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La Victoire de Samothrace, Unknown, 190 BC

The Queen's Apartments


17th century

These rooms were occupied by 3 successive queens - Maria-Theresa (Louis XIV's wife), Marie Leszczyńska (Louis XV's wife) and Marie-Antoinette (Louis XVI's wife).

The proximity of these apartments to other public rooms in the palace show just how close the kings and queens were to the drama and intrigues of the court.

The queens would give birth in public in these rooms to make sure the heir was legitimate.

19 royal children were born here.

2 queens - Maria-Theresa and Marie Leszczyńska - died here.

The queen's position could be a very lonely one, as kings essentially married to build political alliances and produce male heirs, not out of love.

They were also known to have very public affairs.

Louis XIV married Maria-Theresa when they were both 22.

She was the daughter of the king of Spain and had a claim to the Spanish throne.

Intensely devout, she had no particular interest for the French court and suffered through many of the king's highly public affairs - Louise de La Vallière, Madame de Montespan, Madame de Maintenon, the Duchess of Fontanges...

When she died, aged 44, Louis XIV said of her : "This is the only trouble she has ever caused me".

Louis XV married Maria Leszczyńska when he was 15 and she was 22.

A poor Polish princess, she was also very devout and did not get involved in court politics.

Louis XV had many high profile affairs including the Marquise de Pompadour and Madame du Barry.