Restoration work had become urgent due to the dilapidated condition of the interior and exterior layouts, which until now could not be opened to the public. Until 2018.
The Queen's Hamlet was built for Marie-Antoinette between 1783 and 1787, based on an idea by the painter Hubert Robert. It was then constructed and decorated by Architect Richard Mique. It originally consisted of 12 or so houses with a picturesque and country-style exterior that contrasted with the refined interior decoration. Four houses were reserved for the Queen and her guests: the Queen's House, the Boudoir, the Mill and the Estate Dairy. The others served as peasants' or servants accommodation.
The current restoration schedule includes cleaning and full restoration of the framework, facing and stonework structures. Structural engineering will allow guided tours; the floors, joinery and painting will be restored according to the descriptions in the 18th-century work logbooks, or according to the arrangements made in the early 19th century by Empress Marie-Louise, the wife of Napoleon I who lived here.
Restoration of the interior decoration and refurnishing of the principal rooms in the Queen's House is one of the key elements of this operation. The rooms will be returned to their layout as designed by Empress Marie-Louise. A large number of items of furniture from this era have been preserved. Visitors will be struck by the strong contrast between the country-style exterior with its "run-down" decoration in the style of the time, and an interior design of the greatest refinement.
The Warming Room will be restored at the same time. This location once housed a large kitchen and a series of small service rooms (pantry, silverware, sideboard, washing place). It was used for the preparation of meals served in the Dining Room of the Queen's House, to which it was attached.
Restoration of the gardens and the area leading to these buildings will put the finishing touches to the operation by returning the landscape design of the Hamlet to how it was at the end of the 18th century.
This restoration is realised thanks to the patronage of Dior.
The personalities of the hamlet