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 Court etiquette at Versailles 
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Noble
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Joined: Sun Feb 18, 2007 5:42 pm
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Post Court etiquette at Versailles
1. People who wanted to speak to the king could not knock on his door. Instead, using the left pinkie finger, they had to gently scratch on the door, until they were granted permission to enter. As a result, many courtiers grew that fingernail longer than the others,

2. A lady never held hands or linked arms with a gentleman. Besides being in bad taste, this practice would have been impossible because a woman’s hooped skirts were so wide. Instead, she was to place her hand on top of the gentleman’s bent arm as they strolled through the gardens and chambers of Versailles. It is also mentioned that the ladies were only allowed to touch fingertips with the men.

3. When a gentleman sat down, he slid his left foot in front of the other, placed his hands on the sides of the chair and gently lowered himself into the chair. There was a very practical reason for this procedure. If a gentleman sat too fast, his tight trousers might split.

4. Women and men were not allowed to cross their legs in public.

5. When a gentleman passed an acquaintance on the street, he was to raise his hat high off his head until the other person passed.

6. A gentleman was to do no work except writing letters, giving speeches, practicing fencing, or dancing. For pleasure he engaged in hawking, archery, indoor tennis, or hunting. A gentleman would also take part in battle and would sometimes serve as a public officer, paying the soldiers.

7. Ladies’ clothing did not allow them to do much besides sit and walk. However, they passed the time sewing, knitting, writing letters, painting, making their own lace, and creating their own cosmetics and perfumes.


Sun Feb 18, 2007 6:46 pm
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fascinating! thanks for that tidbit :)


Mon Feb 19, 2007 5:26 am
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Thank you! I find the first one so wierd :shock:

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Mon Feb 19, 2007 4:12 pm
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thank you for posting...


Thu Mar 22, 2007 2:28 am
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Where did you find all this? :shock:

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Sat Mar 24, 2007 3:08 am
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Thanks very much :)!

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Mon Mar 26, 2007 10:20 am
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that was very interesting

is there more?

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Sun Apr 15, 2007 8:39 pm
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Wow! These are great!
I laughed out loud at number three. It makes so much sense, but I instantly imagined a man in a powdered wig with rouge on his cheeks, and a 'ripp!' sound effect....lol.


Tue Jun 19, 2007 10:35 am
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I read on this website http://www.reidproductions.com/mariebookpage.php about some rules of Versailles:

"-- Knocking on doors was forbidden. Instead, in 1694, a rule was instituted that if entry was desired, the visitor should scratch on a door with the little finger.

-- Only ushers were allowed to open doors. If a visitor desired to leave a room, they had to wait for the usher to open the door.

-- A distinctive gliding walk was used by ladies at Versailles in which they never lifted the foot so as not to step on the train of the woman in front of them. Marie-Antoinette mastered this, and all her ladies were required to learn to walk without raising their feet from the ground.

-- People of different rank entered a room in order, princes first, then officers of the Court, and finally courtiers. The page opened both halves of the tall double door for a prince, but for lower ranked dignitaries, only one side swung open

-- Wall hangings at Versailles were changed twice a year for winter and summer. Between All Saint’s Day and Easter, the château’s tall windows were sealed with strips of tape to keep out cold air.

-- The royal Family was not allowed to pour a glass of water or reach for food themselves. Meals, refreshments, and items of clothing had to be handed or served to them, sometimes on silver trays, according to tradition. Mme. Campan famously tells a story of Marie-Antoinette impatiently shivering while waiting to be dressed as her petticoat is passed from one lady to another of higher rank. "


Sun Oct 28, 2007 7:08 pm
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Thanks for the etiquette, Hans Axel!

If you find more those rules, can you post them here? I'd like to read more :)

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Mon Oct 29, 2007 8:13 am
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Oh, I just love Elena Maria Vidal and read her blog Tea at Trianon daily. So you can imagine how excited I was when I read her blog today, 'cause she writes about the rules of Versailles that I posted yesterday (above), and she is accurate and says it is via Marie-Antoinette Online! http://teaattrianon.blogspot.com/2007/1 ... illes.html That means Elena Maria Vidal reads this website... Is she a member? Is she one of you guys? :shock: :D

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Tue Oct 30, 2007 12:22 am
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That's so exciting! :o

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Tue Oct 30, 2007 3:32 am
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Hans Axel, I love the site Tea at Trianon :)

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Tue Oct 30, 2007 6:59 am
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You would be astonished at how many scholars and published writers read our boards on the net ! :D Simone Bertiere once replied to York, one of our members, Philippe Delorme came here and greeted us. :D

It's no surprise that Elena Maria Vidal reads us from time to time. :wink:

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Tue Oct 30, 2007 8:45 am
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We are true scholars!

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Tue Oct 30, 2007 9:19 pm
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