Killing Louis XVI took very little time on the morning of January 21, 1793. Scheduled for 10 AM, Paris time, the process moved quickly forward. Within thirty minutes, it was over.
What happened immediately after the King's death?
To answer that question, let's look at one of the earliest accounts, written in English, entitled Judgment and Execution of Louis XVI. King of France; With a List of the Members of the National Convention, Who voted for and against his DEATH ... by Henry Goudemetz ("A French Clergyman, emigrant in England"). Published in 1795, it tells the story of Louis' death and what happened to his body:
The corpse was immediately conveyed to the Magdalene Burying Ground, and thrown into a pit twelve feet deep, into which a considerable quantity of quick lime was cast. [Lime was used to deface the King and to destroy his remains.]
It is said, that after crying out, "Vive la Nation!" "Vive la Republique!" some volunteers dipped their pikes, and others their handkerchiefs, in the blood of the victim. One person alone had the courage to cry out, Grace, and was instantly cut down with a sabre.
Thus died Louis XVI. King of France and Navarre. He was born the 23rd of August, 1754, ascended the throne the 10th of May, 1774, and reigned eighteen years and three months. (Goudemetz, at pages 74-5.)
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Image online, courtesy Wikimedia Commons.
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