Characters – Season 1 Admin_LVL
Key Historical Characters
At 28 years old, King Louis XIV of France is in sole command of his kingdom, following the death of his mother, Anne of Austria. Louis is a spirited and seductive man, an extraordinary strategist and an utterly ruthless statesman. He is haunted by childhood memories of a bitter coup, ‘the Fronde’, when the nobles attempted to overthrow his father, Louis XIII. Louis has a dream, an obsession: to build the most beautiful palace in all of Europe – Versailles. Symbolising all the splendor and glory of France, it is a place where he will be safe at last. The nobles crave entry to this lavish château, but its purpose is to imprison and control them. The first season of VERSAILLES sees Louis XIV grow from a young King into an all-powerful absolute monarch.
Philippe «Monsieur» Louis’ Brother
Louis’ younger brother Philippe, known as Monsieur, is a free spirit, an effeminate dandy and a ferocious warrior. To prevent him from overshadowing his brother, their mother raised Philippe as a girl and worked to curtail his natural leadership talents.
A lover of art and beauty, Philippe walks the gardens of Versailles dressed as a woman and willingly submits to the sexual whims of his lover, Chevalier de Lorraine. On the battlefield, he is a formidable soldier, able to win the support of entire regiments. This does not fail to arouse immense jealousy in his brother. To further complicate matters, Philippe’s neglected wife, Henriette, finds herself in
Henriette «Madame» Philippe’s Spouse
Sister of King Charles II of England, Henriette, known as Madame, is the wife of Philippe and the mistress of King Louis. Henriette fulfills her duties with grace and elegance. A delicate English rose, fully aware of her dynastic obligations, she is a cunning politician and a force to be reckoned with. Abandoned by her husband and mistreated by Chevalier, she gradually loses the heart of Louis, who is under the spell of the sublime Madame de Montespan. Desperate to secure the love of her life, she agrees to become a pawn on the political chess board, sealing the secret Treaty of Dover between France and England… such is the price of maintaining her position.
Marie-Thérèse is King Louis’ Queen. Desperate to win back the love of her husband, she has to be satisfied by the regularity with which he performs his conjugal duties, even having spent the evening with a more entertaining mistress. Marie-Therese is docile and pious. Her rigid Spanish education means she has few friends. An isolated, tragicomic character, she uses what others mistake for stupidity to hide her most intimate secrets.
Chevalier, Philippe’s male lover, is as handsome as he is toxic. Petty and manipulative, he is the perfect conspirator. He enjoys dominating his lover and constantly belittling his rival, Henriette.
Louise de la Vallière Louis’s Abandonned Mistress
Louis’ mistress for many years, Louise de la Vallière feels she is gradually losing the King’s heart… yet she still loves him. Louis knows she is the only woman to ever love him for what he is, not for his crown. Louise knows that her adulterous relationship
with the King, and the child she secretly bears, will be severely condemned by the church. The shy pregnant mistress becomes a penitent martyr. She begs the King to grant her exile from the court so she can seek refuge in a convent and reconcile with God.
Madame de Montespan
The Court’s Femme Fatale
Madame de Montespan is witty, graceful and probably the most ambitious woman at the court of Versailles. Married to the jealous Marquis, and lady-in-waiting to the powerful, she uses her position and her talent for repartee to reach her ultimate
goal: Louis. 1667 will be the year when all her hard work finally pays off.
Louis’ Childhood Friend
Rohan is Louis’ childhood friend. A notorious womaniser and talented warrior, he always cultivated a competitive relationship with his royal companion. Behind the friendly face there’s a much darker side to Rohan. Once denied a seat at the court
by Louis, he returns harbouring extreme feelings of resentment and contempt.
Louis’ First Valet and Governor of Versailles
Bontemps is the warm and friendly Governor of Versailles. He considers it his duty to defend the King against all those who try to get near him. A rich man who sleeps each night at the foot of his master’s bed, he is the closest person to King Louis. As such, his loyalty is tested daily.
Anne Of Austria
Anne of Austria brought up her son to become the greatest King of all. Though deceased, she lives on in Louis’ dreams and memories. Like having Machiavelli on his shoulder, she whispers advice, but soon the King will reject this ghost from his past.
Key Fictional Characters
Fabien Chief of
Louis’ Police Force
Fabien is the leader of King Louis’ Stasi-like police force. Officially reporting to Bontemps, Fabien sometimes receives his orders directly from the King, when Louis has needs he knows Bontemps cannot fulfill. Fabien is terrifying not only because of
his intimidating physique, but because of his chilling eyes that see everything. He is a solitary man, emotionless it seems… until he meets Beatrice.
Beatrice is a penniless widow who tries everything to get closer to her distant cousin, Chevalier, who she plans to use as a springboard to wealth and stature. Her trump card in this quest is her beautiful daughter, Sophie, “the fairest of all” at the court
of Versailles. Beatrice is a secretive and manipulative woman. Fabien, blinded by passion, does not realise at first the true nature of his sulfurous conquest…
Sophie, the beautiful daughter of Beatrice, is 16 years old. She is a girl full of dreams, an ingénue out to enjoy life and follow her passions. However, her mother has other plans for her – a strategy to ensure her daughter achieves a privileged rank in
the court, with a place alongside the King. Soon, Sophie discovers that the glitter of Versailles hides a cruel and violent world… where one must abandon candor in order to survive.
Montcourt is a noble who took part in the rebellion against Louis’ father. An early victim of the Great Inquiry, Louis makes an example of him in front of the whole court. Montcourt turns bandit and discovers a whole new world of smuggling and violence. Recognising Montcourt’s thirst for revenge, Cassel entrusts him with an important mission: to destroy the Versailles project.
The Duke of Cassel
Cassel is the rich and powerful Duke of Northern France. He doesn’t need anyone or anything… least of all a young king determined to set new rules. He refuses to acknowledge the Great Inquiry, to submit proof of his nobility or even to listen to the King’s messengers. He might be charming, but Cassel is also a skilled manipulator. He uses all means necessary to prevent Louis’ new order from becoming a reality, including sabotaging the construction of Versailles.
The King’s Doctor
As the King’s official doctor, Masson holds a key role at court. He is a nervous man, as panicked as he is honoured by his responsibilities. Together with his daughter, Claudine, he takes us behind the scenes at Versailles. Masson believes in 17th century medicine and wishes above all else to see Claudine happy and safe… but she is getting ever closer to the King.
Claudine is a modern woman trapped in the 17th century. Brought up by her father to observe and question the world, she refuses to marry for money. Her passion is medicine and, because this discipline is closed to women, she secretly develops her skills while working as a midwife. As she gains closer access to the King, the arguments with her father intensify. Their visions of medicine conflict and Masson can’t stand the humiliation.