Marie Antoinette was the Queen of France before and during the French Revolution. She came to represent everything that the revolutionaries despised about the monarchy and was eventually executed by guillotine.
Marie Antoinette was born in Vienna, Austria on November 2, 1755.
Young Marie grew up as a wealthy princess. She had private tutors and lived in large palaces in Austria.
At the age of eleven, Marie was promised in marriage to the Prince of France. This wasn't the romantic marriage of a princess and prince that you see in the movies. This marriage was meant to form an alliance between the countries of Austria and France.
Wedding the Prince
At the age of 15, Marie was married to the prince of France from a distance. She had never even met her husband. A month later, she finally met the prince and they had another marriage ceremony together.
In 1774, the king of France died and Marie's husband was crowned King Louis XVI. This made Marie the Queen of France.
Queen of France
Marie loved the idea of being queen. She spent lavishly on new decorations at the palace, exotic dresses, jewelry, and fancy hairdos.
At the same time that Marie Antoinette was spending France's money on her extravagant living, the economy of France was struggling. The average person in France didn't have enough money to buy bread to feed their families.
Marie was known for her large and fancy hats.
The people began to blame Marie, the Austrian Princess, for their problems. Enemies of the king spread rumors about her wild living, free spending, and love affairs.
In 1778, Marie had her first child, a daughter named Maria. She would go on to have four children including her first son, prince Louis Joseph.
After having children, Marie Antoinette began to get more involved in politics, often supporting her home country of Austria. She also toned down her lifestyle and began to spend less.
Marie with her oldest son, the heir to the throne of France.
Let Them Eat Cake!
Despite her changes, the people were willing to believe just about any gossip that was spread about the queen. According to one popular story, when Marie was asked what the people should do when they had no bread to eat, Marie replied "Let them eat cake." While this story is most likely not true, it was stories and gossip like this that caused the people to revolt in the French Revolution.
The French Revolution began with the Storming of the Bastille on July 14, 1789.
On October 5, a large group of women and men marched from Paris to the Palace of Versailles. They demanded cheaper bread. This became known as the Women's March.
Protestors rioted outside the palace and some of them managed to find a way in. The queen and her ladies had to run from the protesters to the king's bedchamber to avoid being killed.
A painting of the queen in fear of the commoners.
The crowd demanded to see the queen. She was forced to stand on a balcony in front of the crowd while they yelled and pointed guns at her. La Fayette may have saved her life when he went to the balcony and kissed her hand.
Marie and the king were forced to move from Versailles to Paris, where they were held as prisoners. On June 20, 1791, they tried to escape. They got as far as the town of Varennes before they were arrested and forced to return to Paris.
Marie Antoinette was arrested by the revolution as an enemy of the people.
Marie being held prisoner.
During the French Revolution, the government of France was in turmoil. On January 21, 1793, King Louis XVI was executed. Later that year, the French government announced a time of "Terror". Not long after the Reign of Terror began, Marie Antoinette was brought to trial.
Marie was found guilty and was executed by guillotine on October 16, 1793.
Another depiction of Marie's execution.
Marie in hunting clothes.
Marie playing the spinet.
See It History
>> People >> Marie Antoinette
More Pictures of People
Susan B. Anthony
Vasco Da Gama
Sir Francis Drake
Lewis and Clark
See It History
About See It History
This site is a product of TSI (Technological Solutions, Inc.), Copyright 2018, All Rights Reserved. By using this site you agree to the