties, that was a more advanced age for the time than it is today and Condé was suffering from a variety of ailments ranging from gout, the common affliction of the upper class, to the simple effects of old age and so many years campaigning. He was simply no longer physically capable of taking to the battlefield and so, after more than thirty years of leadership, retired to his palatial home, devoting his remaining years to his family, study and of course, living as lavishly as he could. The great Condé died at Fontainebleau on December 11, 1686 at the age of sixty-five.