Monday, September 20, 2010

Louise of Lorraine - The White Queen

On my recent trip to France I visited the Loire Valley and saw some amazing chateaus. My favorite story/room of all of the chateaus (although the story of 14 year old Anne of Brittany marrying the tiny hunchbacked Charles VIII in a secret midnight ceremony at Chateau de Langeais is pretty high on my list) is Louise of Lorraine's room at Chateau de Chenonceau. Queen Louise's husband King Henri III was assassinated leaving her a window. Being a widowed Queen she reserved the rare right of mourning in all white, thus she was given the name "The White Queen." Her room is a dream for a Gothic teenager (and me), the walls are all black and have mourning objects painted on them: silver tears, widow's cordons, crowns of thorns, and the Greek letter lambda (L) intertwined with eta (H) for Louise and Henry. Exquisite.

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