Monday, October 20, 2008

Is Nowhere Sacred ??

Yesterday afternoon, while waiting for an NFL game to start,  I watched a bit of a film called Marie Antoinette (well actually the whole film was called Marie Antoinette), mostly because it starred the delicious Kirsten Dunst in the title role.  It didn't matter to me that she was 24 at the time and playing a 15 year old Marie - hey I've watched Grease where most of the high school cast were in their 30's - as I can suspend belief with the best of them.

It was all very slow going with long periods when there was no dialogue and we were left to 'enjoy' Ms Dunst gliding along the corridors of the Chateau De Versailles as if she had rollerblades under her huge voluminous dresses. They all glided back then.  Well not the men of course. They clacked along on the tiled floors in their hard healed shoes doing no hoovering whatsoever.  No wonder the floors were always immaculate as the women were human swiffers and gathered up any dust bunnies as they went from room to room.

I only saw about 45 minutes of the film but I was amazed, as usual, by what went on in royal circles back then and especially the way everyone treated those at the top of the pile.  Of course one has to remember that this is history the Hollywood way, but it's still fascinating.  Over a period of time we saw lots of cakes being ate, presumably preparing us for the infamous "let them eat cake" quote that was never actually spoken by MA.

Every morning there were about 15 people to help her get dressed and even more to attend to her and her hubby, the future King Louis XVI, when they ate breakfast.  No bacon sannies for them although given the quantity of items they had to pick from, I think the French Royal Family had enjoyed an All-You-Can-Eat Breakfast Buffet several centuries before chains like The Golden Coral took up the idea in America !  

I only mention these activities as they took place in the morning and this was the time of day that my part of the movie was concentrating on.  You see the newly married couple weren't exactly going like 'le clappers' in ye olde bed chambre and as we all know, producing a son and heir was high on the list of priorities if you wanted to keep your job in 18th century Europe.  Now Marie was trying her best but Louis wasn't really up for it, if you'll pardon my French.  He was more a huntin', shootin', fishin' type of guy and was happiest when combining all three pursuits.

What made me laugh was that on their wedding night, their four poster was surrounded by dad and his love interest, family members, numerous servants and even several representatives of the religious hiararchy - all there to watch the couple get into bed and then be blessed in the hopes of producing an heir after a night of rumpy pumpy.  Sadly, as I've said before, Louis wasn't one for bedroom rumpy and so no pumpy went on at all.

So each morning we'd see the assembled hand maidens gathered around the bed and the curtains would be drawn back to show Marie alone in the bed - which led us to believe that once again, Louis had not only NOT done his duty, but had skivved off early to do some outdoor pursuit instead.

Can you imagine the pressure ?  You're 15 and just married and every night you have a roomful of expectant people around your bed (thankfully they did leave once the curtains were closed) who would be there the next morning to wake you up and hoping that hubby would actually be in bed with you to let the world know that you had finally consummated the marriage.  Mind you if I was in bed with a 15 year old Austrian heiress...well better not think of that right now but they were obviously a lot more enlightened back then !

The reason this whole topic has become blogworthy (hopefully) this morning is because I read the following headline on the BBC News Site.

Witness Plea Over Man Shot In Bed

The article started as follows....... 

Detectives investigating the murder of a man who was shot dead in his bed have urged witnesses to contact them.

Now the man was in bed with his wife at 3am when this shooting took place. So assuming his wife didn't fire the shot and assuming he didn't commit suicide, we're left with the shooter, or shooters, as the only witnesses.  I assume.  I can't see him/them coming forward so just who are these witnesses that the police are urging to contact them ?

This all happened near Aylesford in Kent and I know we in the North of England tend to regard those south of the Watford Gap as nancy boy poshheads, but come on, I don't think they've gone all French Aristocracy on us and have people around their beds of a night.  Maybe the police are hoping there was a lover hiding in a bedroom cupboard or something.  Maybe a camcorder wielding peeping tom up a tree outside the bedroom window ?  

I'll be following this story with some interest and will let you know if a witness comes forward.  If one does, I'm sure he or she will be found to have had ancestors from 18th century France who were curtain openers or chamber pot emptiers or something in the service of Marie Antoinette and Crown Prince Louis.

I can tell you this. When I'm in my bed there are NO witnesses.  

Damn, how sad is THAT ?!


Milo said...

If that's the movie with lots of poodles and cream cakes I think I've seen it! Was good.

Silverback said...

Ok a movie with a glittering cast, stunning locations, awesome makeup and wardrobe, a budget that would get the banks out of their current plight and what do you remember ?

Poodles and cream cakes !!!

Yes THAT was the movie.

Daphne said...

I haven't seen the film. Does that surprise you? No, thought not. But from the sound of it I think reading your post was a lot more fun than watching the movie!

Jay said...

I'm with Daphne. I'll take your post over the movie with the poodles and cream cakes. LOL!

Witnesses! Ha! And what does wifey say? Presumably she wasn't shot dead too, so can't she give evidence? It all sounds very fishy to me.

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