Friday, 19 July 2013

Oh, that precedence!

When a right was gained at Versailles it was guarded with every possible mean. No one wanted to surrender a privilege - including Marianne-Victoire, La Grande Dauphine.

Duchess Maria Anna Christina Victoria of Bavaria, 'la Grande Dauphine'..jpg
Marianne-Victoire was Dauphine at the time when King James II and Queen Mary Beatrice of England were exiled and lived at the French court. Up until the time when the English King arrived Marianne-Victoire had ranked higher than Mary Beatrice. However, that all changed when Louis XIV decided that the now united royal couple of England should be given full precedence according to their ranks as King and Queen. This meant that the roles now were reversed; Marianne-Victoire had to cease her precedence in favour of Mary Beatrice.

This was embarrassing to the already unpopular Dauphine who came up with a way to entirely avoid the issue of precedence in public: if she received the exiled Queen in bed it would not be visible to anyone (not even the most alert courtier) that the French Dauphine had been demoted. So that is what she did. Eventually, Marianne-Victoire had to leave the security of her bed - it would not do to anger the King excessively! Still a point had been made but Marianne-Victoire remained as unpopular with the courtiers as ever.

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