After laying-in-state for forty days, during which a constant stream of visitors roamed Saint-Denis, Louis XIV’s coffin is carried into the crypt. By tradition, the coffin of a deceased King is placed by the entrance of the crypt, until his successor’s demise, after which the King’s coffin is brought to its final resting place and the successor takes the spot at the entrance.
The Marquis de Dangeau notes: “The funeral service of the late King was performed at Saint-Denis. The Cardinal de Rohan officiated, the Bishop de Castres pronounced the funeral oration. I have but too good an excuse for not describing this sad ceremony, which lasted till half-past five in the evening.“
Louis XIV’s body remained in the Bourbon-Crypt of Saint Denis for seventy-eight years, until the French Revolution got hold of it. On October 15, 1793, the Sun King’s coffin was opened and his body removed from the inner lead coffin. It was stripped of all valuables and tossed into a mass grave, along with the remains of his family.