Sunday, May 6, 2018

Restoration of the Queen's Hameau

The hameau de la reine is now fully restored. Let us get some facts straight. It was not a "pretend" peasant village but a working farm. The queen brought destitute families to live in the cottages and to maintain the gardens and livestock. The food generated by the farm fed both the peasants and the royal family. Both Louis XVI and Marie-Antoinette wanted to give the nobles encouragement to wise land management by making it fashionable to be self-sufficient by living off the land. Potatoes were cultivated there before being introduced to the people as a new staple crop. From The Daily Mail:
Marie Antoinette's stunning hamlet in the grounds of the Château de Versailles has opened to the public for the first time after an enormous £326million restoration project. The Hameau de la Reine, constructed more than two centuries ago in 1783, is situated two kilometres away from the main chateau in north central France and served as a haven for the queen. Modelled on her vision of a countryside farm, she used it to entertain guests, introduce royal children to nature and animals - and even reportedly to play 'dress up' when she got bored of palace life. (Read more.)
Of course, Marie-Antoinette would not wear formal attire when spending time at the farm; she would dress in the simple attire which she favored, and then of course is even today ridiculed for dressing like a peasant. Incidentally, the picture of the girl in the blue dress in the Mail article is not the Queen but her sister Archduchess Maria Josefa who died as a teenager.

Marie-Antoinette had her own house on the farm where she would host receptions for foreign guests as well as parties for family and friends. From Connexion:
Jérémie Benoit, head of restoration of the hamlet, said: “We had a building that was in a real state of decrepitude. So we absolutely needed to start with everything [from the ground up]; including the foundations and the beams.” Visitors can now explore the lake and grounds, the rustic exterior buildings, and the sumptuous interior designs, the latter of which demonstrate the same attention to detail and royal style as that seen at Versailles itself. This is because, although Marie-Antoinette desired a farm, she still wanted it to offer similar levels of style and comfort as the main château, especially indoors. As well as the exterior and interior of the place, the exhibition will also explain the queen’s use of the hamlet, and shed light on the huge parties she held there. (Read more.)
More HERE.

More about Marie-Antoinette's village at Trianon, here:


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