Sidonie Laborde (Seydoux) is the reader of Queen Marie-Antoinette (Kruger). She is very devoted to her. The Queen has a very close relationship with Gabrielle de Polignac (Ledoyen). The French Revolution breaks out. The Queen and Gabrielle de Polignac are in danger because the people are angry at them.
Farewell, My Queen provides examples of:
- All Love Is Unrequited: The Queen is implied to be in love with Gabrielle de Polignac, who is ungrateful to her. Sidonie Laborde is implied to be in love with the Queen, who sends her on a suicide mission to protect Gabrielle de Polignac.
- Body Double: The Queen proposes that Sidonie Laborde impersonate Gabrielle de Polignac during her flight from Versailles, while Gabrielle will impersonate a servant. This is to protect Gabrielle, since the people are angry at her.
- End of an Age: This is Versailles in 1789, so it is the very end of the Ancien Régime.
- The Fashionista: Marie-Antoinette asks Sidonie Laborde to read her fashion catalogs rather than literature (which corresponds to the personality of the real Marie Antoinette, whose pleasures did not include reading). She asks for an embroidered flower.
- Hand-or-Object Underwear: Sidonie briefly does this when she undresses to put on the queen's dress, using both hands to cover her breasts and groin. However, she didn't keep it up for long, letting Marie-Antoinette see her nude (another hint Sidonie's attracted to her).
- Hide Your Lesbians: The Queen at least says all but explicitly she's in love with Gabrielle and asks Sidonie if she finds women attractive, while they may be more than simply friends. However, it's not made explicit. Sidonie is also hinted to be attracted by the Queen beyond simply devotion from a servant, and looks at Gabrielle sleeping naked in obvious interest. It's never made clear that Gabrielle even knows of Marie-Antoinette's attraction though, nor if she actually reciprocates it or they're in a relationship. Real rumors of Marie-Antoinette and Gabrielle having been lovers were circulated in the 1780s, though there's no hard evidence of this (they may have just been slander by their enemies, given the homophobic period).
- Historical Domain Character: Queen Marie-Antoinette, Gabrielle de Polignac, Louis XVI and his brothers, Henriette Campan, Jacob-Nicolas Moreau...
- Interrupted Intimacy: Sidonie is about to have sex with Paolo when she is called by the Queen.
- Love Triangle: The Queen loves Gabrielle, but she doesn't appear to even notice. Sidonie, meanwhile, is attracted by both but seems to love the Queen, who also appears unaware of this.
- Ms. Fanservice: At one point, Sidonie Laborde watches Gabrielle de Polignac (Virginie Ledoyen) while she is sleeping naked. Later, Sidonie Laborde (Léa Seydoux) is shown naked when she tries on a dress.
- Pimped-Out Dress: The film is set at Versailles in 1789, so they are ubiquitous. The Queen and Gabrielle's dresses stand out.
- Really Gets Around: The handsome Paolo, who boasts about his conquests.
- Royal Favorite: Gabrielle de Polignac is the favorite of Marie Antoinette, who is implied to be in love with her, but Gabrielle doesn't return her interest by half and takes her position for granted. Even so, Marie Antoinette has her personal reader (the POV character who has feelings of her own for the queen) pose as Gabrielle's double so her favorite can safely flee.
- Suicide Mission: Sidonie is sent out of Versailles as a Body Double for Gabrielle de Polignac. Given the fact that the revolutionaries have placed Polignac on top of the list of the people they want to execute, this is very dangerous.
- Undying Loyalty: Sidonie is a true believer in the monarchy and refused to flee from court after news about the storming of the Bastille reaches the Court, causing most of the aristocrats and servants to desert the palace.