Friday, 9 March 2018

Commoners at Court

While the majority of the inhabitants at Versailles were aristocrats they were far from the only ones coming and going. Besides an army of servants - who were not necessarily lodged within the palace - there were a few commoners who had access to the most prominent members of the French elite. These often gained this foothold due to their professions; some were perfumers, others were seamstresses and others still were policemen. 

What they all had in common was that they enjoyed the favour of the royal family. This could be the direct path to success and wealth; but it could just as easily lead to a quick demise. Here are some of the people who had no blue blood in their veins but were still well-known at Versailles.


Rose Bertin
"Minister of Fashion"

Jean-Henri Riesener 
Furniture-maker 

Léonard Autié and Jean-François Autié
Hairdressers 

Gabriel Nicolas de la Reynie
Chief of police

Legros de Rumigny
Hairdresser

Madame Martin

Jean-Baptiste Lully
Composer 

Jean-Louis Fargeon
Perfumer 

André Charles Boulle
Furniture-maker

Claude Tribouleau
Wine merchant

Pierre Beauchamps
Ballet teacher

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