• Philippe de France, frère unique du roi

    When Louis XIV was born in 1638, it was regarded as a miracle. No-one really thought Louis XIII and Anne d’Autriche, a old woman by the standards of the time, were capable of producing a healthy heir. To everyone’s surprise, both also managed to produce a spare. Philippe de France was born on September 21 in 1640 at the old…

  • Dangeau’s Diary, September 1689

    3rd. — After having dined at Marly, the King went to the Dauphine’s. He had Monsieur le Duc de Bourgogne brought there and placed him in the hands of Monsieur de Beauvilliers. The Duke de Bourgogne was much affected upon being separated from the Marquise de la Motte and expressed his gratitude and love very strongly. (The Duc was seven…

  • Chronologie de la vie de Louis XIV, August 1663

    1 August, his Majesty rides to Versailles for the hunt. 6 August, his Majesty grants an audience to Monsieur Hannibal Sehested, the extraordinary ambassador of Denmark, before the departure of the latter. 7 August, his Majesty receives the Députés des Ètats de Languedoc, who are led by the Bishop de Saint-Papoul. 11 August, their Majesties leave Paris for Versailles, intending…

  • Chronologie de la vie de Louis XIV, July 1663

    1 July, his Majesty invites Monsieur and Madame to travel to Versailles with him for the day and treats them to a fine supper, before returning to Paris in the evening. 5 July, his Majesty enjoys the hunt at Versailles. 13 July, their Majesties travel to the plaine de Colombes for a review of the gardes francaises and gardes suisses,…

  • Dangeau’s Diary, August 1689

    18th. — The Pope has refused to make a promotion. Cardinal Collorédo was deputed to make the proposition to him, but he would not grant him an audience. Don Livio threw himself on his knees and asked his benediction. The Pope told him not to interfere in any business and that thus he would die more tranquilly. 21st. — The…

  • Dangeau’s Diary, July 1689

    2nd. — The Nuncio requested an audience of leave, which the King would not grant him. He sets off immediately. 14th. — The guard major returned this morning from Paris, whither he had been to arrest the Duc de la Force to conduct him to the Bastille. The Marquis de Roure was also arrested. Monsieur de Vivans, his cousin-german, and…

  • Chronologie de la vie de Louis XIV, June 1663

    1 June, his Majesty, upon waking, is feeling better and it appears the worst is over. The King’s physician believes it is due to his decision to bleed his Majesty, although one would not do it on a patient with a fever so high. It is said that his Majesty told Monsieur Vallot, his physician, that he himself did not…

  • Louis XIV and the measles

    The measles are a very serious contagious infectious disease caused by a virus. It takes 10 to 12 days after exposure for the symptoms to show and then 7 to 10 days for the whole thing to vanish…. if one survives it. La rougeole, as the French call it, was a killer in the 17th century and it still is…

  • Françoise de Brancas, Princesse d’Harcourt

    Louis XIV’s court was full with strange people and if the stories regarding the Princesse d’Harcourt are true, she is certainly on the very top of the list. Françoise de Brancas was born in around 1650 as the oldest daughter of Charles de Brancas, Marquis de Maubec, and his wife Suzanne Garnier. The family was quite respectable and her papa,…

  • Dangeau’s Diary, June 1689

    3rd. — Spire, Worms, and Oppenheim have been burnt to prevent the enemy establishing them selves there and drawing assistance and stores from them, in case they should wish to attack some of the fortresses we have in that quarter. The inhabitants were informed of it some days before, to give them the opportunity of removing their goods, furniture, etc.…

  • Chronologie de la vie de Louis XIV, May 1663

    6 May, his Majesty sets out to hunt at Livry, north-east of Paris, in company of the Duc d’Enghien. 8 May, his Majesty receives the deputies of the Sorbonne and is presented with the declaration of the Sorbonne regarding the infallibility of the pope by the Archbishop de Paris. 11 May, Monsieur le Marquis d’Ouatigny is sworn in by his…

  • Dangeau’s Diary, May 1689

    1st. — The King desires that Monisuer de Rebenac will explicitly declare his sentiments respecting the embassy to Constantinople, being unwilling to send him there, should the office interfere with his private concerns. Monsieur de Rebenac has offered to set off and sacrifice his private interests and inclinations for the service of his Majesty, although he has a great dislike…

  • Chronologie de la vie de Louis XIV, April 1663

    3 April, the Comte de Brienne has resigned from his position as secrétaire d’État aux Affaires étrangères, which he had held since 1643. 4 April, his Majesty receives the abbé Elpidio Benedetti, who has just arrived from Rome. 6 April, his Majesty receives Monsieur Alvise Sagredo, who is the ambassador of Venice. 7 April, Monsieur Jean Hérault, Baron de Gourville,…

  • The wedding of Marie-Louise d’Orléans and much ado about etiquette…

    The highlight of the year 1679 at court was the marriage by proxy of Mademoiselle and the King of Spain. Mademoiselle was the oldest daughter of Louis XIV’s brother Philippe and his first wife, Henriette d’Angleterre. Since none of the Sun King’s legitimate daughters reached adulthood, this was his first chance to marry a close relative to another King. But…

  • Dangeau’s Diary, April 1689

    9th. — Monsieur de la Rochefaucault has spoken to the King in behalf of the Comtede Roye. His Majesty expressed himself very well satisfied with his conduct and said that he did not order his pension to be paid him, because he did not wish to send money into England, but that the twelve thousand livre which he gave him…

  • Chronologie de la vie de Louis XIV, March 1663

    1 March, his Majesty grants an audience to the Prince de Holstein, Christian Albert of Holstein-Gottorp, who is the brother of the Queen-Regent of Sweden. After which his Majesty receives Monsieur Ghiron Francesco Villa, ambassador of Savoy, before the departure of the latter from France. 3 March, his Majesty travels to Versailles for the chase. 4 March, his Majesty and…

  • Louis XIII

    Louis XIII succeeded to the French throne shortly before his ninth birthday and his reign lasted 33 years. It was full of intrigues, wars and seemingly endless worries about not being able to produce an heir.   The future Louis XIII was born on 27 September 1601 as the first child and son of le bon roi Henri IV and…

  • Chronologie de la vie de Louis XIV, February 1663

    1 February, Monsieur de Montespan has sought the King’s permission to marry Mademoiselle de Tonnay-Charente. A contract has already been set up and his Majesty granted his permission, yet the royal family will not sign the documents, Montespan’s uncle being a prominent Jansenist. The Ballet des Arts is once again performed tonight. 2 February, Sainte Rencontre, accompanied by the Chevaliers…

  • Dangeau’s Diary, March 1689

    13th. — The Queen of England informed us, that the Prince of Orange has ordered, that in speaking of the King, her consort, and herself, the expression, the late King and the late Queen should be used. 16th. — The King has issued a proclamation, by which he restores to his Huguenot subjects, who have taken refuge in England and…

  • Living at Versailles…. a hungry court

    If you think of Versailles, you will think of tables full of the most delicious things. Glorious roasts, spectacular centrepieces, fabulous cakes and sugary glory. This applied to the tables of the royal family, not so much to the general courtier. Getting something to eat at Versailles was a proper hassle for them and many, especially those with little means,…

  • Chronologie de la vie de Louis XIV, January 1663

    1 January, the King and the Queen visit the Ursulines of Saint-Cloud for their devotions, before returning to Paris. Having returned to Paris, his Majesty, in company of Monsieur, the Prince de Condé, the Ducs de Vendôme and d’Enghien, as well as fifty Chevaliers du Saint-Esprit, proceeds to the church of the Feuillants. His Majesty, wearing the grand collier of…

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