Versailles goes Down Under

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You might have heard of the fabulous exhibition the National Gallery of Australia and the Chateau de Versailles have set up in Canberra. Treasures such as paintings, tapestries, furniture, and even Latona herself, the large centrepiece of the Latona fountain, travelled all the way to Australia for the first time ever. My partner-in-bonbon-devouring Jules Harper payed the exhibition a visit, brought… Read more »

Carrosses à cinq sol, the first public transport system of the world

Many things of our modern world have their origin in 17th century France and were invented during the reign of the Sun King. Champagne is one, public street lighting a other, high heels as well, public transportation too. The Carrosses à cinq sol -carriages for five sol- have their origin in the year 1661 and were the very first public transport system… Read more »

Guy Armand de Gramont, Comte de Guiche

Guy Armand de Gramont, mostly just called by his second name Armand, was born on November 25 in 1637. He achieved fame due to his bravery on the battlefield, his libertine lifestyle and his scandalous affair with Philippe de France, brother to the great Sun King. Armand was the first-born child of Antoine III de Gramont, Peer-Duc de Gramont and Marshal of France,… Read more »

Françoise Athénaïs de Rochechouart de Mortemart, Marquise de Montespan

Françoise de Rochechouart de Mortemart was born on October 5 in 1640 into the ancient house of House of Rochechouart. Dating back to the days of Charles the Bald, who ruled as King of the Franks from 840 to 877, the House of Rochechouart teamed up with the House of Montemart, a Montemart is first mentioned in 1094, by marriage in 1205. Making them… Read more »

Dangeau’s Diary, March 1686

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26th.— On the 13th of January, Monsieur Girardin, the King’s ambassador at the Porte, assembled all the French residents, and in the King’s name announced to them that none but Catholics should henceforth enjoy the privileges and functions granted to the nation by the King’s protection and that he would give them four months to receive the necessary instructions. 28th…. Read more »

The contest for precedence, or a turbulent day on London’s streets…

A long-lasting dispute over whether the Spanish ambassadors had precedence over the French, or the other way around, reached a bloody pinnacle on the streets of London on September 30 in 1661. On that very day the new Swedish ambassador was to arrive in London and according to custom, the King’s barge was to meet him at Gravesend and accompany him to Tower-Wharf. The… Read more »

Anne-Madeleine de Conty d’Argencourt

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Before Marie Mancini and Louise de La Vallière, Louis XIV, aged tender sixteen, had a fling for a certain Mademoiselle de la Motte-Argencourt. Born in 1637 or 1638 to Pierre de Conty d’Argencourt and Madeleine de Chaumont de Bertichères, Anne-Madeleine de Conty d’Argencourt was around the same age as Louis XIV. She was baptised on September 20 in 1641 and entered the household of Anne d’Autriche later… Read more »

Bonne de Pons, Marquise d’Heudicourt

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Bonne de Pons was born between 1641 and 1644 in Poitou to Pons de Pons, Seigneur de Bourg-Charente, and his wife Elisabeth de Puyrigaud. Bonne is the youngest of the couple’s three children, having an older brother, Renaud de Pons, and an older sister, Marie Elisabeth de Pons. Bonne’s family was of old nobility and related to many great names, among them César… Read more »

Versailles Giveaway!

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It is time for a giveaway again. Hurray! Enter the form below for a chance to win a Sun King notebook with matching pencil and a utterly cute Versailles memory card game featuring many historical people from the time of Louis XIV, everything coming straight from the boutique of Versailles. Like last time, we use the rafflecopter widget. To enter you… Read more »

Louise de La Vallière, Duchesse de La Vallière et de Vaujours

Françoise Louise de La Baume Le Blanc was born on August 6 in 1644 to Françoise Le Provost and the officer Laurent de La Baume Le Blanc. Her father Laurent de La Baume Le Blanc was a member of the poorer branch of the House of La Baume and Seigneur de la Vallière as well as Govenour of the Château d’Amboise. Her mother Françoise Le… Read more »

How and when to sit….

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At Louis XIV’s court even the most simple of tasks, like placing one’s behind on a piece of furniture designed for it, was an utterly complicated matter at times. Not just was it very important how one sat down, sitting down at the wrong time on the wrong chair could mean ones ruin. Who could sit where and when was… Read more »

Dangeau’s Diary, February 1686

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2nd. — The King refused to sign the marriage-contract of Mademoiselle de Tonnerre, saying that he would confer that honour upon those only with whom he was satisfied. 13th. — l am informed that Monsieur Dacier, a gentleman celebrated for his erudition and literary productions, and who has married Mademoiselle Lefevre of still greater literary celebrity, has had a pension… Read more »

Versailles Season Two…. what can we expect to see?

It is still quite a while until we will finally see Season Two of Versailles on the screens, but there are some hints already about what we might see. Until now, there are no set airing dates yet. We know from Canal+ that the show will air March 27  in France and Ovation confirmed it for fall 2017 for the… Read more »

How to walk….

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If you would meet a courtier of Versailles, pretty much the first thing you would notice would be their odd way to walk. Just like with everything else, there were actual rules on how to walk and it was quite the art. Compared to today, where we set one foot in front of the other, the 17th century walk looks… Read more »

Recipes from the time of Louis XIV

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Here are two, not too complicated, recipes for some of Louis XIV’s favourite things to eat. Both are meant for six persons, and both have two of the Sun King’s favoured ingredients, asparagus and pears. L’Omelette d’asperges 500 g green asparagus 1 small onion 12 eggs 20 cl liquid cream 50 g butter 1 bunch fresh chives 2 sprigs of thyme… Read more »

Dining with the Sun King….. Table Etiquette

Etiquette, those terribly complicated rules of how to do basically anything, ruled the French court just like the Sun King in person. There was a rule for everything and every rule had some sort of exception. Learning all of this would be for us today like preparing for some sort of exam ones life depends on, but back then the… Read more »