Who was Marie Antoinette?

Marie Antoinette was the the fifteenth child of Francis 1. Antoinette was born on the 2nd of November, 1755 in Vienna, Austria. Antoinette grew up in a wealthy family, she lived in large palaces in Austria and had several private tutors for her education.

Marriage

Antoinette was promised marriage to the Prince of France (Louis XV) when she was 11 years of age. Antoinette’s marriage was actually meant to from an alliance between France and Austria. Eventually Antoinette was married to the French Prince at the age of 15, however she never met her husband. Soon Antoinette had finally met her husband and then they had another marriage ceremony together.

Becoming Queen

In 1774, when Louis XV (the King of France) had died, Antoinette’s husband was crowned as King Louis XVI, making Antoinette the Queen of France. Antoinette loved being queen, as she spent large amounts of money on new decorations, exotic dresses and jewelry. However, during Antoinette’s spending spree, the French economy was struggling. The average person in France couldn’t afford to buy a loaf of bread to feed their families. Therefore all eyes had turned to Antoinette, the people began to blame her. 

The Diamond Necklace Scandal

Antoinette gave birth to her first child (Maria) in 1778. Antoinette went on to have four children. Over the years, Antoinette began to get more and more involved in politics, supporting her husband’s reign and as well as supporting her home country of Austria.

During this time, the people of France believed any gossip and rumors that was spread about the Queen. One particular rumor had a story where the King of France had offered to buy Antoinette an expensive diamond necklace. Antoinette refused the offer as she said it was too expensive. Meanwhile,  a group of con artists devised a plan to steal the diamond necklace, claiming to represent the queen. However Antoinette had nothing to do with the plan.

The Trial

During the French Revolution, the government of France was in great turmoil. King Louis XVI was executed on the 21st of January, 1793. The French Government soon decided that anyone who went against the revolution would be executed, this was known as the reign of Terror. On the 16th of October, 1793, Antoinette was brought to a trial and was found guilty of the depletion of the national treasury, conspiracy against the internal and external security of the state. Antoinette was executed by Guillotine.

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