The Masked Ball at the Palais of Versailles

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Greetings Paris Insights readers!

Sir Robyn poses in his dashing costume.

I’m a friend of Tom and a fellow blogger in the City of Light. Unlike Tom, I tend not to blog about anything particularly useful. I’m in favour of strange observations and the occasional laugh on a blog I call “A Canadian in Paris.” Tom graciously invited me to post about a recent event that took place in Paris, specifically in a city located a little way south of Paris called Versailles.

If you are a history buff, you’ll know all about the Palace of Versailles. You’ll know that it was built by Louis the XIV back in the 17th century and construction continued for almost a century. Poor old Louis the XVI was dragged out of there in 1789 and… well if you don’t remember, you can read about him on some history blog.

Since then, the Palace of Versailles has been in the hands of the people of France and currently operates as a museum. Last Saturday, the 9th of July, the Palace of Versailles was host to a masked ball. The venue was the Orangerie, a garden featuring over 200 boxed orange trees situated around a large circular pond. Surrounding the Orangerie were a series of monstrous halls that provided an indoor setting for the gala event. Nearly 2,000 participants showed up in decidedly authentic-looking French garb dating from the 16th to the 19th centuries, though the 18th century was the hands-down favourite.

One thing to note is the rarity of this event. Only a few times in the last few centuries have ordinary people been able to party at Versailles. Certainly many tourists visit, but they do not party there. This event was quite unique. In the past decade, the only other parties there were hosted by Jon Galliano (for a royal wedding) and an Indian billionaire with a private guest list. For most of the revellers, this was a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.

Attached are a few pictures from the event EXCLUSIVE to Paris Insights. You can see more at my own blog, A Canadian in Paris, here:

Enjoy the photos,
Sir Robyn

The halls of the Orangerie are abuzz with anticipation.

Various couples went outside to take and pose for photos.

A couple looks on at a photo shoot. Notice the boxed orange trees behind them.

Military costumes made their way into the party. Some of them were very authentic.

18th century costumes were the favourite of the evening. Despite being billed as a "Viennese" ball, the costumes were decidedly French.