E. Cobham Brewer 18101897. Dictionary of Phrase and Fable. 1898.
The right of sitting in the presence of the queen. In the
ancient French court certain ladies had the droit de tabouret (right of sitting on a tabouret in the presence of the queen). At first it was limited to princesses: but subsequently it was extended to all the chief ladies of the queens household; and later still the wives of ambassadors, dukes, lord chancellor, and keeper of the seals, enjoyed the privilege. Gentlemen similarly privileged had the droit de fauteuil.