Queen Marie-Antoinette’s Bedchamber at Versailles

queen-s-bedchamber-versailles

The Queen's Bedchamber at Versailles

The prior post in this series had the heroine of Mistress of the Revolution, Gabrielle de Montserrat, presented to Marie-Antoinette. Gabrielle is now part of the Court, though she has not been offered any official position there (yet.)

As a presented lady, Gabrielle is admitted to the Queen’s Bedchamber. This room, like the Salon of the Nobles, looks very much as it did in Marie-Antoinette’s time. You can see, against the back wall, the monumental jewelry case she ordered. On the mantel, a bust of the Queen. Above the mirror, a portrait of Joseph II, her brother. Portraits of Louis XVI and Empress Maria Theresa (not visible here) also decorate the room.

Versailles Queen s Bedchamber ceiling

Versailles Queen s Bedchamber ceiling

The hangings and drapes in this picture were also ordered by Marie-Antoinette for the summer decoration of her bedchamber. They would have been replaced by another set, in a different pattern, in winter.

Now for Gabrielle’s remembrances:

During the spring and summer of 1787, the Duchess and I returned to Versailles on a few Sundays. Neither of us found much pleasure in those outings, and I in particular could not go there without mortifying memories intruding upon my mind. We avoided the Queen’s gaming salon and never stayed overnight. The Duchess nevertheless pointed out that, in my situation, I needed to meet as many people as possible and would be unwise to shun the Court altogether.

We would wait amongst a crowd of other ladies in the Salon of the Nobles, the green room where I had been presented. At noon, the doors to the Queen’s Bedchamber flew open. As in the King’s apartment, a balustrade divided the room into two areas, one for the giant gilded bed, draped in heavy silks embroidered with flowers, peacock feathers and lilac branches, and the other for the Queen to greet her visitors. We seldom stayed more than a few moments, for many other ladies, their huge paniers pressing against our own, awaited their chance to be noticed by the Queen. We soon retreated to the Salon of the Nobles.

_________________________________________

All posts in the Footsteps of Gabrielle series:

Return to Fontfreyde

Cottage life

Arriving in Paris

Fashions in Paris before the Revolution

Dressing for Court

Discovering Versailles

The presentation to Marie-Antoinette in the Salon of the Nobles

The Royal Chapel

The Queen’s Bedchamber

The sweetness of living

Print Friendly

11 Comments to “Queen Marie-Antoinette’s Bedchamber at Versailles”

  1. Penny Klein says:

    I am reading a book about the king’s flight from Paris by Timothy Tackett and he repeats something I thought you said never happened — that Louis XVI had an operation on his penis so he could consumate the marriage with M-A. is this another example of the non French historian mistake? is the rest of the book to be trusted because of this error?

  2. Catherine Delors says:

    Louis XVI was not strict, the etiquette was. Whether or not MA resented the ritual of dressing and undressing in public. Whether she slept in another room or not didn’t change anything to her plight. As a matter of fact she often slept at Trianon.

  3. Catherine Delors says:

    Louis XVI was not strict, the etiquette was. Whether or not MA resented the ritual of dressing and undressing in public. Whether she slept in another room or not didn’t change anything to her plight. As a matter of fact she often slept at Trianon.

  4. Penny says:

    ma chere Catherine,
    I’m confused, I am reading Evelyne Lever’s book on Pompadour and she talks about Louis XV having another bedroom he actually slept in after the public saw him get into a bed. so if M-A was uncomfortable going through this public private thing, could she have left the bedroom to go into private one for herself? How strict was Louis XVI on court etiquette?

  5. betsson says:

    great photograph

  6. Oh! I would like to be in that crowd of ladies in the queen's bedroom, even as her maid

  7. guide says:

    I just want to order a dress which is having the upper style of her dress (not the bottom for sure since it doesn’t suit me at this epoch haha (^_^)–) but hopefully the beauty of the queen still remains. I’m just lil bit obsessed to her lately.. nice post thank you.

  8. Catherine Delors says:

    Dear Sherly – You are my first would-be reader from West Java, at least the first one I know of!
    Please come back to the blog next week. I am working on a post dedicated to court dresses in the 18th century, with many pictures. This should give you ideas for the bodice.

  9. sherly Indonesia says:

    Dear Miss Delors
    I just found this blog while searching for Marie-Antoinnete dresses picture… I was amazed by her dressing style then I saw this bedchamber and rethink whether those times of France monarchy is so overwhelmed with prestige– what a marvelous living hood. I just want to order a dress which is having the upper style of her dress (not the bottom for sure since it doesn’t suit me at this epoch haha (^_^)–) but hopefully the beauty of the queen still remains. I’m just lil bit obsessed to her lately.. thx for sharing those stuff with us–by the way, I hardly can find your book here in my town (Bandung, west Java)

  10. Catherine Delors says:

    Ma Chere Penny – Yes, Marie-Antoinette did sleep in this room most of the time, though she preferred her delightful bedroom at Trianon.

  11. penny klein says:

    ma chere Catherine,
    did she really sleep in this room? i just can’t imagine it. it looks more like a living room or a place to entertain but to relax or to have privacy etc, i just can’t imagine it. but then i was raised in simplicity.
    it is so different but then she was royalty.

Leave a Reply