Posts tagged history
Posts tagged history
The grave of a “Dark Countess” some believe was the eldest daughter of Marie Antoinette and Louis XVI was exhumed on Tuesday in Germany in the hope of resolving the 200-year-old mystery.
Local authorities in Hildburghausen, Thuringia, central Germany agreed to open the tomb to conduct DNA tests on an elusive aristocrat who resided in the town from 1807 until her death in 1837 with a mysterious “count”.
Bloody Rag May Not Have Touched Louis XVI’s Severed Head
It seemed like the perfect forensic tale. Earlier this year, a geneticist concluded that the remains of a blood-soaked cloth stored for centuries in an 18th century gourd likely belonged to the severed head of the last French king, Louis XVI—a conclusion supported by the fact that the DNA matched that taken from a mummified head belonging to his direct ancestor, King Henry IV. So confident were some people about the findings that a company now offers a blood test for anyone who wants to see if they, too, are descendants of this royal family.
But new research released today calls into question the identities of both the blood and the head, arguing that the DNA in those samples does not match the DNA in living relatives of these kings. The data “make a strong case,” against the previous work, says Cristian Capelli, a geneticist at the University of Oxford in the United Kingdom who was not involved with the work.
The Maison de la Reine at Marie Antoinette’s hamlet will (finally!) be undergoing much-needed restoration, thanks to the patronage of Dior! The restoration is anticipated to begin in 2014 and will likely last for a period of 18 months. The full details of the restoration—is it interior and exterior? Will they be refurbishing the rooms? Perhaps restoring/rebuilding the original staircases? etc—has not yet been announced.
More information: http://www.la-croix.com/Culture/Actualite/Le-refuge-champetre-de-Marie-Antoinette-a-Versailles-va-pouvoir-etre-restaure-2013-10-01-1030436
image: (C) RMN-Grand Palais (Château de Versailles) / Daniel Arnaudet
A portrait of the daughter of Louis XVI and Marie Antoinette, Marie Therese Charlotte, by Johhann Maria Monsorno. Circa 1796-1799. It may have been painted for her future husband, Louis-Antoine, the duc d’Angoulême.
Image: ©Boris Wilnitsky Fine Arts
Marie-Thérèse Charlotte on her aunt, Madame Elisabeth, being removed from the Temple
Until May 9th nothing remarkable happened. On that day, just as we were going to bed the bolts were withdrawn and some one knocked at our door. My aunt replied that she would put on her dress; they answered that she must not be so long, and they rapped so hard that we thought the door would burst in. She opened it when she was dressed.
They said to her: “Citoyenne, you will please come down.”
"And my niece?"
"We will attend to her later."
My aunt kissed me and told me to be calm for she would soon return. “No, citoyenne, you will not return,” they said to her; “take your cap and come down.” They loaded her then with insults and coarse speeches; she bore it all with patience, took her cap; kissed me again, and told me to have courage and firmness, to hope always in God, to practise the good principles of religion given me by my parents, and not to fail in the last instructions given to me by my father and by my mother.
The “king’s hallway” beneath the œil de bœuf salon. This hallway made it possible for Louis XVI to visit Marie Antoinette’s apartments discreetly without being forced to walk in the public corridors of the palace.
Image: © EPV / Thomas Garnier
Marie Thérèse Charlotte on the separation of Louis-Charles from his sister, mother and aunt on July 3rd, 1793:
On the 3d of July, they read us a decree of the Convention ordering that my brother be separated from us and lodged in a more secure room in the Tower. Hardly had he heard it when he flung himself into his mother’s arms uttering loud cries, and imploring not to be parted from her. My mother, on her side, was struck down by the cruel order; she would not give up her son, and defended, against the municipals, the bed on which she placed him.They, absolutely determined to have him, threatened to employ violence and to call up the guard. My mother told them they would have to kill her before they could tear her child from her.
An hour passed in resistance on her part, in threats and insults from the municipals, in tears and efforts from all of us. At last they threatened my mother so positively to kill him and us also that she had to yield for love of us. We rose, my aunt and I, for my poor mother no longer had any strength, but after we had dressed him she took him and gave him into the hands of the municipals herself, bathing him with tears and foreboding that she would never see him again. The poor little boy kissed us all very tenderly and went away in tears with the municipals.
image: The Dauphin Taken from His Family
… [Marie Antoinette] still enjoys riding, and a fortnight ago a slight accident occurred, which I heard about despite the precautions taken to conceal the matter from me. [The dauphine] was riding, when an equerry’s horse reared, striking her foot, although she did not show any pain. She continued her ride and when she returned her foot was swollen. When her ladies said that she should immediately have said she was in pain, H.R.H. replied that she had concealed her pain in order to spare the equerry any upset. Next day, her foot was as normal. This kindness made an impression on all, and it illuminates perfectly Mme la dauphine’s character.
—Ambassador Mercy to Maria Theresa, 22 May 1771