“Would you marry me 230 years ago James?”

“I would marry you before Eve gave Adam the apple my love!”

“Don’t be silly! I mean would you really marry me in front of the French Court of Marie and Louis? Louis wants to have us married with him and Marie as our witnesses!”


“I don’t see why not.” said James “It won’t impact on history. In the history books it would just be seen as another garden party for them.

Yes. I think we should do it.”

“Marie asked me if we would marry at Versailles, or in Paris at the Cathedral of Notre Dame which Louis has been renovating.”

Oh Mel; we couldn’t do that, after what happened to the Cathedral, it would break our hearts to see the place where we were married 230 years ago go up in smoke!” he paused momentarily in thought and looking at her, said:

“I think we could get away with telling Marie that we would prefer a simple wedding in the gardens of Versailles. That after all is where Louis and her were married in 1770.

I didn’t realise until I read the Ching Dynasty Collection research, that Marie was only 14 when they were married.”

“I know; Marie was telling me that it was hard for her in those early years until Louis ascended to the throne in 1774.

Did you know they were married 8 years, just like us now, when Marie-Thérèse was born?” said Melanie with a rye grin.

“Yes, Marie-Thérèse seems like such an intelligent young girl, it’s hard to believe she is still only 11. She seems much older. She will make a fantastic flower girl Mel! But,” added James laughing “don’t let that give you any ideas about kids yet, WE still have all the time in our world!”


“Mélanie et James mes amis!"

{“Melanie and James my friends!”} exclaimed Marie as they arrived.

“Comme tu es merveilleux ici. Nous avons beaucoup à parler! Louis a été très occupé avec les projets de mariage pour vous. Avez-vous décidé où vous préférez? Ici ou à Notre Dame?”

{“How wonderful you are here. We have much to talk about! Louis has been very busy with the wedding plans for you. Have you decided where you would prefer? Here or at Notre Dame?”}

Melanie took the Queens hand.

“Pourrions-nous nous marier ici dans les jardins de Versailles où vous vous êtes mariés?"

{“Could we marry here in the gardens of Versailles where you were married?”}

“Cela serait parfait!"

{“That would be perfect!”} said Marie with a smile.

“Louis apprécierait que ce soit à la fin du printemps en juin, quand le temps est si magnifique ici, est-ce que cela vous convient tous les deux?"

{“Louis would enjoy it to be at the end of spring in June when the weather here is so wonderful, does that suit the both of you?”}

“Oui, ce serait parfait"

{“Yes, that would be perfect”} smiled Melanie

“Alors c'est réglé. Je pensais que vous avez très peu de bijoux à porter, je veux que vous portiez mon collier. "

{“Then it is settled. I was thinking as you have very few jewels to wear, I want you to wear my necklace.”}

Marie walked across to her jewellery box on the table at her bedside and returning, handed the exquisite pearl pendant necklace to Melanie.

Melanie’s eyes did nothing to hide her surprise as she held the gem in her hands. It was the pearl pendent that had sold at auction in Geneva in November 2018 by Sotheby’s for $32 million!


“Oh Marie, je ne pourrais pas, c'est un bijou incroyablement cher."

{“Oh Marie, I couldn’t, this is an incredibly expensive jewel.”}

“Mon ami, ce pendentif signifierait beaucoup plus pour moi si je savais que cela avait été une petite partie de ce jour de mariage très spécial. J'insiste pour que vous le portiez!”

{“My friend, this pendant would mean very much more to me if I knew it had been a small part of this most special wedding day. I insist you wear it!”} explained Marie.

The Queen continued:-

“J'ai écrit à mon amie la reine Charlotte en Angleterre pour lui demander si elle et George viendraient nous rendre visite pour votre mariage. J'ai sa lettre ici; voulez-vous m'aider à le lire? "

{“I have written to my friend Queen Charlotte in England to ask if she and George would come to visit for your wedding. I have her letter here; would you help me read it?”}

Melanie took the letter and sat down next to Marie.

The letter read: - Melanie translated into French

“Ma très chère Marie.

Je suis heureux d’entendre parler de vos projets pour le mariage de vos chères amis, Mélanie et James, dont vous avez très chaudement parlé” Melanie squeezed Marie’s hand.

Ce sera, j'en suis sûr, un événement tout à fait royal et spécial pour vous et Louis et bien sûr pour le couple heureux.

George, j’ai bien peur qu’il n’ait pas été bien avec une autre de ses maladies. Ils semblent devenir de plus en plus souvent ces jours-ci, comme je vous l'ai dit.

Notre fils George, le prince de Galles, ne m'a pas beaucoup aidé. En effet, ses excès et ses rumeurs me préoccupent et irritent constamment.

C'est avec regret; nous ne pourrons pas faire le voyage pour rendre visite à vous et à vos amis.

Je suis sûr que ce sera un événement merveilleux et je vous souhaite bonne chance à tous.

Mes salutations les plus sincères et mes meilleurs voeux à vous tous en ces temps troublés.

Votre amie la reine Charlotte

La reine de Grande-Bretagne et d'Irlande

21 février 1789”

{“My dearest Marie.

I am pleased to hear of your plans for the wedding of your dear friends Melanie and James who you have spoken most warmly about.” Melanie squeezed Marie’s hand.

“This will I am sure, be a most regal and special event for you and Louis and of course for the happy couple.

George I’m afraid has not been well with another of his sicknesses. They seem to becoming more and more often these days as I have told you about.

Our son George, the Prince of Wales has been of little help to me. Indeed, his excesses and philandering are of constant concern and irritation to me.

It is with regret therefor; we will be unable to make to the trip to visit with you and your friends.

I am sure it will be a wonderful event and I wish you all well.

My deepest regards and best wishes to all of you in these troubling times.

Your friend Queen Charlotte

The Queen of Great Britain and Ireland

February 21st 1789”}

“Avez-vous rencontré la reine?"

{“Have you met with the Queen?”} asked Marie

“Non, je n'ai pas eu le plaisir, mais un jour, j'espère que James et moi pourrons lui rendre visite, je sens que nous aurions un lien spécial."

{“No, I have not had the pleasure, but one day I hope James and I can visit her, I feel we would have a special bond.”}

Melanie thinking of her life changing necklace and the hand carved centre piece of mother of pearl jewel, once owned by Queen Charlotte.


“J'informerai Louis de ta décision de te marier ici à Versailles. Il sera content.

Marie-Thérèse est très excitée et a déjà fait part à ses couturières de son désir d'avoir la robe qu'elle souhaite porter.

C'est très excitant pour nous Mélanie.” Smiled Marie “Il y a beaucoup de problèmes en France et nous devons partager des moments privilégiés avec des amis privilégiés.”

{“I will inform Louis of your decision to be married here at Versailles. He will be pleased.

Marie-Thérèse is very excited and has already told the seamstresses of her desire for the dress she wishes to wear.

This is very exciting for us Melanie.” smiled Marie “There are many troubles in France now and we need to share special times with special friends.”}

Ching Dynasty Collection

We are the custodians of some of the most exquisite examples of hand carved artistry from 200 years ago. Here are those from the French Court of Louis XVI and the last Queen of France Marie Antoinette.