Marie Antoinette

By guusje
  • Birth

    Empress Maria Thérèse of Austria gave birth to her fifteenth and last child, Maria Antonia Josepha Joanna in Hofburg Palace, Vienna, Austria. Maria Antonia was born on All Souls' Day, a Catholic day of mourning, and during her childhood her birthday was instead celebrated the day before, on All Saint's Day, due to the connotations of the date.
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    Early life

    Maria Antonia lived a carefree early childhood, and received a typical education for a young lady: one that focuses more on religion and moral principles than on the academic subjects in which their brothers were instructed. She was terrible at languages, but she became a good musician. She learned to play the harp, the harpsichord and the flute. Maria had a beautiful voice, excelled at dancing and loved dolls. She had a difficult but loving relationship with her mother.
  • The Seven Years' War

    The Seven Years' War
    The Seven Years’ War begun, with Austria and France as allies for the first time. The struggle focused on the colonial rivalry between France and England and the fight in Germany between the house of Austria and the rising kingdom of Prussia.
  • Meeting Mozart

    Meeting Mozart
    Maria Antonia spent her formative years between the Hofburg Palace and Schönbrunn, the imperial summer residence in Vienna, where, at the age of seven, she met Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart. The boy supposedly claimed that he would marry her.
  • End of the war

    Seven Years’ War ends. To preserve the alliance between France and Austria, it was arranged that France's Louis XV's grandson should marry Maria Antonia.
  • Death of her father

    Death of her father
    Maria Antonia's father, the Holy Roman Emperor Francis I, died.
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    The discovery of several redacted letters point to a passionate affair between Marie Antoinette and Axel von Fersen, a Swedish count. They had a very close relationship and apparently sent each other several love letters. These were scribbled over, probably done by their descendants to preserve their honour. Some say that the two last children of Marie were the product of this relationship. We can not be a 100% sure if this happened and the dates are unclear, so take it with a grain of salt.
  • To France

    At only 14 years old, Maria was sent to France.
  • Arrival at France

    Maria Antonia left behind her Austrian clothing, crossed the Rhine river border, and was welcomed by French court messengers. A grand procession escorted her to the Palace of Versailles.
  • The consumation scandal

    The consumation scandal
    After the wedding, the young teenagers were escorted to the bridal chamber by the groom’s grandfather, King Louis XV. After the king blessed their bed, gave both a kiss and left the room to allow them to start producing a royal heir, nothing happened. Louis XVI suffered from a painful medical condition that rendered him impotent. Because Marie wasn't getting pregnant, rumours started circulating among the French people, most, if not all of them, painted Marie in a bad light.
  • Marriage

    The day after she met the 15-year-old future king, they were married in a lavish ceremony. The French public was hostile towards the marriage. France’s alliance with Austria had pulled the country into the disastrous Seven Years’ War, in which it was defeated by the British, both in Europe and in North America. By the time that Louis and Marie Antoinette were married, the French were critical of the Austrian alliance, and many saw Marie Antoinette as an unwelcome foreigner.
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    Queen of France

    Marie Antoinette was never liked as a queen because, on top of being Austrian, she liked spending money. She was just a teenager, so it is understandable, but the French were starving and it angered them greatly seeing how the monarchs only spent money on themselves and taxed them heavily. This is also understandable. She didn't involve herself in politics, since she was not interested and did not have the knowledge to do so.
  • Gift of Petit Trianon

    Gift of Petit Trianon
    A small château on the grounds of Versailles was given to Marie from Louis XVI. The château was originally for Louis' XV mistress, Madame de Pompadour.
  • Coronation

    Her husband, Dauphin Louis-Auguste, was crowned King Louis XVI. Marie was not crowned alongside him.
  • Consumation of marriage

    Maria Theresa dispatched one of her sons, Emperor Joseph II, to Versailles to help the couple with their problems. The problem was rectified either because the now King Louis XVI underwent surgery to correct the problem or because, in the words of the emperor, the couple had been “two complete blunderers.”
  • First pregnancy

  • Birth of daughter

    Birth of daughter
    Marie-Thérèse Charlotte was born at Versailles and given the title of Madame Royale. It was a difficult birth. She was the only child to reach adulthood. She was married to Louis Antoine, Duke of Angoulême, who was the eldest son of the future Charles X, her father's younger brother; thus the bride and groom were also first cousins.
  • Miscarriage of second child

    Some people doubt the pregnancy.
  • Death of her mother

    Death of her mother
    Empress Maria Theresa died at age 63 due to Dropsy and an unnamed respiratory problem.
    She was so respected that one of her rivals, Frederick II of Prussia, complimented her upon her death saying that she was never his enemy and honoured the Austrian throne and all women. She was buried in the family crypt, the Imperial Crypt, alongside her husband, in Vienna.
  • Confirmation of second/third pregnancy

  • Birth of son

    Birth of son
    Louis Joseph Xavier François was born and given the title of Dauphin of France.
  • Confirmation of fourth pregnancy

  • Second miscarriage

    It raised some concerns about her health.
  • The scandal of the diamond necklace

    The scandal of the diamond necklace
    The diamond necklace was first commissioned by Louis XV for his mistress, but he died a year later and the necklace remained unpaid for. The jewellers tried to sell it to the new king, but to no avail. Jeanne de la Motte tricked Cardinal Rohan into thinking that she was an agent for the queen and made him purchase the necklace in Marie's name. When the plot was uncovered, Jeanne was imprisoned for life, but Rohan was acquitted. Despite taking no part in the affair, Antoinette was bashed for it.
  • Confirmation of fifth pregnancy

  • Birth of second son

    Birth of second son
    Louis Charles was born and given the title of duc de Normandie. He was affectionately called chou d'amour (cabbage love). The child's lineage was questioned because Marie was having a romance with a Swedish count.
  • Birth of second daughter

    Birth of second daughter
    Sophie Helena Beatrice of France was the second daughter and last child of Louis XVI of France and Marie Antoinette. Sophie was born a very large baby. Some rumour she was the product of Maries' affair.
  • Death of youngest daughter, Sophie of France

    Death of youngest daughter, Sophie of France
    Her fragile health was undermined by tuberculosis. She died in Versailles after suffering 5 or 6 days of convulsions. She was only 11 months old.
    Her death caused a lot of sorrow to her parents. She was buried in the Basilica of St Denis.
  • Let them eat cake!

    Let them eat cake!
    Marie convinced Louis to resist the attempts of the Revolutionary National Assembly to abolish feudalism and restrict the royal prerogative. As a result, she became the main target of the popular agitators, whose animosity contributed to the legend that, on being told that the people had no bread, she remarked, “Let them eat cake!”
  • Death of oldest son, Louis Joseph Xavier.

    Death of oldest son, Louis Joseph Xavier.
    The Dauphin's health had been declining for quite some time. He died of tuberculosis at the age of seven. His title was left to his younger brother. His death was not mourned by the French people. He was burried in Saint Denis Basilique.
  • Start of the revolution

    Start of the revolution
    The French Revolution was a movement that began in 1789 and ended in the late 1790s with the ascent of Napoleon Bonaparte. During this period, French citizens razed and redesigned their country’s political landscape, uprooting centuries-old institutions such as absolute monarchy and the feudal system.
  • Leaving Versailles

    Leaving Versailles
    The King and Queen were moved to Tuileries Palace in Paris by a Parisian mob. There they were under the surveillance by the Garde Nationale. During her time under house arrest the Queen decided that she would no longer be involved in French politics at all.
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    While Marie was initially allowed to remain with her children, authorities soon separated them. Marie, now known as Marie Capet, was kept under strict surveillance and was not treated kindly. Her son, Louis-Charles, was locked in a dark, fetid chamber where he was fed meager rations, prevented from seeing any outside visitors and physically abused by his jailers.
  • Attempted escape

    Attempted escape
    The family was dressed as a wealthy Russian Baronesses servants. Due to the King's indecisiveness the escape was delayed many times. They were about to cross the border when someone recognized Louis from a coin. They were captured a day later and taken back to Paris. The faith (in the king) of the people was shattered, and he was charged with treason.
  • War declaration on Austria

    The French declared war on Austria and Marie Antoinette was now seen as an enemy.
  • The bonnet rouge

    The bonnet rouge
    A mob forced their way into Tuileries Palace and forced the King to wear the bonnet rouge to show his loyalty to France.
  • Fall of the Monarchy

    The Monarchy was oficially abolished. Marie Antoinette spent the rest of her days imprisoned and not being able to see her kids.
  • Execution of Louis XVI

    Execution of Louis XVI
    Louis was executed by guillotine, after being foung guilty of multiple charges.
  • Death

    Marie Antoinette was charged with treason and theft, as well as a false and disturbing charge of sexual abuse against her own son. She was executioned by guillotine at Place de la Révolution (present-day Place de la Concorde). Her last words were "Pardon me Sir, I meant not to do it." to her executer after accidentally stepping on his foot. She was only 37 years old. She was first buried in an unmarked grave and later, 21 January 1815, exhumed and reburied in the Basilica of St Denis.