- Historical event:
- 7 June 1654
- The coronations of French kings were of great religious significance. During the ceremony, the king was anointed with the oil from the Holy Ampulla.
On this day in 1654, French King Louis XIV, also known by the nickname the Sun King (le Roi-Soleil), was crowned.
Louis XIV was one of the most influential kings in French history, and perhaps even in the entire history of Europe.
Indeed, in his time, France was probably the leading world power (China and India, although larger in size and population, had no such influence on the world’s seas).
Louis XIV was crowned in Reims, the traditional site of the crowning of the kings of France. He was only 15 and not yet married when he was crowned.
The powerful Cardinal Mazarin, who was born Italian, was actually the one holding the real power in France at the time of Louis’s youth.
Cardinal Mazarin was a sort of chief minister (prime minister) of young Louis XIV and held a position similar to the one of Cardinal Richelieu in the time of Louis’s father (Louis XIII).
The coronations of French kings were of great religious significance. During this ceremony, the king was anointed with the oil from the Holy Ampulla. This gave the king a specific status and it was even believed that he was able to heal a type of skin disease (scrofula) with his touch.
Louis XIV began his independent rule only in 1661, after the death of Cardinal Mazarin. Namely, the king then announced that he intends to rule without a first minister (premier).
Generally, Louis XIV is taken as an example of a so-called absolutist monarch.