Campaign of the Month: August 2011
Le Ballet de l'Acier
The grands are the most powerful noble families of France, including the princes of the blood (les princes du sang, heirs to the throne of France who are not members of the king’s immediate family), the foreign princes (princes étranger, nobles with titles outside of France), and the peers.
The life of a grand is marked by power and privilege; the grands may be as powerful, and at times more powerful, than the king himself, and exert tremendous influence over the affairs of state. The decision of a grand to leave court, for example, is often taken as a sign of no-confidence in the king and his advisors; a prince of the blood or foreign prince who leaves France may be seen as a potential rival for the throne itself.
They are also well-rewarded, in chateaus, estates, offices, sinecures, and outright bribes from the crown in return for their loyalty.