As it is now 5:15 am in the city of Paris, in a few hours there will be an opportunity to either celebrate or mourn depending upon your ideology. Two hundred and eighteen years ago, Louis Auguste de France,better known as Louis XVI, King of France and Navarre was executed on the 21st of January 1793; the maddening crowds who had gathered to see the only king of France executed, let out “shouts of joy” at 10:30 am.
The King was dead.
I am only an armchair historian, dilettantish at best; but I am romantic, Louis’s tale is tragic, I merely want to honor his death.
Often remembered as the king who wished to be a locksmith, Marie Antoinette’s star burnt much brighter, her image more glamorous , it is easy for the casual historian to overlook Louis XVI. From the accounts I have read, he was a man of intelligence and devotion to God, his country, and his family. His indecisiveness has been recently attributed to symptoms of clinical depression; as the spouse of a psychologist, I am eager to look into this.
But as I said I am not a historian, for now, I will just present images of the late king.
Louis XVI, King of France
b.23rd august 1754
d.21st January 1793
King of France and Navarre 1174-1791
King of the French 1791-1792
Musée national du Chåteau et des Trianons
Recquiscat in Pace
As King of the French, the king and his image underwent many humiliations;this engraving from happier times, 1775, was defaced in 1792, the king now known as Louis Capet is seen wearing the phrygian cap of the sans-culotte. It’s an unfortunate image.
Ultimately the king and his family endured being separated from one another when the comfort of family was most needed.
If interested, and you are fluent in French, there is a site devoted to the late king.
Musically the memory of the king lives on,the following Funeral March for the Death of the King LouisXVI by Pavel Wranitzky carries the torch for his majesty.
Over two centuries ago Louis Capet was having his prayerbook fetched at six o’clock in the morning.
Say a little prayer for the man.