Dauphin

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Summary

This is the story of KING LOUIS XVII, the uncrowned king of France. He is the child of King Louis XVI of France and Queen Marie Antoinette. The Royal family is kept prisoners when the French Revolution starts. This is the story of the boy's harsh sufferings and ordeals as a prisoner. It is the story of an innocent child that suffers because he is a symbol of Royalty. It is about his courage and bravery as well as his will to hope for happiness. (This story is based on real-life events, but it is not historical or factual. It may also be too sad and harsh for some readers)

Genre:
Drama
Author:
AlexanderTemple
Status:
Complete
Chapters:
6
Rating:
n/a
Age Rating:
13+

Versailles

My life changed when I was 4 years old. This was a sad occasion that would change my life forever. It would change my destiny. My older brother dies and I remembered sitting at his funeral. I was too young to understand the concept of death and did not understand why he was in a coffin. I did not understand why Father told me that I was now the Dauphin, which meant I would be the next King of France.

I was born in 1785. My father was King Louis XVI of France and my Mother was Queen Marie Antoinette. I had an older brother and sister. I was called Louis Charles and was the Duke of Normandy. Of course, I had no clue what this meant and the advantages that it gave me. Being the crown prince meant that a lot of people took care of my every need and made sure my life was as easy as possible.

I must admit that court life at Versailles was the only thing I knew about. I knew that father was the King of France, but I knew nothing about France. I knew nothing about the struggles and the poverty of the people. I thought that everyone lived as we did... in a large castle with servants and the best of everything.

I knew that my father was the king and he decided everything. I thought this was because this was what God wanted and father was God’s representative in France. I knew that a king was a hard-working man as he had to think about wars and how to run the country. Father was always busy and always speaking with other men. He was also looking at a lot papers. In a way, I was happy that my older brother would be the next king. This would mean I can continue having fun and not have to read so much!

However, as I said, this all changed when I was 4 years old. My brother died of tuberculosis. I remember when my mother held his lifeless body and could not even speak. She cried so much that it made everyone around her cry. I was mad at my brother for making my mother cry. I wanted him to come back. However, I was told that he was now in heaven. I tried my best to comfort my mother and stayed at her side all the time. I even promised her that I would not leave her.

The day of the funeral, Father called me into his chambers. He told me that I was now the Dauphin and this meant that I would be the next king of France. I was polite and responded that I would do what was requested.

“Your life will change,” Father said, “ You will be trained to be a good king. France needs good kings that want the best for the people of France. We will expect more of you and you will have to work hard. As a king, you must be a leader and you must make the best decisions. You will need the love of the French people and God as an ally”

Madame de Rambaud became my governess. She was not at all strict and was always in a good mood. She and a lot of others helped me do everything. They would even dress me and give me baths. I could not even go to the toilet alone. One of the great privileges for them that took care of me was to help me with the toilet. They would compete and argue for the chance to wipe me after! It was only years later how I thought this was strange. When I was the Dauphin, I never thought about it. It was the way that things were done.

My new life consisted of being woken up early. Then a handful of people would get me dressed and brush my long curly hair. I wore either a boy’s dress or a skeleton suit. The boy dresses were fashionable. As I grew older, I began wearing skeleton suits. It consisted of trousers with narrow legs but a loose fit over the hips/buttocks, buttoned to a short jacket; a shirt with a wide neck opening; and a big collar edged with frills. I was praised for how “pretty” I was. I was described as a bright, good looking child, with blue eyes, aquiline nose, elevated nostrils, well-defined mouth, pouting lips, chestnut hair parted in the middle and falling in thick curls on his shoulders. Many said I looked like my mother when she was younger. Some even said I looked like a princess!

Looking back on the days in the palace of Versailles, I was a spoiled child. This was not on purpose. It was because of the status I had. I could make demands and people would do what they could to please me. My mother was at times strict and did not want us to be selfish. I remember once when I demanded cake for breakfast and got mad at a servant for saying I should eat something more suitable. I shouted at her in a temper tantrum. Mother came in and was really mad. She told me to gain respect, I had to show it.

It was about this time, that I was sitting in Father’s office together with Mother. Father was walking back and forth. He was telling Mother that we had to cut back on the money that we spent. He said the country was bankrupt and the aristocracy did not want to pay taxes. Until he could think of how to get some money, we had to show by example and cut back on our expenses.

I had no clue of what Father was worried about. However, I could see that it annoyed Mother. She reminded my father that he was the king and he had to be more decisive. I did not like when my parents fought. I did not understand this fight as I really did not understand the concept of money. Years later, I would hear people say that father was a weak king because he could not make decisions. He was reluctant to take them and always doubted himself.

This being said, I did not believe or even think of this when we were at Versailles. I would sit in fathers office and watch how he spoke with others. I thought father was a hard worker. He was also concerned and worried about the people of France. He confided in me that he had a lot to think about. France just had a war, that was expensive and now the country had no money. To make things worse, the harvests were failing and many people were hungry.

I did not understand how people could be hungry. Every time I had food, there was a lot on the table. I spent a lot of time with mom in Petit Trianon. This was a small village outside Versailles where mom loved to be. She told me that it was a present for her and she designed it all. There were people in the village that took care of animals and plants. They always seemed to be happy and they did not seem to be hungry or sad. I thought all the people lived like this in France. Little did not know that these people were more like actors and actresses and it was just a show to make mother happy. The life of an ordinary French family was far different and worse. I just never seen this side of France.

I spent a lot of time with mother. She was always in a cheerful mood and boasted that my sister and I were the best things that ever happened to her and France. She told us about her childhood as a princess in Austria and her mother, and what it was like coming to France when she was very young. Mother often tried to explain to us that we are very lucky and very privileged. We were the most important children in France. At the same time, my mother tried telling us that most children in France are not as lucky. They do not have the things that we had.

My sister or I did not understand when mother talked about how ordinary children in France lived. I do know that my father said a lot of people were starving and suffering. I could see how this stressed him and worried him. He would pace back and forth and ask people what he should do. He kept on saying that if the king could not help, who could. I tried helping father by telling him that we could give them some of our food. Father smiled and told me not to say that too loud.

He explained that once people said that my mother advised people to eat cake when she was told that they had no bread. Father told me that people believed that my mother said this and many hated her because of it. The fact is that she never said anything like that. Father praised my mother for trying to cut back in expenses. He just hoped that people could see how she was trying.

I could not understand why people hated mother. She was a loving and caring mother. She told us that we were the most important children in France. This came with a big responsibility. We had to realize that normal people were poor and found life hard. They were the background of the country and not respected. She wanted us to respect everyone no matter what their status was. We would not help anyone if we were spoiled brats that just thought of ourselves.

Soon after I became the Dauphin, I heard two ladies at court talking about me. They were saying that I looked like a Swedish general called Axel Von Ferson. They giggled while they joked that he was my real father, so I did not deserve to be the king of France.

When I told my mother about this, she went pale. I was only 5 so I did not understand how this man could be my real father. Mother was silent for some time and then gave me a hug. She told me that some people were jealous because we were the Royal Family. These people would lie and make up stories about us. Our job was to hold our heads high and be an example for everyone. She assured me that her husband was my real dad. These two women were just starting harmful gossip. She asked me to forgive them and pray for these women.

I never saw these women at Versailles again.

One night mother rushed into my room at night time. She was crying and talking about angry mobs across the country. Mother told me that people were angry because they were suffering so much. Father soon came in and tried to get her back to bed. She was crying and saying that I was only 5. I was too young for all the turmoil. She had to stay there and protect me.

The next day I asked the governess why my mother came into my room and asked me she was so afraid. She smiled and said that I was not in danger. People loved the Royal Family and they loved me as the dauphin. They would never harm me.

I felt better until I went to father’s office. Mother was crying and asking what would become of us? I tried asking what was happening but was told not to worry. This was a bit hard seeing the worried look on Dad’s face and mom crying. At times I wished that I was older.

Versailles was usually a quiet place where people did the same things every day. However, there was suddenly a lot of shouting and even gunshots outside. I rushed to the window clutching on to my mother’s skirt. There was a mob of people coming towards the castle. They had a red, white and blue flag. Some were carrying pitchforks and others had weapons. They all looked shabby in worn-out clothes and they looked so dirty. I started crying and asking my mother what these people wanted.

I got my answer when some military men in shabby clothes marched in their office. They said they were from the revolutionary army.

One man looked at my dad and said, “You and your family are not safe here. We are moving you to a safer place.”

Little did I know that we were now prisoners!

To be continued
Share. comment and bookmark. You can also follow me to get notifications when I update. I love keeping in contact with people that comment or follow me. Thank you – Alexander Temple

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