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The Coronation of Louis XVI

10 May 2019  Fri

The last of the Bourbon dynasty, Louis XVI, was crowned on 10th May 1774 at Reims Cathedral. Born as Louis-Auguste, Louis XVI was the last King of France before the fall of the monarchy during the French Revolution.

The coronation of Louis was an event full of pomp and ritual. All the high orders–civil, military, and religious– arrived to attain the ceremony. The king wore a richly decorated drapery and is brought by the servants on the aisle. He was presented to the assembly and then took his oath. He received the title of "King of the French.

When Louis XVI acceded to the throne in 1774, he was nineteen years old. As king, Louis XVI focused primarily on religious freedom and foreign policy. The first part of his reign was marked by attempts to reform the French government in accordance with Enlightenment ideas. The second part of his rule was total chaos and invoked the restlessness in the subjects.

Louis XVI was suspended and arrested at the time of the Insurrection of 10 August 1792; one month later, the absolute monarchy was abolished. He was tried by the National Convention found guilty of high treason and executed by guillotine on 21 January 1793. Louis XVI was the only King of France ever to be executed, and his death brought an end to more than a thousand years of the continuous French monarchy.

The coin shown above was issued during the reign of Louis XVI in the year 1783. The obverse depicts the left facing bust of the king with a legend around which reads LUD • XVI • D • G • FR • ETNAV • REX • starting from 7 O’clock. The reverse of the coin crowned coat of arms of France within branches with legend around that reads SIT NOMEN DOMINI BENEDICTUM 1785 starting from a little bit ahead 12 O’clock.

Image Courtesy: https://colnect.com

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