Born in Turin, Royer went to Paris in 1725, and in 1734 became maître de musique des enfants de France, responsible for the musical education of the children of the king, Louis XV. Together with the violinist Jean-Joseph Cassanéa de Mondonville, Royer directed the Concert Spirituel, starting in 1748. Royer was at the Paris Opéra during the 1730s and the 1750s, writing six operas himself, of which the best known is the ballet-héroïqueZaïde, reine de Grenade. In 1753 he acquired the prestigious position of music director of the chambre du roi (the king's chamber), and in the same year was named director of the Royal Opera orchestra. He died in Paris.