Sumptuous period drama. Harsh steps must be taken to preserve the royal reputation, while flamboyant Philippe causes a stir of his own.
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This programme contains some violent scenes,
some strong language and scenes of a sexual nature.
What news, Sire? Does the child...?
A funeral is planned.
Have the tailors arrived for our pavilion?
They are en route.
It is the talk of the court.
Sire, my heart is heavy for your loss...
Ensure the talk does not abate.
Make it the gossip of the card tables.
Leave us now.
Before we begin, Sire...
You will not address the King directly.
I think he already has.
The men we apprehended wore Spanish leather on their person.
If I wore a pair of clogs, would that make me a Dutchman?
You would have me be silent?
I only wish His Majesty to be aware,
since we already have a Spanish influence in our lives.
Her Majesty must remain abed at least a week, Sire.
And as for the condition of the child, I have an explanation.
I cannot wait to hear it.
As you know, Sire, Her Majesty has enjoyed the company
of a little blackamoor, Nabo.
She liked to play games with him - peek-a-boo and so on.
As I understand it, Sire, shortly after Her Majesty fell pregnant,
Nabo hid behind a piece of furniture and jumped out upon her
to give her a surprise, and he gave her a look of such force
that it served to corrupt the royal womb with darkness.
It must have been a very penetrating look.
Where is the child now?
A wet nurse, out of sight.
She has our trust.
Quite sure, Your Majesty.
Very well. Fabien, do as you must.
# I was the king of my own land
# Facing tempests of dust
# I'll fight until it's the end
# Creatures of my dreams
# Raise up and dance with me
# Now and forever
# I'm your king! #
Sire, we may have war, or we may have splendour,
but I do not believe that we can have both.
Then it must be war.
Then the Dutch will secure their trade routes into West Africa,
and we shall have no part of them.
To see our rivals profit in wealth and stature from our own inaction
is not a price we should be paying.
As lucrative as these routes may be for the Dutch,
you cannot put a price on glory, Sire.
The Dutch are mistaken.
And France has my wife to thank for that.
SHE WHISPERS IN SPANISH
You have no colour in your cheeks.
Unlike your daughter.
Please, husband. Where is she?
Do you know what Socrates had to say about marriage?
He said, "By all means marry.
"If you get a good wife, you'll be happy.
"Get a bad one, you'll become a philosopher."
I must tell you, madam, I am feeling VERY philosophical.
Madre de Dios...
What we do here resonates throughout the world.
Do you imagine this William of Orange in the north,
if he knew what had happened here,
would pause for a second at our borders?
That he would see the king and his country
as anything other than weak, debased,
a laughing stock?
This was not the act of a wife or queen.
This was an act of sedition by a traitor.
Where is our daughter?
Your daughter is in God's mercy.
SHE PRAYS IN SPANISH
French when it pleases you, Spanish when you choose to hide.
If the court thinks me an idiot,
at least they think me worthy of something, even if it is pity.
You will find no pity from me.
Her Majesty looks unwell.
See that Masson tends to her.
Her confinement shall be extended until she is fit to rejoin us.
When you first came to court, do you remember what I told you?
That you would reward any favour...with interest.
I am still waiting.
After you had me spread all those lies for you
about your little blonde friend.
That's what I love about you, cousin. you're so very patient.
Never doubt my affection for you.
Oh! By the king!
"The King invites you to a private showing of diverse suits of lace..."
There was a domestic working in the hallway north of the birthing room.
-"..from the master tailors, embroiderers..."
Green eyes, a scar on her chin.
I want her name.
"..a carousel will follow in their honour."
-Aren't you thrilled?
Have we heard from Rossignol on the cipher?
-The moment he sends word, you shall fetch me.
SHE SINGS IN FRENCH
That is very expensive firewood.
If I do not burn these, the rest shall die, Sire.
A greening disease is spread in many, caused by flies.
But the rootstock is strong,
and if we can girdle and graft onto the budwood,
scions take, the trees propagate, the orchard is saved.
How do you know the rootstock is strong?
What is the measure?
I make it my business to know the provenance of every tree
Your Majesty receives.
This one came first from the university at Strasbourg.
the botanic garden at Montpellier.
Before that, China, Arabia.
To know the seed is to know the root.
To know the root is to know the tree
and the fruit that follows thereafter.
So, I burn the sick to preserve the pure
and the King shall have his orange blossom.
You're very well-spoken for a soldier.
Words are weapons, Sire.
I've used many in my time.
But I'm a gardener now.
CHURCH BELLS CHIME
Just look at them.
A king either rules his ministers or is ruled by them.
Only power controls a country
and, as of now, the power lies with them.
It is time to show them who you are.
Without the documents of law before us, my edict has no legitimacy.
Where are the archives and why are they not before us?
Are they still on the road?
Sire, the decision was taken to turn the caravan around.
Taken by whom?
The road from Paris is very dangerous,
especially when it approaches the royal lands around this lodge.
We could not have court materials taken hostage.
But that is exactly what has happened, Monsieur Louvois.
The masters of the Tailor's Guild arrived safely.
One would think the King's guard
might also stand a chance of survival.
We think only of security. We merely serve, Your Majesty.
If Monsieur Louvois does not soon hold his tongue,
I may volunteer to hold it for him.
I would rather have an honest critic than a false friend, Bontemps.
Sire, he seems to talk only of his opposition to you.
He takes contrary positions to all of your plans,
then declares them thunderously to anyone who will listen.
And long may he continue.
I am sure I do not understand, Sire.
What news of your son?
Carmelite and lavender.
Do you like it?
Leave it alone.
SHE SOBS QUIETLY
Forgive me, Monsieur.
The royal baby...
We all have a heavy heart.
I saw something.
I do not understand.
The child was alive and the strangest colour!
-What madness are you speaking?
-Please, Sire, I beg you.
I say this in the strictest confidence
and in the spirit of loyalty.
My mother works for you at Saint-Cloud,
thus I felt I must speak it.
Perhaps, you might help me join her there in service?
I'm so scared!
The doctors made every effort,
but the pox was too strong,
the fever too much.
It took him.
I am with you in your loss.
Sire, you are my home.
You must grieve while you can.
Be with those you love.
I am, Sire.
You defy me?
My place is with you.
God is punishing me for hurting those closest to my heart.
He is testing you, Sire.
He is offering you a gift.
Vengeance and mercy are both His to choose.
They are also yours.
I believe He placed this child in your care for a reason.
I've heard enough.
She is strong. Let her live.
And then what?
Sire, I do not presume any authority or judgment.
Of course not.
A secret such as this has the power of a tide.
Once released, it will go where it must, beyond our control,
and that will be the end of my life,
of your life,
of everything we know of this court.
-Sire, I meant only...
-Grieve your loss.
But do not forget your place.
She needs the distraction. It will pass.
You sound very sure.
You doubt my opinion?
I only see that she has not recovered.
You have a different solution?
Why continue on the same course if there is no improvement?
Why not change what is being done?
I am not going to argue with you.
Besides, what is done is done. Have you packed the bags?
Father, stop this thinking. It will be the end.
Of both of us, if we do not take measures!
Then let me help you.
We cannot unsee what we have seen!
And they will kill us for it.
She needs us here.
Sire, I serve you now as I served your father.
He did things as they have always been done.
I see you as a very different kind of man.
Born in a new age,
born perhaps years ahead of all who love and follow you.
The choice is clear, Sire.
There are two paths.
One worn and one yet to be.
How you plant your next step ahead in this moment
will determine the way ahead for all of us.
We know how the kings of the past
would have moved against this problem.
But you are different, Sire.
You are the king of our future.
The only question is, what kind shall it be?
Add a monthly stipend to the royal household.
Under what name should I...?
The pension must remain outside of record.
Outside of ALL record.
Do as you must.
Baptise it thoroughly.
See how life fights death.
Cherish this moment.
It is God given.
Stop at once! Fabien!
Give her to me!
Our work protects the King.
Your work here is finished.
What chance does that wretch have outside these walls?
That is not your concern.
Tomorrow, the Gazette de France will report on funeral preparations
with all consideration of a royal passing.
A grave is prepared.
A grave error, to be sure.
CHOIR MUSIC DROWNS SPEECH
How is he?
As you might expect.
He should be here.
The King does not mourn.
In public, perhaps.
In truth, anywhere.
It's not only protocol. The man does not weep.
Not with you, perhaps.
It takes a woman to see it.
His heart will be full of sorrow.
if he has one,
is a whole other matter entirely.
Is it not?
You look nice.
Our Father, who art in heaven,
hallowed be Thy name.
Thy Kingdom come, Thy will be done on Earth as it is in heaven.
Give us this day our daily bread,
and forgive us our trespasses,
as we forgive those that trespass against us.
Lead us not into temptation,
but deliver us from evil.
Now and forever.
BANGS ON DOOR
Who is that?
He is your son.
Not yet, he's not.
A maid comes crying to you
and says she's got information about the royal baby and now she's dead.
Now we're told we cannot leave Versailles
because the Queen is unwell.
What's going on?
What is your brother hiding?
You know him better than anyone.
You be careful about what you say and how loudly you say it.
Do you think the King would think twice about dispatching you?
Perhaps the baby was alive after all.
We saw the child buried.
We saw a BOX buried.
Your brother thinks you're weak.
You have more power than you realise.
I intend to.
This is your moment to shine, my love.
Show them who you are.
The Spanish have fortified the towns of Charleroi, Tournai,
Douai and Lille.
General Aumont has his troops in the north - Turenne.
His battalions lie to the east of Cambrai.
I say cut off all of Flanders, along with Lille,
and the large Spanish bases in the east,
But, to achieve your goal,
we'd have to cut the Spanish off from Tournai and Douai.
Who would lead our men? Every man is accounted for.
There is one, perhaps.
But, in truth, he may not be ready.
To meet here is too dangerous.
We cannot leave while the Queen is unwell.
-The King will not have it.
-Perhaps that is his intention.
Many noble families will ride in for the carousel of fashion.
This is our moment to make our case.
I hear the Duc De Cassel shares our intent.
Then let him come.
De Cassel does his own will.
He's too rich and too powerful to listen to any other man but himself.
But, if we were to persuade his friends,
then we might yet persuade him.
No matter what, the building of Versailles must be stopped.
We grow in number every day,
and not even a king can stop a tide.
I have never seen a cipher quite like this.
Even Rossignol cannot break it.
This was in Montcourt's rooms, you say, yet he walks free?
Free, but not unwatched.
So, we do not know what it says?
These symbols share a common thread
with those we liberated from the prisoners.
Someone inside your court was helping them.
Someone inside was a friendly face.
Then we must summon Montcourt to us.
Better to lie fallow and collect information.
This paper was placed freely upon Montcourt's bureau.
So he may not have known its true purpose?
Well, one thing is clear.
There is a plot against you, Sire.
Montcourt has wounded you before and he may try again.
OPERATIC SINGING DROWNS OUT SPEECH
SHE SINGS OPERATICALLY
The men are at war and so are we.
The men use their swords, we use our beauty,
but the end is the same, my dear - conquest.
This one is nice.
Oh, you'll need more than just a dress.
A filigree bracelet and a necklace of diamonds, believe me.
But how will we pay?
Oh! Let me worry about that.
Your job is to bring me a king.
He's not even here.
When you gaze at a king, do not avert your eyes, especially
when you look as you do right now.
You were never more beautiful than at this moment. Leave us!
Take it off.
There is talk of war.
My husband would love to fight.
Is that his desire?
He talks of nothing else.
If I send him to the Spanish Netherlands, he may not return.
A glorious death would not displease him.
That is my brother you are talking about.
I speak it, Sire, but you think it.
Well, a little death is good for everyone.
Le Chevalier de Lorraine, Philippe Duc d'Orleans!
OPERATIC SINGING CONTINUES
You mock me?
How can I not?
You are an embarrassment to the King.
You mock me, you mock my brother and that makes you a traitor.
If I smite you, you will fall, which makes me a dead man.
I think you've made your point.
Have you lost your mind?
You choose who I marry.
You choose where I live and how much money I can spend,
but you do not get to choose what I wear and who I fuck.
Understand this. Everything you are reflects on me.
I've been dressed like this since I was three months old.
My goal in life was to be less than you.
It was not my choice.
It was my duty, so that I would not be the cloud in front of the sun.
You think it's hard to be a king?
Try being a king's brother for a day.
You can't trick me.
I know what you're planning here and what you're hiding.
That's right. I know you... Brother.
I have never given you anything other than my love and respect.
Is that what you say to yourself while you're fucking my wife?
Someone has to!
Everything I have, I share with you, but you won't share the truth.
How can I have your back if you won't tell me the truth?
There are some things you cannot know, that only a king can know.
What happened to the baby?
The child did not survive.
Don't you understand how rumours start?
Your silence only fuels the fire.
Let me help you.
I have never uttered an ill word against you, my brother.
It's not your words that worry me...
Majesty, I wanted you to know I've been praying for you.
As we sink into our deepest misery, we must remember:
God's will is to rouse our souls in longing for our promised Saviour.
"Know that our redeemer liveth."
You are a whore.
You come to me for contrition even as my king's seed swells your belly.
We are all damned in this place. Do you not see?
I am the queen of harlots
and you're a pious poutain and we can beg for mercy all we like.
The hell fires are gaping and will swallow us all.
Her Majesty is tired. You must leave.
You tend to Her Majesty.
I will look for the items for a poultice.
She's sick because of the birth.
Where is Nabo?
And the poultice will reduce the swelling of the womb.
-It is swelling for a reason...
-Do as I say!
Help me, please.
And call for the King.
Your Majesty, let me at least make you comfortable. Your Majesty?
Your Majesty! Get my father! Quickly!
The north and the east are out of the question. We simply cannot...
-You took it.
-Brother, you are red in the face.
You took my tactic and you gave it to him.
All my life I have longed for war, even the smallest taste,
and now you're denying me again and again!
Ask me who will lead the charge.
Who will lead the charge?
Sire, you mentioned that the man might not be ready yet.
I was talking about you, Louvois.
-you are going to war.
-RAPID APPROACHING FOOTSTEPS
Sire, the queen!
-It must be...
-God in heaven!
Push on her stomach where you feel my hand,
near the ovarium. I'll pull it out through her lower womb.
Pull what out? If she dies, we both die.
There, I have it!
Her pulse is stronger. We will never speak of this.
Speak of what?
Her Majesty was unwell, Sire, and bled,
but I'm glad to say her condition now looks as though it will improve.
So I see. You may leave.
You will stay.
Show me your arm. What is that in your hand?
Is this how you stopped the bleeding?
Lie to me, you lie to God.
Afterbirth. I removed it from her uterus. It is...
I know where it is.
How did you know it would stop the blood?
A guess. I am a midwife trained by my father.
I am also a student of anatomy and medicine.
I do not recall signing any laws allowing women doctors.
I took body parts, studied the organs,
took down detailed notes and drew them.
A justice would assume the worst and have you burnt at the stake.
If that's your command.
..is that you will remain close to me on medical matters.
As to your father's position, in the eyes of the court,
he will remain our physician,
but the advice I will heed will come from you.
Bontemps, let in some air.
Unless you advise against it?
As long as we cover her, fresh air will give much benefit.
Comfrey and calendula will aid her healing, rosemary for the pain.
Don't look so surprised. I've put many women to bed.
STRING MUSIC PLAYS
Noble opinion is ours.
We shall need more than that.
We have our tinder, but now one of us must strike the flint.
If it is to be me, so be it.
I must tell you all.
I believe that very soon we shall have a revolution in our country.
The world knows France to be a master of the battlefield,
but one glimpse around this glorious place will tell you,
soon it will be our textile mercers
and our master tailors who shall transform the world.
Our fashions will be revered just as much for their beauty,
elegance, refinement and grace, the finest in the world.
Many of you mentioned at the carousel your desire to
acquire one of the emerald rings on display.
I'm afraid to say this was never going to be possible
because I have bought every single one,
as I wished you all to have one as a gift at this very special evening.
I hope you are enjoying the orange blossoms.
I can trace the rootstock of these trees
back to the ancient citrus forests of Arabia.
Which reminds me... Montcourt?
How is your wife?
Dead, Sire. She passed away six weeks ago, sadly.
Thank you for the speed with which you rushed back to court.
I can see you didn't even have time to change after the funeral.
These are not my mourning clothes, Sire.
They're not your evening clothes, either.
Neither are they French clothes, Montcourt.
Your father, the Baron, inherited his title from his grandfather, no?
Yet this was a title originally bequeathed to his grandmother,
the Baroness of Saint-Maur, but she married no higher than Seigneur.
Seigneur Charles de Saint-Maur no less, Sire.
And no more, sadly, for you.
A farmer's son might call himself Charles de Saint-Maur
if indeed that is where he was born.
Your father was a common man with a fiefdom,
a vassal to his overlord, the true noble, the Grand Seigneur.
Isn't that right, Montcourt?
You might be labelled a vassal, perhaps, or a peasant,
yet you seek to raise yourself above those men,
both of whom would gladly sweat and toil to feed their families,
pay their taxes and honour their duties to their king.
You think yourself above them, Montcourt, yet you lie far below.
You pay nothing and do nothing,
which leads me to believe you ARE nothing, which begs the question:
What is a nothing doing at my court?
I can find you my papers, Sire.
I beg you allow me to prove my worth.
The papers are all here, Montcourt, after an inexcusable delay.
As to the delay, Sire, as I mentioned, um,
we did not wish to bother you with such trivial affairs of the state...
I AM THE STATE!
It has come to my attention that many of you are uncomfortable
here on our visits to Versailles.
Many of you prefer Paris or your lands and estates,
which you so dearly miss, some only a short ride away.
To all of you, I say this:
You will soon get used to it,
and we shall all soon discover who we are.
Your noble birth freed you from our taxes.
Your falsehood has condemned you to pay.
-I have no money but my estate.
-Take his keys, then.
-What do I do, Sire?
-I'm sure you will think of something.
You, what is your name?
Pierre de la Croix.
God smiles on you, la Croix.
I do not know that man.
He does not belong in our court.
The time has come to prove to me who you are, all of you.
You can rest assured I will do the same.
-We are all under suspicion now.
-Every single noble family must produce their papers or pay tax...
Mother, what is all this proof everyone is talking about?
Proof is proof, my dear. We have nothing to worry about.
Now, go and enjoy yourself.
Pull up a chair.
I said a chair, not a stool. A chair with arms.
Only a king may sit next to His Majesty in a chair with arms.
You're more than a king.
You're my friend.
I would very much like to hear stories about your son.
In his last hours, he asked me to tell him about my life with you.
And what did you say?
I told him the truth.
That it is God's gift to me to be by your side.
'That the gardens seem so glorious that they themselves
'gave birth to beauty and might steal the breath from any man.
'I also told my son he would one day work and live in my place,
'that he might find himself part of the finest family in the world,
'all of whom dare to dream they might one day live like a king...
'or a queen...
'..in a palace that will seduce your eyes
'and steal your heart, and that one day, when we are all gone...
'..they will write stories about this place of wonder.
'But when they do, I fear those that hear it...
'might not believe it.
'And think it some kind of fairytale.'
Oh, my God!
Did your son approve of the dream?
He asked me if that was where he was going.
I told him it was.
Some would say your son is in a better place.
I happen to believe that true paradise
lies in his father's arms,
to be here with you in this moment.
But that is not our choice.
God has made his plans and we cannot question his design,
just as my people cannot question mine.
But they will. They mean to kill me, friend.
They would kill us all to preserve the past.
They may even succeed, but change will come no matter what.
HORSES ON COBBLES OUTSIDE
And if we are to endure, there is only one course.
Which is what, Sire?
We must lay our own foundation here.
Why here, Sire?
Because I will not be the King of Paris.
I know who I am.
I am Louis XIV.
I am King of France.
Now these nobles must prove their worth to me.
See how they run.
Harsh steps must be taken to preserve the royal reputation, while flamboyant Philippe causes a stir of his own. The king hopes that humiliating a suspect noble will bring others to heel.
Continuing the lavish drama of infidelities and intrigues at the court of Louis XIV.