Monday, 6 June 2016

Notes on a SCANDAL - Inside Versailles an accompaniment to the BBC Drama "Versailles"

The BBC show begins with Louis at age twenty nine. He had made his mother a promise that he would stop his philandering ways at Thirty.

 This must have been something he would  have found difficult. The match with the Queen had been predominantly political, a Spanish Princess to quell the unrest with Spain. The drama seemed to Infer that Louis only carried out husbandry duties to ensure the queen had fallen pregnant.

The Spanish Queen was unable to converse in French, was not witty or clever and seemed to even be a little emotionally stunted preferring to play with both her dogs and the dwarves she kept to entertain her.

 The show inferred she might have had a sexual affair with one such dwarf who was black, and there was definitely some debate as to the ethnic origin of the King’s daughter born at this time . Some believe a mixed race child was born in that birthing room.

Public Births were all the rage and so it was highly likely that many would have been present at the birth of the little girl.  In  fact the gathering depicted  in this birthing room was relatively modest by Royal standards . Marie Antoinette was so inundated with onlookers she had to have the Windows thrown open. The immediate evacuation of all those prying eyes would have created mystery and intrigue within court.

The King’s  true affection and love seemed to have been given to childhood playmate Henriette-Anne, daughter of Charles I of England, sent to France at age two, and friend and confidente of Louis. 

She is everything  the Queen is not. Erudite, fun and beautiful, but she is also Philippe, his Brother’s wife and under strict Catholic Doctrine makes her Louis’ sister so any kind of dalliance  would have been Incestuous and result in Hellfire for the perpetrators. It is known a deep affection was held on both sides and some believe this might have teetered over into physicality. 

To ward off gossip, Louis was seen often to be flirting with, Louise De Valiere the sixteen year old lady’s maid of Henriette-Anne, she was an accomplished Rider and hunter.  Her portrait above depicts her as Diana the Huntress. These regular trips out into French Forests would also have provided ample opportunities for Louis and Louise to be alone and intimate. She was vivacious and pretty  girl and it is believed Louis also developed feelings for her also.


  1. I'm assuming that's the reason Louis was smoldering at the end of the episode? We saw in Wolf Hall that Anne Boleyn also enjoyed the company of at least one dwarf. Although it seems this Queen had a more intimate relationship with her companions.

    1. Not that I subscribe to adultery, but poor woman was isolated and lonely in a country that still distrusted and hated her nation!