August 06, 2010

Etiquette strikes again: Teens find small escape

Upon Louis XV's death, a stunned Marie Antoinette and now Louis XVI stood in their inner apartments of Versailles.  Famously, they asked God to guide them because of the disadvantage of their youth.  Of course, a court does not wait for prayers or thought; there was proper etiquette to be carried out right away.

The Comtesse de Noailles, or as Antoinette referred to, Madame Etiquette, was the first to approach the dismayed couple with instructions on what to do next.  As etiquette demanded, they were to make their way to the Grand Salon.  Once their they had to receive visits from those royal princes who had to pay homage to the new King and Queen.

Naturally, performing such a task was tough at that time.  To those first in line, Marie Antoinette was introduced as the new Queen of France leaning weakly upon her husband with a handkerchief constantly up to her eyes and nose. 

That evening the court left for Choisy, and a carriage was called for the new King, his Queen, his siblings and his sister in law, the comtesse d'Artois.  No one was older than twenty in that carriage. Naturally, though grieving, and full of anticipation of what might happen next, the party all succumbed to laughter after the comtesse d'Artois mispronounced a word, striking a funny bone in everyone. 

6 comments :

  1. Wow the whole group not even having someone over the age of 20 really puts everything into context!

    ReplyDelete
  2. The fact of them being some teenagers, explains the way they behaved. Partying, Gambling, Hunting, Balls and Chamapagne was what they thought adults were supposed to think of.

    I can't believe that the only act of sense and sensibility that the young KIng and Queen were doing, by asking the Lord to Guide them, (because at least they recognized they were not ready) was interrupted in the name of Etiquette.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Actually, they performed many acts of "sense and sensibility," even at a young age:

    http://teaattrianon.blogspot.com/2007/02/charitable-works-of-louis-xvi-and-marie.html

    And also, here:

    http://teaattrianon.blogspot.com/2008/10/madame-dficit.html

    ReplyDelete
  4. @Matterhorn, Thank you for the links they were very helpuful. And you know, after reading my comment over again, I realized I should have replaced "only" with "first".

    ReplyDelete
  5. @Miss Honnete,

    I'm glad you found the links helpful! Thanks for the kind reply.

    ReplyDelete
  6. @Heather I know, so young!! It is almost odd to think about. So much importance...

    @Miss Honnete isn't etiquette funny that way! It kind of masks people, and their inexperience (for a little while at least!)

    @Matterhorn thank you for sharing the links

    ReplyDelete