'The King is dead!': Versailles livetweets Sun King's death

1st September 2015, Comments 0 comments

To mark the 300th anniversary of the Sun King's death on Tuesday, the Palace of Versailles turned to modern-day town crier Twitter to relay his slow and agonising demise from gangrene.

"Breaking News. Louis XIV passed away," the palace said from its account @CVersailles at 0615 GMT (8:15am) on Tuesday, after livetweeting the king's illness as if it were taking place today.

The hashtag #leroiestmort ("the king is dead" in English) was rolled out to mark the anniversary of his death at 76 years old on September 1, 1715.

With 72 years on the throne, king Louis XIV was the longest-reigning monarch in European history, overseeing a period of glory in France in which he built the glittering palace west of Paris.

Accompanied with paintings and drawings from the era, the reconstruction of Louis's death for the Internet age was done "from numerous historical accounts", the palace said in a statement.

These notably came from Philippe de Courcillon, Marquis de Dangeau, a French author who kept a detailed diary of his life, as well as the Anthoine brothers who worked as the king's valets.

"The king's valets have closed his eyelids and changed his shirt," read one tweet.

"Louis XIV's body is on display in his bed chamber. The whole Court is running to see him."

The series of tweets will continue up until the king's funeral.

© 2015 AFP

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