Pippa Rea

Pippa's Journey with a Brain Tumour

Aurevoir Eleanor

Eleanor left us on Sunday.  It also happened to be the first day it was cool and rained slightly.  We took the train out to Versaille to see the magnificent opulence and grandeur of Chateaux Versailles first built as a hunting house by King Louis XIII and later extended to become a Palace by King Louis XIV.

The visitor numbers were incredible – a moving blanket of people through the rooms.  The children marvelled to hear the life of both the kings, in particular the stories of wives, mistresses and the number of children to both wives and mistresses!  James could not relate at all with King Louis the XIV who at the age of 15 (virtually the same as James) was found a suitable child bearing wife of age 22 and had 10 children in 10 years (and that’s only the legitimate ones!).  Equal intrigue were tales of beheadings and servants having to test food for poisoning.  Pippa found it interesting that anyone was able to visit King Louis XIV so long as they weren’t beggars, ladies of the night or had small pox.  A visiting a man was required to wear a hat and a sword and if he didn’t have one he could rent one before he entered the room.  We also found it interesting that King Louis XIV had a “fake bedroom” which he would go to every morning for his ceremonious risings in front of a hundred visitors after spending the night in either his own real bedroom, the queen’s or one of his mistress’.  (I hope all these anecdotes are remembered correctly.)

French onion soup was on the menu for our last dinner with Eleanor.

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