Originally built by Louis XV between 1762-1768 for his long-term mistress, Madame de Pompadour (who did not wear a pompadour), the Petit Trianon was eventually given to Marie Antoinette by Louis XVI when he became the King of France (and let's not forget Navarre) in 1774. Unlike the elder mistress of his grandfather who died four years before its completion, Queen Marie actually did live in it.
At 19, she'd already been married for five years after being shipped off from Austria by her mother to marry the future king of France and didn't care much for her royal duties. She spent much of her time in the (relatively) little chateau and its gardens with her few friends, and later with her children.
It is said that even King Louis wasn't allowed to enter his wife's domain without her permission (impressive) and that he really didn't mind. (You can take that both literally and figuratively - he was more into his hobbies than his wife and they didn't consummate their marriage until 1777, according to a letter Marie Antoinette wrote to her mother. However, considering they were 15 and 14 years old when they married it makes the whole thing far less gross. )
And our tour continues! (The really cool rooms start with the next post.) As you walk into the grounds of the Petit Trianon you see...
Have you seen that Seinfeld episode where George's dad puts a pool table in a tiny room and every time someone goes to shoot they slam their cue into the wall, themselves or someone else? This room reminds me of that.
Lots more to follow and it gets better. This tour is a slow burner!
Photos © The Swelle Life