What a pain in the derrière: how Louis XV shot his horse

Breaking News

How King Louis XV came to shoot his own horse in the bottom is described, by the monarch himself, in a batch of royal letters to be auctioned in Paris today.

The hunting accident took place near Versailles in September 1766 and appears to have caused the 18th-century equivalent of banner headlines all over the country.

In a laconic note to his cousin, the Duc de Penthièvre, the king reports that his "adventure" has been "certainly exaggerated".

"The wild boar, which was very large, charged at me... My rifle misfired when I saw him and I didn't have the time to turn him aside... [the bullet] wounded my horse in the buttock," he wrote.

The collection of 344 rare letters written by French kings and princes and their wives and courtiers is expected to fetch €150,000 (£127,000) when it goes under the auctioneer's hammer at Sotheby's in Paris. The letters once belonged to the last king of France, Louis-Philippe, who was forced to abdicate in 1848 and died in exile in England two years later.

comments powered by Disqus