A Need for Privacy For some historical context, many rooms in the palace were open to court, meaning the queen & king had little privacy (even in moments of illness or childbirth!). Members of the public were also allowed in the palace for such activities as watching the royal family eat dinner. It seems as though this situation of private life on display lead Marie Antoinette to long for and carve out ways for more privacy both in her design choices and her lifestyle. The late queen redesigned many rooms upon arrival to the palace including the state apartments which were too grand for her. She opted instead for smaller, more private rooms. A World of Her Own Marie Antoinette redesigned the gardens and commissioned the entire Hamlet in the gardens of the Trianon. There on the Trianon estate she was able to be “a simple “lady of the manor”, surrounded by her children and close friends” she could escape to these places on her estate and decompress. The Demise of Marie Antoinette and Life at Versailles We must remember what a sheltered life Marie Antoinette lived. She was a child at the time of her marriage and a Queen before she even celebrated her 20th birthday. The royal family left the Palace of Versailles on October 6, 1789 for the Tuileries Palace in Paris with the expectation of a quick return- this did not prove to be true. Part of the fascination and significance of Marie Antoinette and Louis XIV is that they were the last monarchy to occupy Versailles. A New Chapter for Versailles History very much stood still at the Palace of Versailles and unlike many other symbols of sovereign rule and court life, the Palace was not left to go to ruin. Instead, the Palace was declared a public establishment in 1793, restored at the expense of the Republic for the “pleasure and enjoyment of the people and to serve as useful establishments for agriculture and the arts”. Misunderstood Throughout History Since the French Revolution, a lot of historical weight has been placed on Marie Antoinette for the declining state of the country and the ultimate French Revolution. To most, Marie Antoinette was a symbol of all that was wrong with the monarchy- extravagant, oblivious, and unsympathetic. In reality, Mariet Antoinette was a young woman trying desperately to take control of her own life in the only way she knew. Marie Antoinette is cited as being “the first modern princess, stubborn and wayward, with an independence and charisma…” Her extravagances (often exaggerated) were her way of escapism, ultimately longing for a simple life. At the time of her execution it was noted that she displayed strength of character, facing the public with calmness and composure. We’ve come to understand that she was most herself when spending time on the Hamlet with her children, growing herbs, taking walks, and caring for her farm animals. A deeply misunderstood woman who was been portrayed more like a character than a human being. Not sure if we keep for anywhere: The palace of Versailles is now a shadow box of history, preserved beautifully for the enjoyment of others. A collection of rustic buildings inspired by the “timbered houses of Normandy”. Actually, on the inside of these rural dwellings they resembled the Trianon and Château. The Hamlet was seen as a way for Marie Antoinette and her friends to “play pretend” as farmers, which the public took offense to. Evidently, this area of versailles was mostly used for walks, events, and the operational farm as an education resource for the royal children. “Where the decadence of the Rococo style cedes to the purity of neoclassicism.”, as described by, Judith Thurman. The furnishings at the Trianon were much more pastoral, depicting motifs of sheafs, carved fruits and vegetables, and floral upholstery. The Trianon was quiet, and immersed in the surrounding gardens making it a tranquil place to lay low or host close friends. The Petit Trianon is austere in comparison to the main palace, modest in size, and provided a refuge for the royals away from the public eye. Each room was designed to be imposing and lavish. Grande in scale with every type of embellishment and luxury that the time offered—from painted ceilings, to gilded furniture, to Chantilly patterned hardwood flooring. The famous Hall of Mirrors inside the palace walls boasts 357 mirrors. The Château also contains numerous salons, game rooms, dining rooms, libraries, rooms for other members of court or even mistresses, the largest theatre in Europe, a chapel. and basically anything else, a young royal could ever want.The Château at The Palace of Versailles was designed as a sign of power and wealth and is often the quintessential image we associate with Versailles. The Château is one of the largest palaces in the world.