Fleeing a shotgun wedding, the happy-go-lucky Fanfan is persuaded to join the army of Louis XV by the recruiting officer's daughter. She tells him that his destiny is to marry the king's daughter. His acts of derring-do bring him love and honour. He promptly rescues the king's daughter and Madame Pompadour from coach robbers and wins the princess's hand in marriage. Honour is his too when he almost single-handedly defeats the Austrian army, by which stage all his dreams have come true.