Maids rushed around the corridors of Versailles, preparing for the return of the Dauphine, Marie Antoinette.
She came through the magnificent doors, her hair piled high on her head, each curl dusted with that foul lead powder, each ornament glued in, and would take painstaking efforts to remove later that night. The complicated ruffles, the admired many layers to her clothing, all made each elegant step a much more difficult task than one could imagine; the heavy fabrics pulling her down, her corset making such a simple excercise as breathing, more laborious, more strained.
Sitting straight backed and as delicately as she could manage, Marie sat down, opposite to her husband, the Dauphin, Louis. He didn't look up from his meal, he barely registered her presence, all attentions focused on his meat. Marie swallowed her disappointment, and turned her attention to her meal, a small, watered down bowl of cucumber soup, with hard crackers. The queen had to retain her figure, somehow.
"How are the children?" Louis mumbled quietly, between mouthfuls of boar.
"Marie Therese is coming along wonderfully, I knew Madame de Pognaic was a perfect choice of governor ," She said, speaking warmly of her friend.
"And little Louis Joseph? Louis Charles?" The King enquired eagerly.
"Both well, enjoying the nursery," Marie answered stiffly.
And that was to be all the conversation for the duration of the meal, and indeed the night. Perhaps, if the King didn't tire, she would receive a little 'Bon nuit' before he passed out, beside her.
Marie tried not to cry at night. It simply would not do, with the King beside her. She tried to keep it, for when she was on her own, or within her Petit Trianon: the only place in the world, where she could be herself with the children, a little chateau, with the most beautiful english gardens.
Perhaps you are wondering, why on earth, the Queen had reason to cry? And perhaps, if you were within her confidences, she would tell you, about her marriage. Perhaps, then she'd go on to tell you about the death of her beautiful little baby Sophie. Perhaps, she'd tell you, of what it was like, to be transported, to a foreign country, as a young girl, then married; to a boy she didn't know, who she had realised over time, didn't love her at all. Perhaps, Marie didn't have as much reason to cry, as the people on the streets of Paris did. Yet, the people on the streets of Paris, never did cry quite like Marie.