Louis XIV was born on 5 September 1638. He was also know as Louis le Grand (Louis the Great) and le Roi Soleil (the Sun King). He began his reign as King of France on 14 May 1643 ruling until his death on 1 September 1715. He is the longest reigning monarch on record with a period lasting 72 years and 110 days. Some British queen is now trying to steal this title away from the French King, but as she is still four years short I am hopeful she will hand off the reigns to her son or grandson before that day comes.
Louis XIV was not the greatest person in history, as he was arrogant, had more lovers and mistresses than illegitimate children and actually considered himself to be God’s representative on Earth. He did however encourage developments of the arts and philosophy, he strengthened the French military and was always willing to grant an audience to any of his subjects who so requested regardless of their station. Louis XIV owned the magnificent French Blue, the gorgeous diamond that was stolen during the French Revolution, taken to London and desecrated into what is now called the Hope Diamond.
He had a difficult relationship with Paris for a few reasons and that makes sense as to why he moved the court to the Château de Versailles in 1682. He transformed this hunting lodge into a grand palace fit for The King. If you have never been lucky enough to see this marvelous estate for yourself, I highly suggest you add it to you travel bucket list. King Louis XIV lived an incredible and exciting life, ruling as King of France for over 72 years, I highly recommend reading one or more of the many outstanding biographies of this legendary king. On the First of September, the anniversary of the death of the King, I hope you’ll take a moment of remembrance of this inspirational man.
Vive le Roi!