Thursday, 25 January 2018

The Apartment of the Princesse de Lamballe

Upon being appointed superintendent of the queen's household, Marie-Thérèse-Louise, was granted a grand apartment consisting of twelve rooms with the eleven entresols located immediately above. These rooms were located on the corner of the Aile du Midi on the first floor. From her windows, she had a view of the courtyard of Monsieur and the street of the Superintendent.
This apartment had previously belonged to her father-in-law, the Duc de Penthièvre, who was considered to be one of the wealthiest men in Europe. He had spared no expense when it came to decorating his apartment. The walls were in the modern taste of white paint and gold accents. Sky blue fabric was chosen for the furniture and curtains; all was trimmed with gold.

Here, she would entertain the queen and the two would often indulge themselves in gambling parties. On other occasions she would throw very small and intimate balls for her closest friends; minor theatricals were played out as well.

Her bedroom had two paintings by François Boucher as well as two portraits of the king and queen hanging above each door. 

She would already show a fondness for getting away from court on occasion. Marie-Thérèse-Louise had purchased the Hôtel d'Eu in Paris for 70.000 livres in 1775; nevertheless, she would stay more frequently at her father-in-law's Hôtel de Toulouse. 

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Princesse de Lamballe

The Princesse de Lamballe left this apartment in 1780 when the young Duc d'Angôuleme (son of the Comte de Provence) took over the apartment. Instead, she was moved to the ground floor below her previous one. Luckily for the princesse, she did not have to downsize her furniture much. Her new apartment counted eleven rooms: two salons, a bedchamber, bathrooms, dining room, wardrobe, library, boudoir and a room for her lady-of-honour. Also, there were the above entresols. 
However, with the emergence of the Duchesse de Polignac at court, Marie-Thérèse-Louise felt less and less at home at Versailles. 
In these years of the 1780's her friendship with the queen had cooled considerably. The princesse would spent an increasing amount of time on her own estates or at her father-in-law, the Duc de Penthièvre's mansions. It was only when her duties as superintendent required it that she would live at the palace for longer periods.

In 1786 she was moved again. This time her new neighbour was the Duchesse de Bourbon. The princesse's new apartment opened onto the lower gallery of the princes. By this point she was hardly ever at Versailles but preferred to stay nearby in her own houses.

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