1. Couple of monarchs have ruled because that longer.

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Born in 1638, luigi XIV ended up being king at age 4 complying with the fatality of his father, louis XIII, and also remained on the throne for the following 72 years. This point out him together both the longest-reigning French monarch in positiveeast.org and the longest-reigning monarch of any kind of extant europe nation.

2. Louis’ mother served as his regent.

In his will, luigi XIII arranged because that a regency board of directors to preeminence on his young son’s behalf. But his Habsburg wife, ann of Austria, orchestrated an annulment of the council and took end as sole regent. In that capacity, she and her chef minister, Italian-born Cardinal Jules Mazarin, ran afoul the the country’s nobles and judges, who rose up against the crown in a collection of rebellions native 1648 to 1653. Mazarin was ultimately able come crush the dissenters, however not before Louis XIV suffered countless perceived humiliations, consisting of twice having to flee Paris. From climate on, louis XIV distrusted not only aristocrats and also commoners alike, but likewise Paris itself.

3. He rule without a chief minister.

As a young man, louis XIV mainly left the decision-making to Mazarin, his mentor and godfather. Yet when Mazarin passed away in 1661, the 22-year-old immediately informed his astonished court that he would henceforth ascendancy without a chief minister—something no French king had actually done for generations. Though countless officials supposedly expected him to quickly bore that this role, he ongoing carrying the end the routine, monotonous work of federal government for the rest of his life. Sit in on council meetings, writing letters, analysis documents, hosting international representatives and also planning armed forces strategy, he all the while consolidated power in his very own hands.

4. Louis considered himself God’s representative ~ above Earth.

Although luigi XIV did not invent the “divine ideal of kings” doctrine, which hosted that monarchs derived their authority from God and were as such entitled to wield pure power, the was certainly an adherent. The made a particular point of associating himself v the Greek and also Roman sun god Apollo, adopting the sunlight as his emblem and also even play Apollo in a royal ballet. Like countless other kings, luigi XIV likewise claimed to possess miraculous healing powers. On significant holidays the went about touching those infected through scrofula (also well-known as tuberculosis of the neck).


5. That was fairly open around his infidelities.

In 1660 luigi XIV married Marie-Thérèse, the daughter of Spain’s king, a politics expedient move that cemented peace between the 2 nations. Yet he additionally took on a wire of mistresses, three of whom gained semi-official status, showing up next come him in ~ church and even going off with him come war. Amongst other benefits, the first of those three became a duchess, the second received a chateau through 1,200 gardeners, and also the 3rd wed luigi XIV in a an enig ceremony following the death of the queen. Many of his illegitimate children, meanwhile, were provided a ideal education and also considered component of royal society.

6. He was a spiritual bigot.

A devout Catholic, louis XIV thought in the motto, “one king, one law, one faith.” To the end, the mercilessly cracked down on the country’s Protestants, known as Huguenots, who made up around 5 percent of the population. The coup de grâce come in 1685, when, in revoking the nearly century-old Edict that Nantes, he stripped castle of all religious and civil liberties. Thousands of Huguenots who continued practicing their religious beliefs were placed to death and at least 200,000 rather fled France for more tolerant lands. At about the exact same time, louis XIV expelled every Jews indigenous the French West Indies. He even went after other Catholics that didn’t adhere to his narrow watch of the faith, such as the Jansenists, who thought that humankind was inherently corrupt and that God bestowed salvation arbitrarily. In 1709 he banished the nuns indigenous the movement’s main convent and also soon after ordered the destruction, all the if lobbying the pope come condemn Jansenism as heretical.

7. He was constantly at war.

Disingenuously explain the Spanish Netherlands (roughly equivalent to contemporary Belgium) as the inheritance of his wife, louis XIV released the battle of Devolution in 1667. This invasion, together with the Dutch war (1672-1678) and also the battle of the Reunions (1683-1684), netted him a number of new territories that remain component of France come this day. However in aggressively expanding his borders, he attracted the enmity of much of the remainder of Europe, which unified in a “Grand Alliance” versus him throughout the following two conflicts: the ripe Years’ battle (1688-1697) and the war of the Spanish sequence (1701-1714). With numerous lives lost, condition and starvation rampant, the economic climate in shambles and taxes high, louis XIV had actually an apparent adjust of heart so late in life. “Do no follow the poor example that ns have collection for you,” a dying Louis said his heir. “I have regularly undertaken war as well lightly and also have sustained it for vanity. Execute not imitate me, yet be a relaxed prince.”

8. Louis owned the expect Diamond.

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As one could expect from the creator the the 700-room royal residence of Versailles, louis XIV knew a thing or two around luxury. Among his prized possessions was an tremendous diamond, then dubbed the French Blue, i m sorry purportedly developed the dazzling illusion of a sunlight at its center when positioned against a gold background. Stolen during the French Revolution, well after louis XIV’s death, it reemerged in great Britain years later on with a new cut and then bounced around from one owner come another. Now well-known as the hope Diamond, this 45.52-carat stone, maybe the most well known jewel in the world, is housed in ~ the Smithsonian’s natural positiveeast.org Museum in Washington, D.C. Not until 2009, once a command replica of the French Blue turn up, did professionals confirm definitively that the French Blue and the expect Diamond are one and the same.

9. His successor was France’s second-longest-reigning monarch.

In the last few years of his life, luigi XIV endured through a collection of family tragedies. First, in 1711, his son and heir evident died that smallpox. Then, the adhering to year, measles asserted the stays of a grandson and also a great-grandson, and also a beloved granddaughter-in-law. 2 grandsons still remained alive. However one passed away in the consequences of a 1714 hunting accident, and the other was forced to renounce the French throne as part of a deal in i beg your pardon he continued to be ruler the Spain. Luigi XIV was now down to just one potential heir: a sickly great-grandson. Though in desperation he claimed that two of his illegitimate young could end up being king if his straight line passed away out, it never came to that. Acquisition over at age 5, his great-grandson would certainly go on come govern France for the following 59 years as Louis XV.