Thursday, June 16, 2016

Painful Versailles Etiquette Lesson

Louis XIV was also known as Louis the Great (Louis le Grand) or the Sun King (le Roi-Soleil). He was a Monarch of the House of Bourbon who ruled as King of France from 1643 until his death in 1715. His reign of 72 years and 110 days is the longest of any Monarch of a major country in Europe's history. Versailles, Europe’s grandest and most opulent palace, became a center of political power and a symbol of the king’s dominance and wealth. In addition to the royal court, the 700-room palace housed the nobility that Louis XIV had brought into his sphere as well as the thousands of staff needed for its upkeep.
The royal court of France used to be a great place for etiquette. Louis XIV once caught a severe cold owing to the fact that on his arising from his bed one cold morning, the Lord of the Chamber, whose duty it was to hand him his shirt, happened to be absent. Not one of the numerous courtiers present had the courage to trangress etiquette by handing the garment to the shivering monarch. —London Scrap Book, 1908


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