"I used to attend the King's Levee"


King Louie XIV Court
Public DomainKing Louie XIV Court


Louis XIV, while rising in the morning (his levee), would often receive visitors. He made a most elaborate ritual out of this, as he did out of everything, however trivial. The term eventually came to be used for any royal audience at whatever time of day. In England, in Swift's time, the term came to be used for an audience held by the king in the early afternoon, with only men invited.