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The Luxury and Tragedy of Marie Antoinette

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She was loved, hated, and beheaded

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A painting of Marie Antoinette by Elisabeth Louise Vigée-LeBrun, 1783 (Wikimedia Commons)

Born in November 1755, Marie Antoinette was the youngest daughter of Empress Maria Theresa and Emperor Francis I, who ruled over the Holy Roman Empire.

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A painting of Marie Antoinette by Joseph Ducreux, 1769 (Wikimedia Commons)

Marie Antoinette was highly popular during the early stages of her queenship. Indeed, her beauty and charm were talked about throughout France and Europe.

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A painting of Marie Antoinette by Élisabeth Vigée Le Brun, 1778 (Wikimedia Commons)

Marie Antoinette’s lifestyle didn’t go unnoticed. Before long, the people were calling her “Madame Deficit”. This hostile sentiment was fuelled by the French press, who portrayed the queen as a wicked woman.

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A painting of Marie Antoinette with her children by Élisabeth Vigée Le Brun, 1787 (Wikimedia Commons)

The French Revolution began with the Storming of the Bastille on the 14th of July 1789. The revolutionaries murdered the prison governor, released the prisoners, and seized thousands of weapons.

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A painting of Marie Antoinette by Alexander Kucharsky, 1792 (Wikimedia Commons)
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Terror, hysteria, and bloodshed continued in the wake of the queen’s death, and the revolution eventually claimed the lives of 17,000 people.

A painting of Marie-Thérèse by Antoine-Jean Gros, 1816 (Wikimedia Commons)
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