Her charm was not enough to make life at Versailles easy for the princess.

PRINCESS FOR A DAY: A Visit to Versailles

What would it be like to be a princess for a day? A little trip to Versailles just outside of Paris may be the closest a girl can get. Walking through the great hall of mirrors, beneath its dozen crystal chandeliers, I look out the window over the grounds of this great palace. I pause a moment each time and wonder what it would have been like to call Versailles home, to live a life of leisure here as the most famous princess of all, Marie Antoinette...

Marie Antoinette came to Versailles at the age of fifteen. She was married to Louis XVI, becoming the Dauphine of France while just a young girl. She was fair skinned, tall, and slender, with straw blond hair. Her beauty and friendliness made her initially popular with the French. But her charm was not enough to make life at Versailles easy for the princess. Political obligations and the oppressive rules and procedures of the daily court took their toll on their princess’ youthful spirit. So she sought refuge beyond the walls of the main palace. Which leads us to my favorite part of Versailles...La Domaine de Marie Antoinette.

A few kilometres through the forest, we find a more dainty palace bestowed upon the princess soon to become queen — Le Petit Trianon. Here Marie Antoinette’s extravagance would have free reign, filling the rooms with plush Louis XVI furniture upholstered in pastel silks, and hosting parties for ladies in waiting and foreign friends. On the surrounding land she constructed a hamlet as a home for the many animals she adored. Today it seems virtually unchanged, perhaps just the laughter of her children and many visitors missing. As for the rest, the animals still roam the garden, the furniture still sits in its place, and the princess herself still reigns over her domain from the famous portrait of her hanging in the upstairs salon.

Paris Rendezvous

All did not end as well as it began for Marie Antoinette as the French Revolution vacated the throne and threw the country into turmoil. But Marie’s years at Versailles as both princess and queen must have been spectacular in all their decadence.

I returned home from Versailles that evening feeling inspired from my little day trip. I indulged in a relaxing bubble bath followed by some luxurious cosmetics like Tonique Confort to spoil my skin, before lying down for some beauty rest on my silk pillow case. While we may not be princesses, I see no reason why we can’t pamper ourselves like one now and then...

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