The Women of Trianon


Who are they? Whose face is missing on that poster? When the revolution of 1830 came about, on 26 July Charles X was holding Council at le Grand Trianon. Then bam! The door got kicked in and shooting a gun-powder-only-loaded pistol, some kind of a transvestite addressed His Majesty with a stream of profanities…. Meet Marie-Charlotte de Bourbon-Siciles, the daughter-in-law of the last French king.

The feathered Scottish hat was chosen by the painter, Thomas Lawrence, as an allusion to the Romantic narratives of Walter Scott; indeed two years after Charles X’s abdication Marie-Charlotte secretly returned from her exile to claim the French crown for her son; at first she was ignored by the police, then thrown in jail where the princess gave birth to a girl. When two years after Marie-Charlotte was escorted to Italy, her second husband was waiting for her there.

There is something of Princess Diana in Marie-Charlotte. In the Memoirs of Countess de Boigne we find the following dialogue between Charles X and Duke Maille on this sensitive for the royal family subject:

“How do you find her?”

“Abominable, Sire.”

 

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