• fr
  • en

 

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

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,…

Royalty

Family portraits from Spain

Photo dedicated to my grandmother the Duchess de Guise by young king Alfonso XIII He is not handsome, but he is irresistibly seductive. The truth is: few ladies could resist him. Distinguished, elegant, an admirable equestrian, courteous: he was a grand nobleman, right to his fingertips. Alas, he was less brilliant politically, which would bring…

Royalty

THE ECCENTRIC DUCHESS

Cayetana Fitz-James Stuart, Duchess of Alba was the descendant of a bastard child of King James II of England, who had come to fight in Spain. It could have been said that she was the last of the line of Stuarts. She possessed innumerable duchies, marquisates and counties, which made her one of the most…

Royalty

THE JEWELS OF THE SPANISH CROWN

In the month of July 1808, panic reigned in Madrid. A French army of 100,000 men was marching towards the city, determined to prevail. For a year coups d’état, revolts and repression had wracked the city. Napoleon, after having dethroned the Bourbon dynasty, was determined to put one of his brothers on the throne of…

Royalty

A secret scandal: Zaraus part II

« In an old and lost time a great sage lived here, a man of knowledge and kindness. Seduced by the beauty and serenity of the place he came to settle here. He built a hermitage and every day through his prayer spread his blessing on this deserted site. After his death a few monks…

Royalty

A secret scandal : Zaraus

The seaside resort of Zaraus hardly seems the place to conjure up visions of the supernatural. Of course ghosts can settle anywhere but I hardly feared that they would be inspired by these modest, mundane seaside constructions dolefully aligned along rectilinear avenues or by the recent villas which have sprung up and that clashed with…

Royalty

ALBERONI & THE PRINCESS DES URSINS

King Philippe V married the Princess of Savoy who made the mistake of dying. A terrible tragedy. They had indeed produced an heir, a son, but it was not therein that lay the problem: King Philippe V could not carry on without making love or he would fall ill. This uncompromising Christian would share his…

You can also read those categories