• 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…

  • Dangeau’s Diary, February 1689

    3d. — Yesterday evening at the coucher, the King granted Monsieur de Lauzun the privilege of the grandes entrées, which he had previous to his imprisonment. 5th. — The King dined at an early hour and, upon rising from table, went to Saint-Cyr, about three o’clock. The King and Queen of England arrived there. The King received them in the…

  • Living at Versailles…

    To live like a King or Queen… or even better, to live like a King or Queen at Versailles. A golden palace of dreams, where everything seems possible. Doesn’t that sound great? In reality, we have more comforts in our flats and houses of various sizes than the Sun King had in Versailles and he would envy us for it.…

  • Duels, the forbidden fights for honour

    If you watch a history movie or series set in 17th century France, like the old Musketeer movies, there is always at some point a scene that involves duelling. Usually with many theatrics, glove throwing, glove slapping, and brave challenging of stronger opponents…. but wasn’t duelling actually forbidden? Is the movie duelling a dramatic addition?   Not really. Duelling was…

  • Chronologie de la vie de Louis XIV, December 1662

    1 December, having heard mass, his Majesty leaves Abbeville at seven o’clock in the morning en route to Calais. His Majesty arrives at Calais at seven o’clock in the evening and is warmly greeted by the Comte de Charost, who is the governor of Calais. 2 December, having heard mass, his Majesty and the gentlemen accompanying him, leave Calais for…

  • Dangeau’s Diary, January 1689

    2nd. — The King has appointed Monsieur le Grand to meet the Queen of England, and the Dauphine has appointed me on her behalf. We shall set off the day she sleeps at Beaumont. 5th. — The King received the intelligence, that the King of England arrived yesterday morning at Ambleteuse in good health. His Majesty immediately dispatched one of…

  • La journée des Dupes

    The journée des Dupes aka Day of the Dupes is an important event in French History. Actually it was not just one day, but stretched out over several days and it was the first major event to, partially, take place at the château de Versailles.   Things were tense between Louis XIII and his mother Marie de Médicis in early…

  • Chronologie de la vie de Louis XIV, November 1662

    1 November, fête de la Toussaint, his Majesty travels to the Feuillants for a mass celebrated by Cardinal Barberini, grand aumônier de France, after which he receives Communion and attends mass, celebrated by the bishop of Périgueux. Having attended mass, his Majesty travels to the Tuileries, where he heals those afflicted by sickness with his royal touch. Le Roy te…

  • Dangeau’s Diary, December 1688

    11th. — Monsieur de Boulonde has returned to Huis, after having placed under contribution all the villages comprised between the mayoralties of Bolduc and Breda. He has been within two leagues of Bolduc, and was under the necessity of burning twelve or fifteen villages. He has also put under contribution the country about Liege, from which he will raise more…

  • L’ordre du Saint-Esprit

    The Ordre du Saint-Esprit – Order of the Holy Spirit – was the senior chivalric order of France. It was not the oldest one, but the most prestigious one and founded by Henri III in 1578.   Before the Ordre du Saint-Esprit was created, the senior order of chivalry in France was the Ordre de Saint-Michel, which dates back to…

  • Dangeau’s Diary, November 1688

    1st. — The Dauphine asked the King, if Monseigneur would soon return. The King replied, that he must first take Manheim, but that that would not be long delayed. Father Gaillard, who was preaching, and whose sermon was interrupted by the good news, in making his compliment to the King introduced into it, very pathetically, and apropos, the praises of…

  • Chronologie de la vie de Louis XIV, October 1662

    1 October, his Majesty travels to Versailles to enjoy the autumn gardens. Having returned to Paris, his Majesty goes to the Palais-Royal, where Monsieur holds a ball for the dames de la cour. 8 October, at the Bois de Boulogne, his Majesty attends a review of his gardes françaises, gardes du corps, mousquetaires, chevau-légers and gendarmes. 10 October, his Majesty…

  • L’hôtel des Invalides

    Louis XIV was quite fond of warring and a lot of warring inevitably leads to a lot of veterans and invalids. Those who were lucky enough to return alive and in one piece after a campaign, could take up work… but what about those who lost a limb or were injured in a way that prevented them from caring for…

  • Dangeau’s Diary, October 1688

      3rd.– Monsieur de la Trousse has entered Avignon without any resistance from the garrison, the vice-legate retired. The bishop of Vaison was taken and conducted to Saint Esprit. His papers were seized, and there were found at his residence ten or twelve girls of L’Enfant Jesus, a society of Madame de Mondonville. They had retired there and observed the…

  • Dangeau’s Diary, September 1688

    3d. — This evening Monsieur de Vardes died at Paris. He was a knight of the Order, and had held a captaincy in the hundred Swiss. 12th. — Madame de Bouillon, at present in England, has asked the King’s permission, through Monsieur de Seignelay, to go to Venice. The King answered, that she might go wherever she pleased, except to…

  • Chronologie de la vie de Louis XIV, August 1662

    1 August, his Majesty, in company of the Messieurs Séguier, Turenne and Villeroy, receives the president and several representatives of the Chambre de justice and reproaches them for acting against his wishes. 2 August, their Majesties enjoy their time at Saint-Germain. Every evening their Majesties promenade in the park to the sound of music. This evening they attend a comedy…

  • La tête d’Henri IV… or the head of Henri IV

    Henri IV did not have a easy time. As King of Navarre, he was constantly warring. As heir to the French throne, many were against him and wanted to prevent him from taking the throne. As then King of France, things were not easier for him. Then he got assassinated and mysteriously lost his head almost 200 years later. How…

  • Chronologie de la vie de Louis XIV, September 1662

    1 September, Monsieur de Créquy, his Majesty’s ambassador to the Holy See, has left Rome today in a haste. At Rueil, his Majesty, in company of Monsieur, Madame, and part of the court, enjoys a pleasant promenade, followed by light snacks and a concert of the Vingt-quatre Violons du Roi. 2 September, the nuncio, Celio Piccolomini, who has been ordered…

  • L’affaire de la garde corse

    In August 1662, a little over a year after the death of Cardinal de Mazarin and Louis XIV taking things into his own hands, there was a bit of an incident between France and the Vatican which temporarily halted all diplomatic relations… and even after that, things would never be the same.   Charles de Blanchefort-Créquy served Louis XIV splendidly…

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