• 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…

  • La Maison de la Reine

    Louis XIV’s court, and the French court in general, had a lot of court offices for male beings… and not so many for females. The Queen’s of France did not get their own Households until the 12th century and compared to how many people had offices in the Maison du Roi, the King’s Household, the Maison de la Reine was…

  • Ten rules of etiquette for your Versailles visit….

    What could be worse than strolling Versailles and running into a noble, or even worse, the King himself and not knowing what to do? It might lead to one being forcefully removed from court and ridiculed for years to come… so, here are some rules of etiquette one should be aware of to be saved from eternal embarrassment. -If you…

  • Chaise à Porteurs

    Chaise à Porteurs aka sedan chairs were an incredibly useful mode of transportation at the court of Louis XIV and especially at Versailles, where the distances between buildings were, and still are, rather huge. They were perfect for getting from one part of the palace to a other, or from one’s magnificent Hôtel in the city of Versailles to the…

  • Les Honneurs du Louvre

    To distinguish higher ranking nobles from lower ranking ones, there was something called Les Honneurs du Louvre at Louis XIV’s court. As the name hints, it had its origins in the Louvre and consisted of specific privileges that made it very clear to everyone else that the person who had Les Honneurs du Louvre was somewhat important to King and Kingdom. This set of…

  • How and when to sit….

    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 one’s ruin.   Who could sit where and when…

  • How to walk….

    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…

  • 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 one’s life depends on, but back then the…

  • Court Mourning

    The colours of mourning followed Louis XIV during his long reign of seventy-two years and especially in the last years of his reign, the court hardly got out of mourning. Court mourning followed strict rules of etiquette as well as strict rules of fashion, the latter so much that fabric merchants all over France suffered great losses whenever the court went…

  • The Art Of Addressing French Nobility

    We all know the feeling… one is new at court and one suddenly stands in front of nobility, but has no idea how to address them. Is it “Highness”, or “Serene Highness”, “Royal Highness” even, or just a simple Madame or Monsieur? If the court happens to be that of Louis le Grand, the Sun King, addressing someone in the…

  • A day in the life of Louis XIV…

    From Levee to Couchee, Louis XIV followed a strict schedule, as did all the members of the Court, all regulated like clockwork, allowing the officers in the service of the King to plan their work as accurately as possible. “With an almanac and a watch, you could be three hundred leagues from here and say what he was doing”. – Saint…

  • The Grand Lever of the King

    If you are Louis XIV, you can’t simply get up in the same way like the peasant down the road or the Vicomte in the chambers above you. Non, your awakening needs to have style and be of grand proportions, just like everything else. It needs to be of a dimension big enough to remind everyone of the fact that…

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