Thursday, March 28, 2024

Cast Iron Law Etiquette at Versailles

Kirsten Dunst as “Marie Antoinette” and Judy Davis as “Madame Etiquette” in the 2006 film “Marie Antoinette” depicting a similar scene as to the second anecdote described below. – Image source, Pinterest

In Ancient France Everything Went by Cast Iron Law

In Baron Rothschild’s recent book of anecdotes he tells some curious tales of the extremely stringent rules of etiquette which prevailed at the French Court in the reign of Louis XVI. Marie Antoinette christened the Comtesse de Noailles, “Madame Etiquette.” Once, when she fell from a donkey in her private grounds, she jumped to her feet and cried out, laughing: “Go and fetch Mme. de Noailles; she will tell us what is prescribed for a Queen of France when she falls off a donkey.”
One cold winter night, when the Queen was undressing, the maid was handing her the chemise de nuit when the lady in waiting came in, to whom, as being of of superior rank, the garment had to be given over. She could not touch it, however, until she had removed her gloves, and before that operation had been performed the Duchess d’Orleans, a princess of the blood, turned up, and after her, the Comtesse de Provence, who was of higher rank still, so that the chemise had to be handed from one to the other, while the Queen stood waiting and shivering. At last, unable to contain herself any longer, she exclaimed: “It is odious! What a nuisance!” — In “The Mirror,” 1896

🍽Etiquette Enthusiast, Maura J. Graber, is the Site Editor for the Etiquipedia© Etiquette Encyclopedia

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