Lady Pope - Guarding access to Pope Innocent X

Lady Pope - Olimpia Maidalchini was the sister-in-law of Pope Innocent X Pamphilj (1644-1655).

Her family was not wealthy, but she married two wealthy men. Her second marriage was with Pamphilio Pamphilj, brother of Cardinal Giambattista, the future Pope Innocent X. After Pamphilio's death, she became Innocent X's effective advisor. The pope elevated to the office of Cardinal Nephew the son, nephew, and cousin of Olimpia Maidalchini.

Donna Olimpia Maidalchini is a woman of great spirit, but her sole title to influence is that of a rigid economist. When offices fell vacant at court, nothing was decided without her good pleasure; when church livings were to be distributed, the ministers of the dataria had orders to defer all appointments until, notice having been given to her of the nature of those benefices, she might then select such as best pleased her for her own disposal; if episcopal sees were to be conferred, it was to her that the candidates applied; and that which most effectually revolted every upright mind was to see that those were preferred who were most liberal in giving.