Friday, September 26, 2014

Who Did Marie Antoinette Call "Madame Etiquette" at Versailles?


Anne d'Arpajon, aka "Madame Etiquette" ~A French aristocrat and first lady of honour to Queens of France, Marie Leszczyńska and Marie Antoinette, Anne d'Arpajon was called"Madame Etiquette" by Marie Antoinette for her insistence that no minutia of court etiquette ever be disregarded or altered in any way.

Madame de Campan, first lady-in-waiting to Marie Antoinette, wrote of the Versailles' etiquette rules: 
"These servile rules were drawn up into a kind of code; they offered to a Richelieu, a La Rouchefoucauld and a Duras, in the exercise of their domestic functions, opportunities of intimacy useful to their interests; and their vanity was flattered by the customs which converted the right to give a glass of water, to put on a dress, and to remove a basin, into honorable prerogatives."              
Actress Judy Davis, standing behind Kirsten Dunst's Marie Antoinette, portrayed Anne d'Arpajon, aka"Madame Etiquette," in the 2008 film, "Marie Antoinette" ~ "To enact their existence, to demonstrate their prestige, to distance themselves from lower-ranking people and have this distance recognized by the higher-ranking -- all this was purpose enough in itself. But in etiquette this distancing of oneself from others as an end in itself  finds its consummate expression." From Norbert Elias, 1983 "The Court Society"