Marie Antoinette Shocks Nobles by Taking a Bath

Daily bathing was not the fashion during Marie Antoinette‘s reign over France. French courtiers of the 18th century were all about sponging down the worst where necessary and saving baths for warm weather and emergencies. In fact, bathing was such a luxury that only wealthy nobles had bathing facilities in their own homes. Everyone else had either a bucket and sponge in front of the … Continue reading Marie Antoinette Shocks Nobles by Taking a Bath

Versailles: The Daily Ceremonies

In the heyday of Versailles’ majestic court life, ‘ceremonies’ were an integral part of life. The ceremonies were rituals that took place every day to showcase the royal family’s importance, and the court performed them with earnest sincerity. These ceremonies were for anything, such as the ‘debotter’ ceremony of removing the king’s boots, his waking up and going to bed ceremonies and the ritualistic ‘getting … Continue reading Versailles: The Daily Ceremonies

May I Sit Here?

Probably not. Of all the strange rules and etiquette one had to follow at the Palace of Versailles, the rules about who got to sit where (and when) are perhaps the most bizarre. It was a well known rule that you were not allowed to sit in the presence of the king and queen unless you were a visiting monarch. Everybody else had to conform … Continue reading May I Sit Here?

Hair and make up

French Court Hair and Makeup

The fashion for courtiers in France during the years leading up to the Revolution was excess – the more the better. Higher hair, redder lips and whiter skin could all be achieved through hair and makeup artistry. Let’s have a closer look at how beauty was defined in the 18th century. Makeup Every courtier wore makeup in the 18th century in France. In fact, you … Continue reading French Court Hair and Makeup

Public Toilets in the Palace of Versailles

Back when the Palace of Versailles was a functioning home to the royal French family the palace was a hive of activity. Hundreds of maids, valets and other servants lived in-house to serve the dozens of courtiers who called the palace home. Moreover, the palace was an open house, meaning thousands of visitors were welcomed in to watch the royal family go about their day. … Continue reading Public Toilets in the Palace of Versailles

Ladies and Gentlemen Scratching At The Door

At Versailles, something as basic as knocking on a door was a breach of etiquette. It was considered rude, especially when knocking on the door of the king. Instead, courtiers had to scratch on the door, which could then only be opened by an usher. In fact, many courtiers would grow out one of their fingernails just to scratch at doors! Continue reading Ladies and Gentlemen Scratching At The Door

The Palace of Versailles

The Palace of Versailles was the home to French Kings and Queens. It still stands today; you can even go and visit it. It is the sprawling creation of King Louis XIV who extended his father’s old hunting lodge to create one of the grandest palaces the world has ever seen. In 1682, Louis XIV moved his family into the Palace of Versailles and declared … Continue reading The Palace of Versailles