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Cleanliness in France at the time of the kings? Why didn’t they wash? Wigs and perfume, etc.

During the Middle Ages, bathing was not really fashionable. Unlike other monarchs, the French kings did not really appreciate the concept. A legend even tells that the Sun King (Louis XIV) took only one bath in his lifetime. However, there was no lack of means. Moreover, these illustrious characters of the Palace of Versailles loved fashion.

The use of perfume and alcohol

Many of you would think that at the time of King Louis XIV, running water did not yet exist. No, water has been running in the castle since the reign of Louis XIII. The palace’s bathrooms were the most luxurious in Europe and had the best equipment. The king did not forget the people and gave them more than ten standpipes for good hygiene.
The most obvious reason at the time was probably the fear of water. During the time of the Sun King, there was no lack of warnings and restrictions against the danger of water. To shower, the inhabitants of the palace, including the king, wash themselves with a simple towel soaked in alcohol and perfume. According to them, these elements allow to obtain a good hygiene.

The arrival of Marie Antoinette on the throne

Of course, we all know that this is not necessarily good for your health. This is probably the reason that accelerated the spread of the Black Death. However, the monarchs of France did not stay in this position for very long. When Louis XVI married Marie Antoinette, the country’s rulers would finally experience a healthier lifestyle.
Despite the perfumes and wigs, Marie Antoinette loved to bathe in a tub. Even if she was clothed, she loved to lounge for long hours in her bath. Inspired by the Queen, the King gradually learned cleanliness.

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