Monday, May 2, 2016

Etiquette and the Petit Trianon

The Petit Trianon was not only an escape for Marie Antoinette from the formality of French court life, but it also allowed her to shake off the burden of her many royal responsibilities. She was under considerable pressure and judgement at Versailles, from both the royal court, but her family. The Petit Trianon was her place of leisure, where she could rest from the etiquette and formality of her life at Versailles. Since all was "de par la Reine" (by order of the Queen), no one, including her husband Louis XVI, were permitted to disturb her there or enter the property, without the Queen's express permission. This exclusivity alienated royal court nobility, and allowed only the Queen's close inner circle (including Gabrielle de Polastron, the Duchesse de Polignac, and Princess de Lamballe) to be invited.

The Petit Trianon

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The Favorite Resort of Queen Marie Antoinette of France

Louis XV gave the Petit Trianon to Marie Antoinette, and it became her favorite residence. To this turf, which she pressed with so light a step, the Queen of France came to forget the ennui and etiquette of royal majesty. Once at the Petit Trainon, the lovely Queen felt more happy. All her diadem was the flowers of her garden; she held, with a joyous hand, the light crook; in her Swiss dairy, which is still standing on the banks of a little brook, she herself prepared— with such delightful awkwardness—the milk of her cows! Poor Queen! How much site must afterward have regretted the sun, the waters, the flowers, the cream, and the strawberries, the sheep and the heifers of the Petit Trianon.– San Francisco Call, 1891


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