Monday, May 19, 2014

Marie-Antoinette and Etiquette

From Ginger Myrick:
When Marie Antoinette first arrived in France and became Dauphine, every aspect of her routine was dictated by the ever present etiquette. In her early years at Versailles, she was docile and eager to please, knowing that any misstep would be reported to her mother, the Holy Roman Empress, the person she wished to satisfy above all others. Living her life under such constant scrutiny was a heavy burden to Marie Antoinette, but she was expected to gracefully bear it all, which she did for four long years.

The system of court etiquette, originally established by Louis XIV, the Sun King, was inescapable, almost an entity in itself.  Although the young Dauphine accepted the necessity of her routine and tolerated it to a certain extent, she was known to register her disdain from time to time. There is a well known incident when she actually voiced her exasperation aloud. This slip took place in her early years when during the course of her lever—the tedious ritual of her morning toilette—she was left waiting naked while a series of higher ranking Ladies entered her bedchamber and were forced to cede the honor of handing the Dauphine her underwear to the next in line. Marie Antoinette was reported to have said, “This is maddening! This is ridiculous!” which was unthinkable. No one in the French hierarchy had ever dared to question the proceedings, which had been in place since the moving of the court from Paris to Versailles in 1682. But when Marie Antoinette became Queen, there was no one to stop her. (Read more.)


Unknown said...

Wow! Thank you so much for cross-posting this. I am a longtime fan and feel utterly and completely honored. I am currently doing a blog tour for INSATIABLE, so there will be quite a few more posts about Marie Antoinette in the weeks to come. I hope you will stay tuned.

elena maria vidal said...

I will, Ginger! Thank you!!