Palace of Versailles

Regular price €290,00

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The Women Behind the Throne at Versailles

The great Palace of Versailles was the seat of power of the Sun King, Louis XIV, and his two successors, but it was also a hotbed of intrigue where queens and royal mistresses played a central role. Today, most visitors see only the Palace’s formal side, but this Journey goes behind closed doors to discover the hidden face of royal life. Accompanied by Alan Riding, author, playwright and former New York Times correspondent, we explore the quarters of three women famed for their influence over the court, Madame de Pompadour and Madame du Barry, both “favorites” of Louis XV, and the inimitable Marie-Antoinette, Louis XVI’s queen. For Riding, the story of the women of Versailles is inseparable from the history of the palace before the 1789 Revolution. “I always think of Versailles as an immense theatre where the most interesting action is taking place backstage,” Riding says. “This Journey invites us to imagine how French monarchs lived and loved out of view of the public.” Completing our Journey, the spirit of Versailles is toasted with champagne at “ore,” the celebrated French chef Alain Ducasse’s restaurant at the palace, where you will learn about how the Royal court wined and dined.

  • Exclusive experience for up to 16 guests
  • Led by Alan Riding, an award-winning journalist and author most recently of “And the Show Went On,” a book about the cultural life of Paris during World War II
  • Tour the salons and boudoirs of two famous royal mistresses, rarely opened to the public, with an official expert of the Palace of Versailles and security guard opening doors just for this Journey
  • Stroll through the Hall of Mirrors and visit the newly-restored bedroom of Queen Marie-Antoinette
  • End with a glass of champagne and “canapés” in the restaurant of the renowned French chef, Alain Ducasse, where you will learn about how the Royal court wined and dined
  • Guests can stay on to enjoy the Palace gardens
  • Total experience lasts 3 hours

Meeting point is inside the Palace of Versailles Courtyard of Honor