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Paris is for me the ideal city for a stroll through History.
The Tuileries Garden, the Palais-Royal and the Elysee are monuments that have been the lone witnesses of History and which harbour many mysteries. The Tuileries once belonged to my maternal family.
It is in the Tuileries Garden that the first stories for my book « Promenade singulière à travers l’histoire [1]» came to me.

This month, I offer you the most beautiful stories that History with a capital “H” does not know, has forgotten or has thought preferable to never reveal.
I invite you for a stroll on the pathways of the unexplored.

 

[1] Peculiar Stroll Through History

Royalty

THE REGENT’S WEDDING

At the moment I am watching the television series “Versailles”, in which I find many of my ancestors portrayed in a rather unorthodox manner. There is however a story the scriptwriters have omitted. Louis XIV had many children from his mistress the marquise de Montespan, both boys and girls. He had showered them with donations,…

Royalty

THE FALSE REMAINS OF LOUIS XVI

One of the mysteries I recently uncovered has to do with how the Revolution would dispose of its victims, all these princes and dukes, these women, these young people. Until now, I believed that they would be thrown into mass graves and that their bodies would be doused in quicklime to render them unrecognizable. Apparently…

Royalty

THE CROWN JEWELS OF FRANCE

Their story is interesting in that they do not exist. Certain ceremonial objects from the Coronations of the kings of France have survived: Charlemagne’s sword; Charles V’s Sceptre; the Main de Justice (hand of justice). All of these, kept at the Louvre, were used during the countless coronations of France’s kings, right up until the…

Royalty

SULTAN SEEKS SOLDIERS

In the year 1794, the sultan Selim III reigned over the Ottoman Empire. He was young, intelligent and determined to reform, to modernize, to reinforce his empire. Most of all, he wished to thoroughly reorganize his army, the famous ottoman army which had conquered one of the biggest empires of the planet but which was…

Royalty

Portrait of the future Duke of Guise

This is a portrait of my grandfather Jean of Orléans, the future Duke of Guise, found entirely by chance when googling the castles belonging to the family. He is here shown with his eldest sister, Marguerite of Orléans, who, being a princess of France, married the son of the first president of the 3rd Republic,…

Royalty

INFERNAL LAUZUN

Monsieur de Lauzun was one of the ornaments to adorn the court of Louis XIV. Small, ugly, irresistible; no woman would yield to him; no man would accept him as a friend. The audacity of the man knew no limit: he had an unspeakable cheek and an unshakeable courage. He was a great friend of…

Royalty

AUNT BELLINA

My grandmother, the Duchess of Guise, had a younger brother, Ferdinand of Orleans, Duke of Montpensier, who was charming but somewhat wayward: taking drugs, among other things. His sisters, one of whom was my grandmother, decided to marry him off. They found the rare pearl they were looking for in a wealthy girl of the…

Art

Portrait of the Princess of Zanzibar and an African Lady-in-waiting

By Walter Frier This canvas is to be sold at Sotheby’s in London on December 7th 2017. In 1628, Captain John Henderson of Fordell, who had been travelling through Africa for many years, was captured by Barbarians and taken to the island of Zanzibar, where a Moorish king reigned. The king’s daughter fell madly in…

Royalty

THE DUCHESS AND THE CONSTABLE

Louise Marie Adelaide de Bourbon was the daughter of the duke of Penthievre, only heir out of all the bastards of Louis XIV and Madame de Montespan. She was the richest heiress of all of France. Philippe of Orleans duke of Chartres, future Philipe Egalité, asked for her hand in marriage. Louis XV advised his…

Adventure

THE ELYSEE

The Elysee Palace, residence to the President of the French Republic, has a long history. It was first built by the marquis de Marigny, brother of the all-powerful mistress of Louis XV, Madame de Pompadour. I do not know by what turn of events but, during the Revolution it belonged to the Princess of Orleans,…

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