On September 1, 1715, Louis XIV, the Sun King, died. Possibly, you will remember him for being the absolutist monarch par excellence, quoting him (according to popular culture): “I am the State.” With these words, you can surely imagine how he governed and how well the members of the most disadvantaged classes had to have a good time. In the following lines we have encouraged ourselves to investigate some episodes of his life, and we want to share it with you. Let’s review together in Supercurioso the most interesting curious facts about Louis XVI.
Who was Louis XVI, the Sun King?
Louis XVI, born August 23, 1754, was the last king of France before the French Revolution. He ascended the throne in 1774 at the age of 20, succeeding his grandfather Louis XV. Known as the Sun King, Louis XVI ruled during a period of change and tension in French society. His reign was characterized by a deep economic and political crisis, as well as by the growing discontent of the French people towards the absolutist monarchy.
Although he initially showed good intentions and promoted some reforms, his weak leadership and his lack of political skills contributed to the deterioration of the situation and the outbreak of the French Revolution in 1789. He was undoubtedly a character for French and world history, and today we present some of the most emblematic curiosities of him-
10 curious facts about Louis XVI that you should know
1. No to the bathroom
We begin this trip through the curious facts of Louis XVI with his peculiar and highly reprehensible personal hygiene. Actually, Louis XIV was not objectively dirty, what happens is that at that time bathing was considered harmful to health. That’s why, The Sun King based his hygiene on washing himself with a piece of cotton dipped in alcohol o, watch out, saliva. A very feline custom!
2. Fashion fanatic
Another of the most interesting curious facts about Louis XVI was that he considered himself a true fan of fashion. In fact, it was he who put the very high wigs, pompous sleeves and high-heeled shoes on trend.
He did not like his models to be copied and ordered some very new high-heeled shoes from the shoemaker Nicholas Lestage. The work of the magnificent shoemaker pleased the Sun King so much that he forbade the members of the court to copy that model. Probably so that no one would be taller than him for wearing heels. If you copied the king’s style… death awaited you!
3. Lice everywhere
We add to the curious data of Louis XVI another related to personal hygiene. And it is that, although the King’s blood was blue, the lice enjoyed it as much as anyone else’s.
Imagine having your head infested with these parasites. How stinging! Now add a towering natural hair wig and cover up the infestation, letting these critters run free. Result? A real horror. That must be unbearable, so much so that they had to use a long contraption with an ivory hand on the end to be able to scratch under the bulky wig. That nasty!
4. “Divine gift” from birth
Among the curious facts about Louis XVI is the fact that he was “anointed by divinity” from his very birth. And it is that his parents, Louis XIII and Anne of Austria, They had no children for 23 years of marriage until one fine day, when Ana had already entered her forties, she became pregnant. It was some kind of miracle! When the little one was born, his parents baptized him as “Louis-Dieudonné”, that is, Luis “given by God”.
5. Why was he the Sun King?
We add to the curious data of Louis XVI the origin of his peculiar nickname. As we have seen, the birth of this little one was endowed with a certain character of divinity or miracle. Obviously, growing up with this consideration went quite to the head of this monarch who would end up being known as the “Sun King.” Why “Sun King”? Because all the members of the Court had to revolve around him, he was the center of that small system and of his entire kingdom.
6. Passion for board games
We add to the curious facts about Louis XVI the fact that he was a real fan of board games and spent a lot of time playing with his family and friends. His favorite game was backgammon, and it is said that he even carried a board and chips with him. when I went on a trip. He also enjoyed other games such as chess and checkers, and it is said that he was a skilled and strategic player.
7. Wide offspring
The sons and daughters of Louis XVI were another source of controversy and abundance in his life. His wife Maria Teresa of Austria and Bourbon gave birth to 6 royal children, but only his son Luis managed to live more than five years. These events did not dampen the desire of the king, who in the meantime fathered more than a dozen illegitimate children. There was a reason he had 13 lovers at court.
Curiously, 5 of the offspring resulting from his infidelities were the children of the same lover: Luisa de La Vallière. It will seem like a shocking number, but you should know that another of her loved ones, Madame de Montespan, gave birth to 7 children of the Sun King and became the Royal Mistress. If you’re worried about the future of these little ones born out of royal wedlock, you’ll be relieved to know that they were all legitimized by the king.
8. A passionate watchmaker
Although his reign was plagued by political and economic problems, one of the best curious facts about Louis XVI is that he knew how to find a refuge in watchmaking. He showed great interest in this discipline and he became a skilled watchmaker, even going so far as to make and repair watches himself. It is said that he spent hours in his royal workshop, enjoying the precision and art of watchmaking.
9. He was born with 2 teeth
As fate would have it, Louis XIV was born with a distinctive feature: he had 2 teeth at birth. This is not the only sign of precociousness of this king, who would be crowned shortly before his 5th birthday. As for his reign, we could also highlight that he became the longest lasting monarch in Europe, reigning for 72 years. One of the most shocking curious facts about Louis XVI.
10. Hunting enthusiast
Louis XVI was an avid hunter and enjoyed outdoor sports. He spent long seasons in his hunts, both in the field and in the royal forests. In fact, on one occasion, one of the largest hunts in history was organized in his honor, involving more than 20,000 dogs and 2,000 hunters.
What do you think of these curious facts about Louis XIV, the Sun King? If you want to know more details about the French monarchy, we recommend this enigmatic article about Marie Antoinette’s chest and the glass of champagne. What will they have to do with it? You can also expand your general knowledge, having fun with these curiosities of France. Until next time!