Wednesday, March 20, 2013

The Door

Marie Antoinette escaped through this passageway in the early morning hours of October 6, 1789, ran to the King's bedchamber, and pounded on the door, desperate for refuge from the mob that had overpowered (beheading one in the process) the guards outside her bedchamber. When I think if this event, I'm reminded of an account that claims that the Duc d'Orleans was seen standing on the staircase motioning the way to the Queen's bedchamber. There are other accounts that claim he was in the crowd that had marched to Versailles from Paris, but from every chaotic scene there are false reports, so I don't want to perpetuate what is probably not true. I'm just saying that the idea that the King's cousin had such a direct hand in these events (there's no doubt he had an indirect hand in them) would make him even lower than I'd supposed. These are the kinds of questions I'd like to ask of our knowledgable tour guide, but we'd already left him when we were in this room.

Anyway, the other things that stand out when I look at this is that, the next day, the King, Queen, their family, members of the Court, and others, including Axel Fersen, left Versailles forever to go to Paris. In a letter to his father, on Oct. 9, Fersen described the scene:

"All the public papers have told you, my dear father, of what happened at Versailles on Monday, 5th, and Tuesday, 6th, and of the coming of the king to Paris with his family.  I was witness of it all and I returned to Paris in one of the carriages of the king's suite;  we were six hours and a half on the way.  God keep me from ever again seeing so afflicting a sight as that of those two days.  The people seem enchanted to see the king and his family;  the queen is much applauded, and she cannot fail to be when they know her, and do justice to her desire for the right, and to the kindness of her heart."

Also, I think of the fact that Marie Antoinette had been hurriedly summoned from the peaceful grotto, in her fantasy land, Le Hameau, as the crowd from Paris approached the Chateau. As alarmed as she must've been, she couldn't have possibly conceived of how pivotal the moment was and what the next few years held.

And, I can now think the happier thought that the gentleman (see post, below) that showed us around the Chapel restored the gilded railing between Elissa and the doorway.


Elissa said...

This is my first picture in front of her bed..can you believe that? I can't!

Madeleine Doak said...

I have several of myself in front of her bed, but they're not post-worthy. P.S. Let's go back this summer.