Royalty

Empress Éugenie’s Magical Ring

The wife of Napoleon III, Empress Éugenie, who was described as stunning in appearance, was noted to have many fine pieces of jewelry, but she was also reported to be extremely superstitious. For instance, one literary magazine noted that she possessed “unbound faith” in an amulet she wore and that she forced the Emperor to…

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Empress Josephine’s Last Days and Death

On 10 January 1810 the Emperor Napoleon divorced the Empress Josephine. He still loved her and she loved him, but France needed an heir. When he told her he wanted a divorce, her cries and shrieks reverberated throughout the palace before she collapsed onto the floor and was carried to her apartments. After the divorce…

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Marie Antoinette’s White Hair

Marie Antoinette’s hair was of intense interest to the French in the 18th century. In fact, the hairstyles she created and wore helped to establish her identity as a French queen. With the help of her hairdresser, Marie Antoinette created some of the most memorable styles, including one towering pouf that featured a French frigate,…

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Death of Ferdinand Philippe, Duke of Orléans

In July of 1842, a sad event occurred. It was the accidentally death of Ferdinand Philippe when he fell from his carriage. He was the son of King Louis Philippe I and Maria Amalia of Naples and Sicily, and he was born in his mother’s native Sicily in Palermo, on Monday 3 September 1810, during…

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The Executioner’s Account of Louis XVI’s Execution

Louis XVI was executed on 21 January 1793. Three weeks after his execution, a revolutionary journal called Thermomètre du jour published an inaccurate account claiming the King was led to the scaffold with a pistol to his temple, the guillotine struck his neck instead of his head, and the King died without courage. Because the…

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Louis XVI’s Sibling: Louis XVIII

The Count of Provence (comte de Provence), later Louis XVIII, was born 17 November 1755 at the Palace of Versailles to Louis, Dauphin of France and his wife Maria Josepha of Saxony. In accordance with Bourbon tradition, he spent the first six months of his life nameless before he was baptized Louis Stanislas Xavier. Louis…

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Louis-Joseph Xavier, Duke of Burgundy

Louis-Joseph Xavier, Duke of Burgundy (duc de Bourgogne), was born on 13 September 1751 at the Palace of Versailles. His grandfather was Louis XV and his parents were the Dauphin Louis and Maria Josepha of Saxony. The Duke was also the older brother to three future kings: Louis XVI, Louis XVIII, and Charles X and…

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Letters on the Death of Francis I

Marie Antoinette’s father, Francis I, Holy Roman Emperor, reigned twenty years and died unexpectedly on August 18, 1765, while at Innsbruck from a massive apoplexy attack. His death greatly affected his wife, Maria Theresa of Austria. In fact, she never recovered and thereafter wore widow weeds. Replacing the Emperor was his oldest son, Joseph who…

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Louis-Charles, The Dauphin and Louis XVII

Louis-Charles, Duke of Normandy, was the second son of Marie Antoinette and Louis XVI and born on 27 March 1785 at Versailles. He was baptized the same day as his older brother, Louis-Joseph, and because Louis-Joseph was Dauphin, Louis-Charles’s course in life was set so that “he might do ‘that which was right in the…

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