We walked almost to the end of the formal gardens. KE lowered himself into a fountain (dry for the winter, happily), and walked along it to the end.
When Napoleon made his brother king of this place, many years ago, he ripped out the formal gardens, preferring a more natural woodland look. Today the formal look has been restored, and it is certainly impressive. I’m conflicted in my thoughts about this. I don’t want to identify with the french revolutionaries, but I do like my gardens with a little more mystery and privacy; with curving pathways that lead to unexpected meadows, and wild tangles of roses bordered by orderly shrubbery.
A sign near the 84-horse stables said that, in order to maintain their status, royalty must always observe protocol. I think that this has never been more true than today, as many people now have the opportunity to be as wealthy and powerful as kings and queens, and class and caste have been discarded in favour of democracy. Maybe the only difference between Mr Jones and His Royal Highness would be the liveried guards, the crown, and the protocols.
We didn’t get to see the boathouse, but I read that there were two pools in the stream; an upper and a lower. The royalty swam in the upper pool.