A Joyous Celebration

July 13, 2023

The Mass of the Royal Family at the Tuileries palace, in the Galerie de Diane by Hubert Robert.

On January 18, she [Marie Antoinette] celebrated her recovery in the sacristy of the chapel of Versailles, and resumed her court duties in their usual form. On February 8, accompanied by the king, Monsieur Madame, and the Comte and Comtesse d’Artois, she went to Paris to render thanks to God for her happy deliverance. She was desirous of inaugurating her maternity, as she had done the beginning of her pregnancy, by a good deed. At Versailles, six thousand francs were given to each of the curés of the village, twelve thousand livres spent in private charities. At Paris a hundred young couples were married by the archbishop on the day of the queen’s entrance, habited and dowered at her expense. Each of them received five hundred livres’ dowry, two hundred for the trousseau, twelve for the wedding. When the royal cortége appeared in the cathedral, these hundred young men and women.

Prisoners for debts were released; considerable sums were confided to the curés of the different parishes.

The Charity of Marie Antoinette

The queen, however, took care on that day to abstain from all profane amusement; she wished to prove that her presence in the capital was only determined by pious motives, and in no way by a desire for those diversions which she had so often come there in search of. After the service at Notre Dame and the one at Ste. Geneviève, she went to sup at La Muette, then returned to Versailles. She gave herself up more to serious reflections, and renounced in part her noisy amusements, as though she felt that maternity imposed new duties upon her. The carnival was more moderate. Lent was quiet; gambling was rare; her condescension toward the favourites less ready. The pretensions of the Comte d’Adhémar met with invincible resistance; the companions of the queen were constrained to observe more order and decorum; harmony was carefully cultivated in the royal family.

The Life of Marie Antoinette, Volume 1 by Maxime de La Rocheterie. Pg. 235.

Short Stories on Honor, Chivalry, and the World of Nobility—no. 886



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