Louis was born in 1638. He experienced a tramautic childhood and his very life was threatened by the Fronde (1648-1653). His mind was molded by the bitter Fronde. He was aware how civil and religious war had cost his contemprary, Charles II of England his crown. The great cardinal Richelieu had died in 1642 a year before his father's death. This left Queen Anne and a very young boy to complete King Louis' work. The Queen foud an Otalian-born prelate and protege of Richelieu, Cardinal Mazarin (1602-61), to assist her. They were immediately confronted with theFronde (1648-53) which for a time threatened the monarchy. Courtiers at the time described Louis as having a robust constitution and exhibiting asolemn dignity. They remarked on his grace and noble appearance. Perhaps but this sounds rather how one who wanted to stay in the good graces of the royal family would describe the young prince. Louis grew up with his younger brother Phillie under the close supervision of their mother. Her son Louis XIV was proclaimed of age to reign. Louis was, however, still only a teenager and relied heavily on his mother and Mazarin.
A regency was necessary for the young king after his father's premature death. The office fell on the queen-mother, Anne of Austria whose loyalty to France was questionable. Her husband had sought to prevent Anne from becoming sole regent. Richelieu had called Anne's loyalty into question. Louis' own experience with his mother must also have been a factor. One of Richelieu's proteges, Cardinal Mazarin made approaches to Anne and was appointed chief minister. Many historians believe the relationship becae intiment. This assured his position, and from then until is death in 1661 he directed the affairs of state. Anne raised the boy king in a continous round of pious ceremonies. Throughout his long life, Louis was taken by the externals of religion. Mazarin taught him the basics of state craf, but with an emphasis on diplomacy rather than thrift.
Courtiers at the time described Louis as having a robust constitution and exhibiting asolemn dignity. They remarked on his grace and noble appearance. Perhaps but this sounds rather how one who wanted to stay in the good graces of the royal family would describe the young prince.
Loménie de Brienne recounts how Louis loved to pound his drums, trying to replicate the beat of the palace Swiss guards. Like many boys both royal and common, he loved to play soldier with Madame de Salle, who was one of the queen's women. Louis of course was in command. He would issue ordes to the small troupe of children that he commanded. Louis grew up durung the final years of the Thirty Years War (1618-48) thus martial matters would have consumed the royal courts of the day. Clidern if the era could have not helped but be affected.
Louis was short of stature, but handsome and strong. He became an excellent horseman, fencer, and dancer. He fell in love with pagentry and martial exercises. Louis was raised to believe that he ruled by divine right,. His eraly years of insecurity, however, showed them that a powerful army was needed to ensure his rule. He came to distrust the Parlement of Paris, Paris itself, and the nobility. He labored his entire life to subject all three.
The Fronde was a French civil war resulring from the conflict between and increasongly absolutist maonarchy and the nobels of France. It occured the monarchy of King Louis XIV, but while he was still a child. It occurred at about the same time as the later stages of the Civil War in England and immediately after the Thirty Years War in Germany. All three of these conflicts were caused by the attempt of the monarchy to expand the authority of the monarchy at the expense of the nobility and wealthy merchants. The outcome in each country was radically different. The name Fronde was derived from a play sling used by the boys of Paris in mimic street fights. The very young Louis XIV was at one point in greart dabger.
Some paintings exist of Louis and his younger brother Philippe. I don't know the ages, but Louis assended the throne of France at age 5 when his brother Philippe was 3. I think this was painted years after the event, so Louie was probably made to look older than he actually was at the time. Philippe, although only about 3 or 4 in this painting, reportedly wore dresses, was kept in the company of woman and girls and was treated as a little girl by his mother, Anne, for many years. She even referred to him as 'her little girl'. This was said to have been done at the instigation of Mazarin who feared Philippe would become a threat to Louie as Louis' father's bother had become to him. Philippe duc d'Orleans founded the Orleans line of the Bourbons who were to become Italian (Sicily and Naples) and Spanish kings. The house of Orléans, had the title of first princes of the blood in France. The only male descendant to survive the Revolution was Louis-Philippe (1773-1850), who became King of the French after the revolution of 1830, replacing Charles X. Louis-Philippe was himself overthrown in the Revolution of 1848. Louis-Philippe had several sons.i
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