‘Le roi te touche’
The coronation and the king’s healing touch
in Death and the crown
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The royal healing touch for scrofula was performed by Louis XVI after his coronation for the first time in over thirty years. This chapter examines how the ceremony was organised and by whom, drawing on the record left by a Remois woman. It delves into the history of the ceremony and of healing by touch more generally, situating this ritual in the context of contemporary medicine in order to produce an explanation of the attractions of the ritual, which drew over two thousand people to Reims to be touched by the king.

Death and the crown

Ritual and politics in France before the Revolution


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