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A Day in the Life of Louis XIV
Transcript of A Day in the Life of Louis XIV
Lived in the Castle of Versailles Sources:
the textbook Palace of Versailles In Louis' room... Louis' privacy
Louis had minimal privacy; he was only free of noble courtiers swarming him when he was either visiting his wife, mother, or mistress, or meeting with ministers.
Most of his daily ceremonies were carefully planned out and staged.
There was almost always a mob of nobles following him around helping him carry out even the most insignificant activities. For example, it was considered a great honor for a noble to be chosen as the person that handed Louis XIV his shirt while he was getting dressed.
The reason nobles followed and assisted Louis XIV in minor everyday activities was that active involvement in these activities was what the King required of people that were candidates for obtaining offices, titles and pensions. He was the only person that could grant these positions, so nobles were constantly trying to win him over by accompanying him constantly. Entertainment for the Nobles There were several forms of entertainment at the Palace of Versailles, including walks through the gardens, boating trips, performances of tragedies and comedies, ballets, and concerts.
Three nights per week, from seven to ten PM, Louis conducted something called an apartement, called that because he was "at home" to his court. It was an informal evening with a concert, games of billiards or cards, and a large buffet. 7:30 or 8:00 AM -
the Valet de Chamber came to awaken Louis XIV. Then he had the First Levee, when his doctors and familiars enter. He then washed, combed, and shaved. Every other day officers of chamber entered and dressed the king for the grand Levee, and the king ate breakfast. Only 100 very important men were allowed in. This ended around 10:00 AM. In the Hall of Mirrors... 10:00 - 11:00 AM -
there was a procession in the Hall of Mirrors, when the king crossed the Grand Apartment, followed by courtiers. A crowd gathered along the passage of the royal courtiers to see the king. They then went to the Royal Chapel for a 30-minute mass, led by the choir, who sang a new song daily. These songs were motets, slow songs. With the Councils... 11:00 - 1:00 AM -
on Sundays and Wednesdays, Louis had the Council of Slate. On Tuesdays and Saturdays, he had the Royal Council of Finances. On Mondays, Thursdays, and Fridays, Louis checked on the infrastructure of Versailles, and met with the Dispatch Councilor, Religious Councilors, and the State Council. He listened to them, did not speak much, he just made decisions. There were usually 5-6 ministers at each meeting. 1:00 - 2:00 PM -
the King dined alone in his bedroom. He usually had big meals, even if he had ordered small ones. He always ate this meal alone, facing the windows—but sometimes his brother (Monsieur) came to hold his napkin. In the gardens... 2:00 - 6:00 PM -
At this time, there was a promenade in the garden. Louis went through it either on foot or in a carriage. Sometimes he would go hunting, the favorite sport of the Bourbons. Occasionally, picnics were held in the gardens. These festivities went on until the evening. In the drawing rooms... 6:00 - 10:00 PM -
there were indoor entertainments (these were often run Louis’ son.) Some examples of things he may do would be a lottery or playing cards. Louis would sign letters written by his secretary. He would then go to Madame de Maintenon (his second wife)'s room, where he would study important classics with help from the Secretary of State. In the apartments... 10:00 - 11:30 PM -
Louis would hold a Grand Public Supper in the antechamber of one of his apartments. The King sat at the table with his family. Afterwards, he saluted the ladies of the court in the salon. He would then withdraw and go to his cabinet to converse with family and friends. 11:30 PM -
Louis had a bedtime ceremony that was open to the public. It was a shortened version of the Levee. Afterward, he would go downstairs to humbly feed his dogs. He then went to sleep in his bedroom until he was awoken 8 hours later for another busy day.
Louis XIV lived a very productive life and is regarded as the greatest king of France. He had a very intense rigorous schedule, working his hardest daily.