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La Victoire de Samothrace, Unknown, 190 BC

The Queen's Apartments


17th century


The Queen's apartments were occupied by 3 consecutive queens - Maria-Theresa (Louis XIV's wife), Marie Leszczyńska (Louis XV's wife) and Marie-Antoinette (Louis XVI's wife).

The proximity of their apartments to other public rooms in the palace show close the King and Queen actually lived to the drama and intrigues of the court.

19 royal children were born here, in public, to make sure the heir was legitimate.

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

The queen's position could be a very lonely one, as kings essentially married to build political alliances and produce male heirs.

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 in the French court and suffered through many of the king's highly public affairs - with Louise de La Vallière, Madame de Montespan, the Duchess of Fontanges, Madame de Maintenon...

When she died, aged 44, Louis XIV said of her : "This is the only trouble she has 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 also had many high profile affairs, including the Marquise de Pompadour and Madame du Barry.

Marie-Antoinette, on the other hand, was not as discreet as her predecessors.

She married Louis XVI she was 15 and he was 16.

The daughter of the powerful Holy Roman Emperor, she was initially quite popular, but became despised by the French for her lavish spending and seeming disconnect with the rest of the population.

Public hatred for her helped fuel the French Revolution.

La Joconde, de Vinci (1519)


The Hall of Mirrors

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