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French latrine cleaning turns up royal artifact

It’s a royal flush, thanks to Catherine de Medici!

Antique restoration experts in Paris recently struck it rich, so to speak, while cleaning up an ancient toilet. Apparently, the crew unplugged the old potty and found a fancy old hair accessory, which they believe belonged to Catherine de Medici, 16th Century French Queen consort to King Henry II.
The 3.5-inch hair clip sports the royal green and white colors of Catherine de Medici, as well as the “C” monogram of the French/Italian noblewoman and grand-niece of Pope Leo X, who eventually became the Queen Mother of France.

The latrine rehab project quickly took a hairpin turn, or so they say.

Why would the fancy French royal stoop to use a shared toilet, rather than the private throne (ahem) in the regal abode? Granted, the communal commode was part of Fontaineblue Palace, but such a queenly sort would be wont to squat in secret. 




Surely the aristocratic dame would perform her daily ablutions in high style, rather than a lowly lavatory.

According to French lore, Catherine of Medici kept several secluded cupboards in the castle, where she stored items of particular value. It surely seems odd that she would carelessly drop one of her baubles in the bathroom.

How did the Queen consort’s coiffeur clip end up in a public privy?

Was the Catherine de Medici’s hairpin simply swiped and then swished? Or did the Queen misplace her hairpin while spying on Diane de Poitiers, the King’s main mistress?

No one seems to know, although muckrakers are digging around.

Historical researchers are plumbing the depths of such details.

As the story of Catherine de Medici’s mysteriously misplaced hair clip unfolds, we commoners are scratching our heads. Clearly, the Queen could not trust her own tresses … or perhaps her personal staff.

Perhaps this paradoxical turn of events offers hope to any who have lost items of value.

Finally, we can stop blaming our dogs for eating our homework, our neighbors for stealing our newspapers, the dryer monster for swiping our socks, and many other supposed culprits of countless such unsolved crimes.

Are you still searching for something that’s gone missing?

Maybe the chambermaid flushed it in the chamber. Or, just possibly, the Queen dropped it during her own ministrations.

Where’s your homework? It’s in the can with the Queen’s barrette. Of course it is! 

Mais oui! Oui! Oui! Oui!

Pardon my French, but it may be time to clean my toilets. You just never know what one might find in there.

Catherine de Medici by Francois Clouet
Henry II and Catherine de Medici by Vasari
Public Domain/Wikipedia Commons Photos



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