I learned that I am going to be French today. I guess you think congratulations are in order. I suppose . I mean, you probably think I’m the luckiest girl in the world. When you’re an archduchess -of The HOLY ROMAN FREAKING EMPIRE- no less, it’s pretty much a given that you’ll get a decent marriage. Especially when your mama is a bombass Empress who has no idea how to be anything less than fantastic. Throw in a king who is not playing by mama’s rules ( King George III of England )and the youngest daughter(me) who needs a powerful alliance (aka marriage) and voila … you have a new home in the most important, elegant and notoriously extravagant court in all Europe. France.
I’m not really a fan of politics or alliances or anything that has no fun in it but I hear that Mama hates the French. So why did she ship me in her words “straight to the lion’s den ?” To France -a land of the most wicked king in the world?
Well, simply put it it’s that my mama hates the English even more than she hates the French king, a pompous prig whose name is Louis XV who in turn hates old George III as well so there you go -and, it’s the only logical solution. The enemies of your enemies are your friends. I think that’s how it goes. But I’m not really sure what it means other than that I am going to France. Quite the honor, you see .
What could possibly go wrong?
Absolutely everything. I’m 13 and 41 minutes old, to be exact and I’m exactly what I’m supposed to be. Young, frivolous and carefree. I love dogs and dancing. I am a happy and naive girl that is the hope of the Hapburg dynasty.
Who am I, you ask?
Oops, you mean I didn’t properly introduce myself? My name is Maria Antonia Josepha but you can call me Marie Antoinette.
I am going to try something new and exciting..at least for me. I love history and especially the French Revolution. Who doesn’t love cake and Marie Antoinette? I have to be the first to say that her hairstyles were to die for. So wouldn’t it be fun to guess what the horoscopes for the court and it’s glamorous entourage would say on a certain day? I have an idea what they should say so I hope you enjoy this.
The setting for today’s horoscopes is France, more specifically Versailles. The year is 1770. Your future king is Louis XVI and your future queen is a charming and frivolous young woman who will later be affectionately called ”the Austrian woman. ” Her Christian name is Marie Antonia Josepha Johanna and her mother is the ruler of the Holy Roman Empire. AKA Marie Therese of the Hapsburg dynasty who is a big deal. So while the future Queen of France is clearly of a bloodline to be feared and revered, she is still a foreigner and the majority of this court resents this.
Now the little archduchess is married to the King of France’s grandson, Louis Auguste. But Austria and France are not really good friends. Actually, they are enemies. How does a marriage between the two come about, you ask? Even though the Empress of Austria has long been an enemy of France, she decides to overlook the fact that she hates the Sun King and his whole country-in the name of furthering Austria’s political power. And she hates England even more .Oh, and the little Archduchess is now called Marie Antoinette ( the French variation of Antonia ) and she is the Dauphine of France.
On this day in the worldly and wicked court of the most extravagant King Louis XV, the gossip is ”will she or won’t she ?” The ”she ” in question is your dainty princess and the question is whether or not she will address the most powerful person in court today -as it not only demanded by protocol but crucial for the Princess’s longevity. I should add that to the childish little Austrian who has a very impressive bloodline,been a student of Gluck, hosted Mozart (and a veritable list of powdered wig wearing bigwigs), this is simply déclassé. The future Queen is not having any of this – she refuses to acknowledge the person who would have been a good friend to have.
“Sois proche de tes amis, et encore plus proche des tes ennemis.”
But I guess she will learn.
Who is this controversial figure ,you ask? We’ll find out in a few minutes. As for the other principal players in this game of royal roulette. Let me introduce the more famous ones.
First, we have the present and pompous King of France. Louis XV , he is a wily one that has the outward charm of a courtesan. However, the fact is he is a King and expects obedience. The king was born on September 5, 1638, which makes him a Virgo. This morning he read his horoscope and smiled:
“Today the sun shines on you with the whole court watching your every move. Take delight in the fact that you are going to find that your tirelessly affectionate persuasion –with a bite -will bear fruit. Patience is a virtue and it will be rewarded”.
The next key components are Mesdames Tantes, The three aunts of the king are sweet and helpful to our future little queen…or are they? Sophie, Adelaide, Victoire are not reticent in the affairs of the court – the sisters are far from it. When they see an opportunity and of course they do -when young Antoinette voices her displeasure and disgust at the kings’ mistress, they snatch it. At last a chance for revenge in the form of the little Austrian puppet. Oh, by the way, I hear the spinsters are quite religious- so no guidance from the stars in sight.
The other Princes of the Blood Royal seem like the the polite and doting brother in laws to the innocent Dauphine, who thinks everyone loves her. Do they, though? The Duke D’Orleans seems kind enough to his “little sister” –in person. I guess that he thinks it is in her best interest to indulge her gambling and dancing proclivities. But that is another story.
I am thinking his horoscope was a little like this :
”The only thing standing in the way of the monarchy is a pile of sweetmeats. Be careful of your own greed when reaching for the top one or the whole plate will come crashing down around you.”
The poor Dauphin is next, he too has a penchant for sweetmeats and is painfully shy. Even though his birthday on August 23, 1754, which makes him a Leo -he is not in the least like a lion. Painfully shy and awkward, he prefers watches to people. I think the tick-tock of his beloved timepieces could be a warning of his future- on the chopping block.
Sadly, the future King mistook his horoscope written on a bit of parchment for a bib and wiped his face with it at breakfast. Luckily we bribed a servant to fetch it. I hear it said:
”Do your duty to secure the bloodline and provide an heir to the throne. Also, be firm and decisive when handling your young wife and find a way to reign in her frivolous spirit and love of frittering the country’s finances away. The future of the country depends on such .”
What a happy and glorious day at court it is today. Who is the striking and rather gauche beauty in the the the elaborate dress? She smirks at the whispering crowds. The people have gathered here in hope that they will be a part of the royal drama today. Because this woman is Madame DuBarry, the king’s mistress and the most powerful figure at the court of Versailles.She is no shrinking violet and doesn’t like to be snubbed, especially by a 14-year-old girl. The Dubarry is obviously a Leo, born on August 19, 1743, and she didn’t get to her position by being a doormat.Her forecast for today is:
“Persistence is key in all matters of love, politics, and society. Do not accept rivals who challenge your position. You must be vigilant or a change in your financial status may soon occur. Be aggressive in gaining the respect you deserve.”
I am hoping that the lovely girlish and sadly naive Dauphine hooses wisely. I have to admit that it doesn’t look like it today as she is not stepping forward to greet the DuBarry as she is called. Is this the first time in history that the royal mistress has dictated the rules? Let’s see what happens next. The Dauphine is pulled away by the king’s sisters just as his mistress approaches, whisking her away.
The shocked court will have to wait another time to witness this catty drama but will there be enough cake to eat ? Or did the future queen give it to the peasants? Stay tuned and find out.
I hope this was a good read and I would appreciate any and all feedback on it.
*Please note that I am not a historian and I hope you will be tolerant of any errors or omissions. This is a fictional piece and is not intended to be otherwise.
Next week…. I was informed that I cannot go into Paris yet . But I’m not allowed to complain, as it’s an honor to be introduced to the city and given the key by the Parisian Mayor himself. Whatever!
Previously on Real Housewives of Versailles, the newly minted Dauphine of France, Marie Antoinette, was making waves by throwing some serious shade at one lady who wasn’t putting up with that nonsense.
Last we heard, our little Austrian was about to make her mama proud by speaking to Madame Dubarry, the king’s mistress and most powerful woman in court. The whole court is betting it’s as dramatic as the events leading up to this unprecedented event. Gossip mongers hint that the French Dauphine had to be stronglyencouragedto acknowledge King Louis XIV’s mistress. This is unheard of, making it very clear that Madame DuBarry rules at Versailles. What words will our beloved blunderbuss Marie A. bestow upon the favorite of the king?
We don’t have to wait long for the “Made to Shop ” future queen of France, to toss the tea at her much older frenemy, the much more experienced and linguistically talented Madame Dubarry.
The court is live streaming from the Hall of Mirrors. Let’s catch up on the drama unfolding as we speak.
@versailles99…The Dauphine said hello or something like that and now everyone’s favorite cake loving Austrian, Maria Josepha Antonia or Marie Antoinette to the Frenchies is soo done by the look on her face. She’s not even trying to hide her distaste. But look at her fab hair! It has to be at least 3 feet high! What a great hairpiece! Is that a real bird in there?
“I think I said something stupid like “wow, look at all the people here today! That woman looked at me like she was disappointed. I guess she was expecting a little more than that. ”
-Marie Antoinette, Dauphine and Future Queen and Daughter of the Holy Roman Empire itself
@MsMarieAntoinette92…I’m glad I didn’t know that she was really expecting us to be friends now or maybe I would have been like I’m sorry. but you can’t sit with us. Like ever.”
@MsMarieAntoinette92…I can say that, amirite? I’m going to be a Queen, oui?
@mamatherese98 … I see that you are learning about etiquette and how to make friends at court even when you hate them! Look how well it’s worked for me.
@MadameDBarry: That’s right! Recognize the favorite of the king. That little twit can go back to Australia. Or Austria. Or Even better, Antartica.
@versailles99…So now that we know what to expect in the French court regarding the feud of the woman who acts like a Queen but is not feeling the love from the newcomer … a little foreigner who has bad hair and a stupid laugh. I heard that Marie Antoinette has been to the king himself crying over his displeasure and that he was considering breaking the alliance with Austria but needs the money. I’m told that he has never liked to confront problems but chooses to be charming while insisting that his orders will be obeyed.
A far cry from Mother Austria aka Marie Therese who is known for a more hardcore approach to ruling and doesn’t believe in mincing words. Am I right in the assumption that this one disastrous alliance? The marriage of the two polar opposites can only mean one thing -that the British are laughing instead of crying in their tea right now.
Until next week, auvoir! I’m sure we haven’t heard the last of this dignified catfight …