The ages of King Francis I and Prince Henry and references to Cartier's voyages to America, set the movie in about 1540, when Prince Henry was 21. However, the movie also depicts Leonardo da Vinci coming to France at the invitation of King Francis. Da Vinci came to France in 1516 and died there in 1519, the same year Prince Henry was born, and 15 years before Cartier first sailed to North America.
Prince Henry exclaims that Danielle is marrying a Belgian. Belgium was established in 1830 as a buffer between France and Germany, to prevent them from going to war so often. Before 1830, the area was a collection of villages that were repeatedly occupied by various European kingdoms. The name Belgium comes from a tribe who lived there during Julius Caesar's conquests of Gaul. He wrote, "Of all Gauls, the Belgians are the bravest." (De Bello Gallico, book I, 1.3).
While trying on the courtier's dress, Danielle says her stepmother buys presents for her stepsister like she has "money to burn." At the time, currency consisted of precious metals and stones, which would melt, not burn. Paper currency wouldn't appear for hundreds of years.
Henry gives Marguerite chocolate at the tennis game. Solid, edible chocolate pieces have only existed for about 100 years. The Spanish brought cocoa from New Spain, but the French started using it, as a drink with vanilla, in the 1800s.
When Prince Henry comes upon da Vinci's carriage being robbed one of the gypsies yells out "The royal guards!" Prince Henry is then shown looking over his shoulder to see the guards quickly approaching on horses. He rolls his eyes and is heard saying "I can't believe this," but his mouth doesn't move until a moment later.
Jacqueline says, "How was I to know he'd come flying out the side door? He was supposed to be getting married," as if she'd been outside from the beginning of the wedding. However, she is clearly seen standing next to her family during the wedding.
Danielle punches Marguerite and chases her down the stairs. Megan Dodds reaches the foot of the stairs, pauses and takes a step back to give Drew Barrymore and the cameraman a few seconds to catch up, and then continues running.
During the wedding of Prince Henry to the Princess of Spain, after he decides to let her go she runs off to the short bald guy. In the background, Prince Henry can be seen removing his cape and looking to the side. In the next scene there is a close-up shot of him removing the same cape and smiling before running off.
Near the end of the movie, Henry sits down with Danielle to try on a slipper. When it shows Danielle from the front, her hair is pushed behind on her shoulders. But when it shows her from the side or the back, her hair is separated and pulled forward on each side.
During breakfast, the morning Prince Henry steals the horse, Rodmilla is seen cracking the top off a boiled egg, asking why there is no salt at the table. When Danielle arrives with the salt, Rodmilla sprinkles a spoonful over a fully peeled egg in her bowl. In the next scene, she is scooping egg out of the shell of the original egg.
When Prince Henry and the gypsy have their sword fight, the gypsy that punches Prince Henry draws his sword. In the next shot (a one-shot of the gypsy) it is still sheathed but in the subsequent two-shot the gypsy's sword is drawn again.
After Danielle frees herself from Pierre le Pieu, Henry runs towards her. Mud is splattered on his right pant leg, above his boot. When he turns around after Danielle moves to leave, the splatter is gone.
When the gypsies grab Danielle, the gypsy leader and Henry fight. In one shot, the gypsy leader has leaves on his scarf. When we cut back to him, the leaves are gone. Then when we cut back to him a third time, the leaves are back.
In the market scene, Marguerite introduces their servants to the prince and he replies that he'd love to meet them. A noblewoman would never think to introduce her servants to a prince and the prince would never refer to them as "ladies," since that term was used only for nobility and not for any group of women, as in modern terminology.
Throughout the film, Leonardo da Vinci is referred to as "Signor da Vinci," and "da Vinci." While referring to the artist as "da Vinci" has become acceptable in modern vernacular, the term means "From Vinci," and is not a surname. Da Vinci would not have been used alone to refer to Leonardo during his lifetime; he would have been called simply "Leonardo" or "Leonardo da Vinci."
Francis and Marie are seen in a coach leaving the town church. Medieval castles and palaces had their own chapels for the royal family. Francis and Marie would not usually have worshiped in a public church.
Several people mention prisoners being sent to the Americas. The French kept prisoners "close at hand" under the eye of the king. Only trusted prisoners were sent to the Americas, to prevent revolts in the American colonies. The English sent many of their prisoners to the Americas.
At the end the Grande Dame refers to her "great-great-grandmother's portrait". Given the approximately 250-year gap between Danielle and the Grande Dame, that comes out to about 62 years between generations. It's barely possible, and highly unlikely, that there would be that few generations between them.
King Francis of France built and lived primarily at the Château de Chambord in the Loire Valley, not at the Château de Hautefort. According to legend, Da Vinci designed the château's famous double helix spiral staircase, though he died the year construction started. The salamander, the symbol of Francis I, appears throughout the film.
When Henry and Danielle are riding the horse - returning from the gypsy camp to the manor house, Danielle is seen riding "astride" (with one leg on each side of the horse). The socially correct manor for Danielle to ride a horse - especially as a "Comtesse" would have had been for Danielle to sit "aside" (with both of her legs off to one side of the horse) in front of Henry. In Europe, cultural norms held that it was unbecoming for a lady to straddle a horse while riding. From the 1300's until the early 20th century women rode "aside".
Various words, such as "philanthropist" and "management," that did not exist at the time are used. It can be assumed we are hearing a modern English translation of what the characters were actually saying.
On the day that Danielle spends with Henry - at the monastery, and later with the gypsies, she is wearing Marguerite's blue dress. After the gypsies attack, one of gypsies keeps the blue for his wife. Danielle returns to the manor that night without the dress. With so much attention being paid to "missing" items neither the Baroness nor Marguerite notice or comment that the dress is missing.