“Rousseau says: If we assume man has been corrupted by an artificial civilization, what is the natural state? The state of nature from which he has been removed? Imagine wandering up dan down the forest without industry, without speech, and without home.”
Marie Antoinette, Queen of France Yolande de Polastron, Duchesse de Polignac Elisabeth de France, ‘Madame’ Elisabeth Jeanne Bécu, Comtesse du Barry Marie Thérèse de France, Duchesse d'Angoulême Marie Thérèse de Savoie-Carignan, Princesse de Lamballe
Marie Antoinette flattered herself that the Comtesse Jules and the Princesse de Lamballe would be her especial friends, and that she should possess a society formed according to her own taste. “I will receive them in my closet, or at Trianon,” said she; “I will enjoy the comforts of private life, which exist not for us, unless we have the good sense to secure them for ourselves.” The happiness the Queen thought to secure was destined to turn to vexation. All those courtiers who were not admitted to this intimacy became so many jealous and vindictive enemies.
Marie Antoinette to the princesse de Lamballe, 1791:
No, once again, do not return, my dear heart. Do not throw yourself into
the tiger’s jaws. I suffer already too much uneasiness for my husband
and my poor little children … Adieu, my dear heart; your friendship is
my consolation and my only happiness.
I see a lot of posts saying that “Belle married into royalty” or talking about “the prince’s parents, the King and Queen”. And you know, if it was a fairy tale land like in Cinderella, I wouldn’t say anything, but here it’s specifically France, in a time period we can guess as the mid-18th century.
Surprise, Louis XV never turned into a beast.
I mean, if he actually was the sovereign, then forgetting curse or not, there would be a few issues with that. Hell, in the live-action, they even go to PARIS, which seems like it’s doing fine and not lost in anarchy. And maybe there would be more than a little provincial town around the royal castle.
In France, high-ranking noblemen were sometimes given the title of “Prince” (le Prince de Condé, le Prince de Lamballe…). They were generally distant to very-distant relatives of the current royal family, but they were not royalty. They would keep the title of Prince/Princess all their lives, as if duke or marquis.
My conclusion is that the Prince in Beauty and the Beast is not royalty, he’s just a pretty extra noble guy.
On the afternoon of Monday, the 14th of May, she quit it for Compiègne, which the king and all the court had reached in the course of the morning. As she approached the town she was met by the minister, the Duc de Choiseul, and he was the precursor of Louis himself, who, accompanied by the dauphin and his daughters, and escorted by his gorgeous company of the guards of the household, had driven out to receive her. She and all her train dismounted from their carriages. Her master of the horse and her “knight of honour” took her by the hand and conducted her to the royal coach. She sunk on her knee in the performance of her respectful homage; but Louis promptly raised her up, and, having embraced her with a tenderness which gracefully combined royal dignity with paternal affection, and having addressed her in a brief speech, which was specially acceptable to her, as containing a well-timed compliment to her mother, introduced her to the dauphin; and, when they reached the palace, he also presented to her his more distant relatives, the princes and princesses of the blood, the Duc d'Orléans and his son, the Duc de Chartres, destined hereafter to prove one of the foulest and most mischievous of her enemies; the Duc de Bourbon, the Princes of Condé and Conti, and one lady whose connection with royalty was Italian rather than French, but to whom the acquaintance, commenced on this day, proved the cause of a miserable and horrible death, the beautiful Princesse de Lamballe.
…they had raised the victim’s head so that it could not escape her
sight; it was that of the Princesse de Lamballe. Though bloody, it was
not disfigured; her blond hair, still curling, floated around the pike.
–the journal of Jean-Baptiste Cléry
[image: my scan/collection]