Reader M. Reginald O’Toole (a splendid name) has written via a private message to ask a question about Louis XIV’s letter of advice to his teenaged grandson, the newly-minted Felipe V of Spain. Did Felipe take his august grandfather’s advice?
I can’t give give an exhaustive, point-by-point answer, but in general, I would say the answer is both yes and no. Of course, some of Louis XIV’s advice, as mentioned in the last post, is in the spirit of ‘Do as I say, rather than as I do.’ For instance, Louis enjoins his grandson not to have favourites. This is amusing coming from the monarch who made the role of mistress to the King of France almost an official position.
Felipe is not known to have had any mistresses, so he can be said, in that sense, to have taken his grandfather’s advice. The Bourbon men were highly sexed. Even when they were both in their seventies, Louis XIV “honoured” Mme de Maintenon, his second, secret wife, twice a day. In this regard, Felipe also took Louis’ advice.