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Royalty


Royalty in all shapes and forms
palais royal madrid

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…

Zaraus

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…

Palacio de Narros

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…

La princesse des Ursins

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…

Family photo from spain

FAMILY PHOTOS FROM SPAIN

  The guards on horseback in front of the Royal Palace of Madrid Built in the 18th century by King Charles III, in my opinion it is still the most beautiful royal dwelling in Europe: as much for its exterior architecture as for its interior décor and for the richness of its collections. It holds…

Saint-Simon portrait officiel

ALBERONI & THE DUKE OF VENDOME

It was during the Spanish War of Succession that one of Saint Simon’s masterpieces unfolded: the story of Alberoni. France was then fighting against a coalesced Europe. A French army laid siege on the city of Parma: its Duke was an ally of Louis XIV’s enemies. The Duke was a direct descendant of Pope Paul…

Charles II - king-of-spain

THE SUCCESSION OF CHARLES II

One of the chapters of the reign of Louis XIV concerns the succession of Spain. It fascinates me. It is the end of the year 1700 and we find ourselves in Madrid. King Charles II is dying. He was badly deformed, the result of so many marriages between blood relations in the family which had…

diamant Maximilien

THE MAXIMILIAN EMPEROR AND THE CURSED DIAMONDS

As usual, I was spending this Saturday morning in New York, going round auction halls. On Christie’s Park Avenue, one can find magnificent jewellery on display. My friend François, one of the world’s greatest experts in the field, invited me to follow him into his office. He knew that I was an enthusiast and handed…

Marie Laveau

THE QUEEN OF VOODOO Part 3/3

Briskly, he walks through the French Quarters, crosses Jackson Square, turns around the Saint Louis Cathedral and reaches the gates of the cemetery bearing the same name. Now, he is no longer in a hurry. He takes his time to dawdle amongst the graves, looking for the one on which to lie. The moon, shining…

Marie Laveau

THE QUEEN OF VOODOO Part 2/3

As luck would have it, Marie Laveau soon after met the love of her life, Christophe Duminy de Glapion. She would never marry him, for the simple reason that he was white and that the law of the time forbade such an union, but they had many children – fifteen according to legend! In any…