Wednesday, April 20, 2016

The REAL lifestyles of the rich and famous

Currently, I am reading a wonderful book, The Biography of Versailles, which gives accounts of the life of the estate, the workings of protocol, the advance of courtiers in a ridiculously detailed and tiered system. The Court, or the collection of nobles serving the King (Louis XIV, in this case), included delightful assignments like bringing the King's shirt to him in the morning when he was to get out of bed and get dressed. Another lucky noble might bring him his walking stick or ceremonial sword. But some had the sad task of delivering and then emptying the royal chamber pot (and that was an honor, if you can believe it). Even a man was "employed" to hold a candle while the King god each night. My! And, the King did not take off his wig until the bed drapes were closed, so that he wouldn't ruin his majestic image. Talk about vanity!

On staff was a gardener, an architect, a maître d'hôtel who arranged accommodations for the visiting nobles, cooks, food tasters, dog handlers for the hunting dogs, two stables and stable staff (one for coaches; one for hunting), chapel attendant. The list goes on and on.

It's fascinating to image the lifestyle. Of course, today we have celebrities who think they're royalty, but this was the real deal.



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