Wednesday, 2 November 2016

The Queen's Apartment

Compared to her husband's ever expanding apartment a Queen of France had to make due with a remarkably small set of rooms. The number and size of the Queen's apartment was a great deal smaller and was not added to over the years. For example during Louis XV the King's private apartment alone reached 17 rooms varying from spacious to small cabinet. At the same period the Queen's entire apartment - both grand and private - had 15 rooms. All of the private rooms were very small and often dark.

Marie Thérèse

Marie Thérèse had little enjoyment of the Queen's apartment since for the majority of her life Versailles was either the small hunting-lodge of Louis XIII or in a constant state of construction. Not long after the court moved permanently to Versailles the Marie Thérèse died. The only thing that changed during her tenure as Queen was the function of each room:


1) The Old Chapel 

2) The New Chapel

3) The Guard's Hall

6) The Corner Salon

7) Small Chamber

8) Small Cabinet


1) The Guards' Hall

7) Absorbed by the Hall of Mirrors

8) Absorbed by the Hall of Mirrors

Marie Leszczynska


The next Queen to inhabit these chambers was Polish-born Marie Leszczynska whose entire apartment consisted of 15 rooms. 

1) Great Guards' Hall

7) Bath

8) Grand Interior Cabinet

9) Small Gallery

10) Oratory 

11) Toilet

12) Cabinet

13) Service de la Reine

14) The King's Valet

15) Passage

A) King's Apartment
B) The Queen's Staircase

Marie Antoinette

Marie Antoinette was the Queen who truly made the Queen's private apartment what it is today. Not merely in style - which clearly illustrated her personal style - but also the concept of a Queen of France's private life. Both of her predecessors had readily submitted to their very public life but Marie Antoinette could not so easily follow their example. The Austrian-born Queen had been raised in a very different atmosphere and she valued her privacy. The Queen's apartment is now how it looked when the royal family left Versailles in 1789:

6) Passage

7) Passage (former office of the Duchesse de Bourgogne)

8) Passage (former office of the Duchesse de Bourgogne)

9) Cabinet de Chaise

10) Cabinet de la Meridienne

11) Library

12) Small Library

13) Bath

14) Bath

15) Toilet

16) The Golden Cabinet

17) Cabinet of Poets

a) Hall of Mirrors
b) The Queen's Staircase

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