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 British Royals vs. French Royals 
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Post Re: British Royals vs. French Royals
Philippe d'Orléans, the brother of Louis XIV? I'm not sure exactly what you're talking about. Everything I have ever read about him has referred to him as being rather overtly homosexual.


Wed Oct 29, 2008 7:44 pm
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Post Re: British Royals vs. French Royals
Oh yes, I agree. Monsieur was most definitely homosexual, or more precisely, bisexual when necessary. I think Jimcheval has confused him with one of his decendants, such as "Philippe Egalite."

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Wed Oct 29, 2008 7:59 pm
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Post Re: British Royals vs. French Royals
Sorry. I was focused on monarchs and rulers, and didn't actually know that the Regent - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Philip_II,_Duke_of_Orl%C3%A9ans - was Louis' nephew, not his brother. HE left a bunch of illegitimate children, not to mention 8 with a wife he doesn't seem to have liked much (going, you must admit, well beyond dynastic duty). A fun and only reasonably inaccurate portrait of his reign can be seen in Tavernier's "Que la fête commence.." : http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0072053/

Funny about the (indeed interesting) brother. Saint-Simon says that Louis XIV particularly hated homosexuals, yet put great faith in the duc de Vendôme http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Louis_Joseph,_duc_de_Vend%C3%B4me, who, by Saint-Simon's account, was quite overt. Vendôme and the brother give some idea why some referred to "the handsome vice" (since it was considered a largely upper class inclination).

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Thu Oct 30, 2008 5:53 pm
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Post Re: British Royals vs. French Royals
The French win with just one word.... Versailles....
the Brits never had a Versailles... a focus of Royalty... a magnificent palace
the envy of all the Royals of Europe.
Versailles set amid 100s of acres of magnificent gardens.... lakes, fountains, follies
a place for liasons dangerous ......
a place for romance

OK the British Royals had Buck Palace and other Royal Palaces in and around the city..
but there was no focus, no concentration

Versailles was really a Royal City ... built out in the countryside away from
the clostraphobic city of Paris... beyond reach of the mobs
.... until.... that fateful year... 1789 !


Sat Sep 12, 2009 11:56 pm
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Post Re: British Royals vs. French Royals
silverstar wrote:
The French win with just one word.... Versailles....
the Brits never had a Versailles... a focus of Royalty... a magnificent palace
the envy of all the Royals of Europe.
Versailles set amid 100s of acres of magnificent gardens.... lakes, fountains, follies
a place for liasons dangerous ......
a place for romance

OK the British Royals had Buck Palace and other Royal Palaces in and around the city..
but there was no focus, no concentration

Versailles was really a Royal City ... built out in the countryside away from
the clostraphobic city of Paris... beyond reach of the mobs
.... until.... that fateful year... 1789 !



A place for romance....well maybe if they built a place for a bit more leading thing would have turned out differently.

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Tue Dec 15, 2009 6:00 pm
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Post Re: British Royals vs. French Royals
In fairness to the sometimes feckless royals... When Versailles was built, it WAS about leading, in a variety of ways.

For one thing, the troubles of the Fronde had made being in Paris look more dangerous. So being away from future disturbances made sense for the country's leader.

Then there's the fact that by luring all the nobles into the vapid but relatively harmless concerns of fashion, etiquette, etc., Louis managed to keep them both busy and under his watchful eye - which meant it became harder to plot.

Not incidentally too this made the king's approval or disapproval all that more immediate and important. You never really had the chance, even unconsciously, to forget who was in charge.

The very fact that the monarch lived in a separate, glorious space had its own power - as the Japanese and Chinese showed for centuries with their emperors.

All this turned out badly a century later, but it was pretty sharp thinking at the time.

Machiavelli would have approved.

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Tue Dec 15, 2009 9:30 pm
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Post Re: British Royals vs. French Royals
jimcheval wrote:
In fairness to the sometimes feckless royals... When Versailles was built, it WAS about leading, in a variety of ways.

For one thing, the troubles of the Fronde had made being in Paris look more dangerous. So being away from future disturbances made sense for the country's leader.

Then there's the fact that by luring all the nobles into the vapid but relatively harmless concerns of fashion, etiquette, etc., Louis managed to keep them both busy and under his watchful eye - which meant it became harder to plot.

Not incidentally too this made the king's approval or disapproval all that more immediate and important. You never really had the chance, even unconsciously, to forget who was in charge.

The very fact that the monarch lived in a separate, glorious space had its own power - as the Japanese and Chinese showed for centuries with their emperors.

All this turned out badly a century later, but it was pretty sharp thinking at the time.

Machiavelli would have approved.


Well said!
But wasn't Versailles built in Versailles so that the Sun King could be away from the hustle and bustle of the city,which he hated, and closer to the country. After all, the nobles were against the court being moved from Paris to town of Versailles. Also, he wanted a chance to build the GREATEST palace in Europe and the Tuileries, while lovely, didn't quite 'fit the bill.'
I find it more of a selfish, proud move than a strategic one, but you have some good points.

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Tue Dec 15, 2009 9:42 pm
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Post Re: British Royals vs. French Royals
It was partially strategic and partially for self benefit too. jimcheval is correct. Correct me if I am wrong, I believe he lived in the Louvre when we was living in Paris. Bear in mind that Versailles was just a tiny hunting lodge. Louis XIV wanted to build Versailles after he saw Nicholas Foquet's Vaux-le- Comte who was (ironically the minister of fiances) he imprisoned Foquet under the pretenses because it seems immoral to have a luxurious house, but in all reality he was jealous of Foquet's house. :roll: Kind of strange how Louis XIV made belligerent courtiers reletively docile. I don't remember the book directly, nor the author but they said that "the thrill of warfare was replaced by the thrill of gambling."

I'm convinced that during Louis XIV's reign that the nature of aristocracy changed from being relatively productive, to pursuing silly things.

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Wed Dec 16, 2009 4:13 am
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Post Re: British Royals vs. French Royals
Well I'm not 100% but I do know that the Sun King lived in the Tuileries at some point...

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Wed Dec 16, 2009 3:36 pm
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Post Re: British Royals vs. French Royals
During his youth, for sure. I'm pretty sure Louis XIV lived there in the late 1640s. There's a story of the Frondeurs rioting and storming the palace, demanding to see their king. They were lead into his chambers were he was pretending to be asleep, and after that, the rioters departed. It was this that gave Louis XIV his hatred of Paris and desire to move his seat of power.

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Sun Dec 27, 2009 2:39 am
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Post Re: British Royals vs. French Royals
1. British
2. French
3. Roman


Tue Jan 05, 2010 5:42 am
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Post Re: British Royals vs. French Royals
I think Louis XIV's motivation for the development of Versailles (it was Louis XIII that first established it as a hunting lodge) as the seat of the French court was threefold:

1) Wariness of Paris (after all France's kings had always spent a great deal of time outside Paris, for example the court was very much established in the Loire valley Châteaux in previous centuries)

2) To centralize the most powerful members of the aristocracy in one place

3) To have a palace to rival any sovereign (after the Vaux le Vicomte experience)

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Tue Jan 05, 2010 8:59 am
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Post Re: British Royals vs. French Royals
A slight detour that might interest the hard-core Francophiles (as opposed to the mere Antoinnetophiles)....

Nicolas Fouquet (whose last name amusingly is echoed by a famous gourmet shop in Paris) was a patron of the great writer of fables Lafontaine. The latter was exiled for a while because of his devotion to his patron and left some interesting letters from his travels, tinged with melancholy and affectionate thoughts of Fouquet.


Otherwise, here's a nice period view of Versailles:
http://gallica.bnf.fr/ark:/12148/btv1b7 ... .f1.langEN

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Tue Jan 05, 2010 10:48 pm
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Post Re: British Royals vs. French Royals
silverstar wrote:
The French win with just one word.... Versailles....
the Brits never had a Versailles... a focus of Royalty... a magnificent palace
the envy of all the Royals of Europe.


I've always felt that Buckingham Palace looked rather dull and utilitarian. Versailles (please forgive me) looks and feels like a confusion of royal whim, with conflicting architectual styles and wings thrown up willy-nilly. This I think detracts from its majesty, but lends it more personality and warmth.

The French royals, I think have been harshly judged by history for their pride, extravagance, self-absorption and isolation from their subjects. In my opinion the Brits have been every bit as guilty of these faults, if not more so, but have been treated with much more kindness. The difference being that the French monarchy lost its throne while the Brits retain their's. Where the Bourbons are much maligned, the Windsor-Mountbattens are forgiven (by public opinion, not me).

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"One grows accustomed to one's enemy, and by making it familiar one loses the desire to get rid of it...." Marquise de la Tour du Pin, in a letter to her friend Mme. de Duras.


Sat Feb 06, 2010 5:48 am
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Post Re: British Royals vs. French Royals
1. Danish
2. French
3. British
4. Russian
5. Swedish

Why do the Danes win here? Simple.... The queens affair with the german doctor (who was killed as a result), but mostly the fact that the king Christian VII was insane. Belived to be skitzofrenic. As a result he never eally ruled himself, but was locked up in different castles by whom ever was in charge at the moment....

Example: When he had sleept with the queen for the first time, he came running out and said: "I have commited a blood sin. I have sleept with my mother!"

Example 2: When the palads Christiansborg burned down, he was carried to his carrige, while shouting "Help" in every language he knew - probably because he thought he was being kidnapped. When they told him that his childhood home and everything was gone, he didn't react at all. Then when someone told him that his pool table also was gone, he said: " Oh, this is a great sorrow!"

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Last edited by Ania on Wed Mar 17, 2010 9:18 pm, edited 1 time in total.



Sat Feb 06, 2010 11:04 pm
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