Maria Antonia Josefa Juana of Hapsburg - Lorraine ( Vienna, 2 of November of 1755 - Paris, 16 of October of 1793 ), more well-known under the name of Maria Antonieta of Austria, real Princess of Hungary and Bohemia, Arch-duchess of Austria, reigns consorte of France ( 1774 - 1793 ) by its marriage with Luis XVI .


Daughter of the emperor of Sacrum Germanic Roman Empire Francisco I, great Tuscan Duke of and its wife Maria Teresa I, arch-duchess of Austria, princess of Hungary and queen of Bohemia, is born from 2 November of 1755 . She is the fifteenth and penultimate daughter of the imperial pair. Of her they are in charge ayas, gobernantas of the real family (Mme de Brandeiss and the severe Mme de Lerchenfeld), under the strict supervision of the empress, who has very basic ideas on the education of the children: severe hygiene, strict regime and fortification of the body. It passes his childhood between the palaces of Hofburg and Schönbrunn, in Vienna.

The empress already strives to marry to her daughter with the major of the grandsons of Luis XV that she has, more or less, the same age that she. At the same time Maria Teresa I caresses the idea to unite to another one of its daughters, Isabel, with old king Luis XV. by Treated about Versailles is to seal to the alliance franc-Austrian born from the famous “fall of the alliances” made specific in 1756, with the purpose of to neutralize the ascent of Prusia and the expansion of England .

When Maria Antonieta has 13 years the empress, old lady and widow, more is interested in their education with the purpose of to marry it. The arch-duchess takes lessons from Key with Gluck and from dance (French) with Noverre . When her mother chooses, in addition, to two actors to officially give him to song and diction classes the French ambassador protest (the actors happen then through little recommendable personages). Maria Teresa I asks to him then that it names to a teacher accepted by the crown of France. Abbot of Vermond will be, admirer of Century of the lights and become fond of to the Beautiful Arts that, sent to the imperial court, were going to repair the lagoons in the education of the young arch-duchess and to begin to prepare it for their future functions.

13 of June of 1769 the Marquess of Durfort, ambassador of France in Vienna, realizes the request of hand for Dolphin . Maria Teresa I accepts immediately. In France the devotee, hostile party by the fall of the alliances carried out by Duke of Choiseul in favor of the everlasting enemy, already calls to the future Delfina " the Austríaca", nickname that had been given him by the daughters of king Luis XV.


17 of April of 1770, Maria Antonieta resigns, officially, to its right ones on the Austrian archducal throne and, 16 of May, house with the Dolphin in Versailles. The same day of the wedding a protocol scandal takes place: the princess of Lorraine, alleging their kinship with the new Delfina, allowed itself to dance before the duchesses, great ladies of the nobility, who murmur already against " the Austríaca". And in the evening 132 people die asphyxiated in the street, in the middle of public rejoicing. Young person, beautiful, intelligent, inheriting of Hapsburg and with impressive a genealogical tree, his arrival also intensifies the jealousy of the small world of the nobility of Versailles and the manifolds and doubtful alliances. But the Delfina young person is scared to be accustomed to his new life. His spirit folds itself bad to the complexity and the cleverness of " old corte" and to the libertinism of king Luis XV and of its lover Madame du Barry . To his she avoids it husband, (the marriage is not consumed until July of 1773 ), she tries to be accustomed to the protocol and the French ceremony and detests having her cut.

On the other hand, Maria Antonieta is advisee, through the voluminous one and slanted correspondence that maintains with its mother and the count of Mercy-Argenteau, ambassador of Austria in Paris - count of Mercy, the unique person who can have, since Choiseul died months after its marriage, victim of a conspiracy brought about by Madame du Barry, the all-powerful lover of Luis XV. This famous secret correspondence of Mercy-Argenteau is an extraordinary source of intelligence on all the details of the life of Maria Antonieta after its marriage in 1770 until the death of Maria Teresa I of Austria in 1780 . According to the author of a book in which this correspondence takes shelter:

Queen of France

10 of May of 1774, Luis XVI and Maria Antonieta becomes the kings of France and Navarre, but its behavior does not change much. From the summer of 1777 the first hostile songs as small queen of twenty years begins to circulate. Maria Antonieta surrounds itself by a small court of favorites ( princess of Lamballe, baron of Besenval, Duke of Coigny, countess of Polignac ) provoking envies of other courteous ones, multiplies her clothes and the celebrations, organize letter games in which great bets are realized.

Its life in the court

Maria Antonieta tries to influence capriciously in the policy of the king appointing and dismissing ministers or following the advice interested of her friendly. Thus, by one cabezonería, is inmiscuye in the case You yaw (ambassador in London, accused of a conspiracy to take to France to the war), that brings about the fall in misfortune of Turgot . Baron Pichler, secretary of Maria Teresa I, summarizes by far tact the general opinion and writes: .

A true campaign of loss of prestige mounts against her from its access to the throne. The pamphlets circulate, accuses it to have lovers ( count of Artois, his cousin or the Swedish count Hans Axel de Fersen ) and to even maintain relations with women (with the countess of Polignac or the princess of Lamballe); to waste the public money in frivolities or their favorites; to follow the game to him Austria, directed by its brother Jose II . It is necessary to recognize, nevertheless, that she has done all the possible one to favor to the party anti-Austrian, demoting of his position to D' Aiguillon, and to replace it by Choiseul, but everything had been in vain. Versailles remains empty, flee the courteous ones scorned by the queen and those that do not have means sufficient to maintain the expenses of the court.

19 of December of 1778, Maria Antonieta has its first son: she is a girl, Maria Teresa, called " Madame Royale". 22 of October of 1781 is born the Dolphin Luis Jose (call Luis Jose Javier Francisco). But the libels have made run the news that quickly the boy is not son of Luis XVI. After the births, Maria Antonieta changes a little her form of life, but she close by follows the construction of " Hameau" in Versailles, a village in miniature in which the queen creates to discover the rustic life. It is dedicated to the charity. 27 of March of 1785 is born his third son, Luis-Car them ( Luis XVII ), Duke of Normandy . 9 of June of 1787 is born its last daughter Sofia Beatriz ( Maria Sofia Helena Beatriz ) who died with a year of life of Tuberculosis ( 19 of July of 1788 ).

Great part than we know this period must to Memories of Madame Campan, the main informer of Reina.

The case of the necklace

In July of 1785 explodes " case of the necklace ": Bohmer jeweller demands to the queen 1.5 million pounds by a diamond necklace in charge in the name of the sovereign by cardinal of Rohan . She does not become person in charge. She insists on arresting the cardinal to whom she accuses to insult it when attributing to him the purchase of the necklace and the scandal is inevitable. The king trusts the subject to the Parliament that determines that the fault corresponds to a pair of adventurers, Jeanne Valois of La Motte and its husband, and excuses to the cardinal for Rohan, deceived but innocent. The queen, although innocent also, is dealt with great thoughtlessness by the town.

Maria Antonieta takes brings back to consciousness, finally, her unpopularity and deals with to reduce her expenses, especially those of her mansion, which brings about new critics and a great scandal in the court when their favorites are private of their positions. Everything is useless since the critics continue and the queen gains the nickname of " Madame Déficit". It is accused to be in the origin of the antiparlamentary policy of Luis XVI and to appoint and to dismiss the ministers. In 1788 is she the one that induces the king to dismiss unpopular Loménie de Brienne and to replace by Necker to him. It already is too much behind schedule, Luis XVI had been too weak.

" That they eat pasteles"

In process to already untie the French revolution, one says that when the people of the town, for want of flour and wheat directly went to Versailles to face the queen, according to it counts, the queen would have responded with the phrase: “That eats pies” ( Qu' ILS mangent of brioche ), this cause a great anger in the town something that only helped to hate more to Maria Antonieta

There are many versions that say the reason of because Maria Antonieta it would have said this. Nevertheless filoso Jean-Jacques Rousseau says that the phrase did not come from her if not who of another queen Maria Teresa of Austria (wife of Luis XIV), the original phrase era S'il ait aucun pain, donnez-leur croûte au loin du pâté (If they do not have bread, that gives paté him), but for many people Maria Antonieta were the one that said that word, that in a certain sense it has been the phrase has made that it be analyzed and be recognized by everybody.

The Revolution


In 1789 the situation of the queen is untenable. The rumor that runs Monsieur (future Luis XVIII ) would have deposited in the assembly of the notables of 1787 a dossier that proved the ilegitimidad of the real infants. The rumor mentions a retirement of the queen in Val-of-Grâce . Soulavie abbot in his Mémoires historiques and politiques of the reign of Luis XVI, writes that Maria Antonieta thought that " would take with her all the curses of the town and that the real authority would be, for this reason, total and suddenly regenerated and recovered ".

4 of May of 1789 abren General States . After the opening misa monsignor of the Fare raises the pulpit that, with hard words, attacks Maria Antonieta denouncing the wild luxury of the court and of that, indifferent of this luxury, they look for the pleasure in " a puerile imitation of naturaleza" (counted by Adrien Duquesnoy in " South Journal l' Assemblée constituante"), evident reference to Small Trianón .

4 of June dies the small Luis Jose. In order to avoid expenses the Basilica of Saint-Denis is sacrificed ceremonial in . The political present time does not allow to the real family a solemn burial. Shocked by this event and disoriented by the look that the General States take, Maria Antonieta lets itself convince by the idea of a counterrevolution. In July, Luis XVI dismisses to Necker. The queen burning fire her papers and gathers her diamonds, tries to convince the king to leave Versailles and to go to place-strong a safe one, far from Paris. From 14 of July an outlawing registry circulates around Paris. The favorites of the queen are in the first place and the head of the queen has fixed the price. Is accused it to want to make jump the Parliament with a pump and to command to the troops on Paris.

1 of October takes place a new scandal: after a banquet offered to the guards of corps, of military House, a regiment of Flanders that finishes arriving at Paris, the queen is acclaimed, the white insignias are hoisted and the pisoteadas tricolors. Paris is in favor indignant by these monarchic manifestations and the given banquet when until the bread needs to the town. 5 of October a manifestation of women goes to Versailles asking bread and saying that they go in search of " panadero" (the king), " panadera" (the queen) and " small aprendiz" (the Dolphin). On the following day, in the morning, the rioters, armed peaky and knives, enter the palace, kill to two guards of corps and threaten the real family, who is itself forced to return to Paris escorted by the troops of Marquess of the Fayette and the rioters. During the passage threats against the queen are sent and they even teach to a cord promising to him a lamppost to him in the capital to hang it.

The constitutional monarchy

10 of October Luis XVI is again in Paris. With Maria Antonieta they decide to ask for the aid of the foreign monarchs, the king of Spain Carlos IV and Jose II, brother of the queen. But the king of Spain responds with evasive and 20 of February of 1790 Jose II passes away. The Fayette suggests the queen to him, with all coldness, that divorces. Others speak, almost with impudence, to undertake an adultery process and to pillage to the queen in flagrant crime with count of Fersen .

Breteuil proposes to them, at the end of 1790, an evasion plan. The idea is that they leave the Tullerías, and they take refuge in the fortress of Montmédy, next to the border. The queen is more and more single, mainly since, in October of 1790, Marcy-Argenteau has left France to hold its new position in the embassy of the Netherlands, and of which Leopoldo II, the new emperor (another one of its brothers) eludes its requests of aid. Like monarch philosopher, she advises to his sister who accepts the dictations of new Constitution . 7 of March, a letter of Mercy-Argenteau directed to the queen is intercepted and given to the Commune. Another misfortune for the queen, one test that shows its intention to sell the mother country to Austria.

20 of June takes place the evasion and the unfortunate expedition to Varennes . Quickly Paris realizes flight, although the Fayette tries to make think that the king has been raptado by against-revolutionaries. The real family, near Paris, does not feel very safe. Unfortunately, its saloon car takes a delay of more than three hours, and thus, when they arrive at the first place of encounter, the relief of Pont-of-Somme-Vesle, the engaged troops have retired thinking that the king has changed of idea. Shortly before the noon the saloon car is stopped in Varennes-in-Argonne . The conductor of the preceding relief, in Sainte-Menechould, has recognized the king. Moments of nervousness take place, nobody knows what to do and, during this lapse, the crowd arrives at Varennes. Finally, the threatened real family and in the middle of a very violent situation, is given back to Paris.

After Varennes

Interrogated in Paris by a delegation of Constituent Assembly, Luis XVI answers with evasive. Their answers, done public, provoke the wrath of the town, that demands the overthrow of the king. Maria Antonieta interview secretly with Antoine Barnave, that wants to convince the king so that it accepts his paper of constitutional monarch. 13 of September, Luis XVI, accepts the Constitution. Day 30, the constitutional Assembly dissolves and is replaced by legislative Assembly, although the rumors military with the next monarchies, in first term, Austria, become patents. The town revuelve against Maria Antonieta, to whom they describe as " monster femenina" and even of " Madame Veto" ; accusing it to want to sink to the capital in a blood bath. 3 of August of 1792, Manifest of Brunswick, inspired by Fersen, finishes inflaming the town.

10 of August takes place the insurrection. The Tullerías is assaulted, the king takes refuge in Convention, that votes its provisional suspension, and both are committed in the convent of Feuillants . On the following day, the real family is transferred to Prison of Temple . There she would die, almost two years later, their second son man, to the ten years of age, known like Luis XVII, although by all means never she reigned. During the September slaughters, princess of Lamballe, symbolic victim, wildly is assassinated and its head is exhibited in the end of a goad, walking it in front of the windows after which is Maria Antonieta. Shortly after, when already the war has begun, the real family is retained by the Convention. At the beginning of December, " is discovered; closet of hierro" in that Luis XVI keeps his secret papers. The process, as of that moment, is inevitable.

26 of December the Convention votes in favor of the death of Luis XVI, who is executed 21 of January of 1793 . 27 of March, Robespierre asks, for the first time, in front of the Convention, by the luck of the queen. 13 of July the Dolphin is separated of its trusting mother and to the shoemaker Antoine Simón. 2 of August is Maria Antonieta the one that is separated of its daughters and lead to Conciergerie, for its imprisonment. Its interrogation will begin on the following day.

The first cell of Maria Antonieta in the Conciergerie was installed in the old room of meeting of the jailers (a humble cell with a camp bed, a armchair of cane, two chairs and one table). The cell had one narrow and small window that it gave to the garden of the women. After an attempt of evasion directed by Alexandre Gonsse de Rougeville, Maria Antonieta was taken to one second cell. It separated it to a screen of the guards guarded who it.

Later, Luis XVIII made close with a wall this second cell and construct a chapel. Half the West was annexed to the real chapel by means of the premises in which it makes sure that Maximilien Robespierre spent its last hours.

The process

14 of August of 1793, Maria Antonieta is made judicial available before revolutionary Court, appearing like public prosecutor Fouquier-Tinville . If in the judgment of Luis XVI it had been tried to keep the appearances from a certain fairness, one did not take control thus of the process to Maria Antonieta. The dossier is prepared as quickly as possible; he is, obviously, incomplete, Fouquier-Tinville does not manage to find all the documents of Luis XVI.

In order to exaggerate the accusation, Tinville makes declare to the Dolphin against its mother. In front of the court, the boy blames his mother and her aunt of to him to have urged the powerful masturbation and him to have forced certain sexual games. Indignant, Maria Antonieta, asks the women of the public defend who it. The riot is avoided nearly.

Is accused it, also, to be understood with the foreign powers. As it denies it to the queen, Herman, president of the Court indicates, it like " the main instigadora of the treason of Luis Capeto", which estimates a process by high treason. The introduction of the indictment also declares:

The declarations of the position witnesses were little convincing. Maria Antonieta conversation that she: Fouquier-Tinville requests the capital punishment and declares the defendant: " declared enemy of the nation francesa" . Both lawyers of Maria Antonieta, Tronçon-Ducoudray and Chauveau-Lagarde, young people and inexpert, not knowing the dossier, only can read, aloud, some notes that have been able to write up.

Four questions go to the jury:

1. - Certainty is had of which maneuvers and contacts with the foreign powers or other outer enemies of the Republic have existed. The mentioned maneuvers and contacts had like objective to provide monetary aid, to give entered the French territory, and to facilitate the purchase to them of arms?

2. - Maria Antonieta of Austria (…) she has brings back to consciousness of to have cooperated in these maneuvers and contacts?

3. - Is had certainty of which it exists a plot and a conspiracy to lead to a civil war inside the Republic?

4. - Maria Antonieta is convinced of to have participated in this plot and this conspiracy?

To these four questions the jury responds that yes. Maria Antonieta is the condemned to the capital punishment 16 of October, two days after the beginning of the judgment, defendant of high treason. At daybreak, the sister of Luis XVI writes a letter to Madame Isabel: At noon of the day following Maria Antonieta is Guillotined without to have wanted to confess itself to the constitutional priest who had proposed to him. She was buried in the cemetery of the Madeleine, street of Anjou-Saint-Honor, with the head between the legs. Its body later was dug up 18 of 21 January of 1815 and transported to Saint-Denis.

In his unloading and reason why it is deduced of a written letter his brother, apparently she had never no influence about the political decisions taken by from the king.

After the execution of Maria Antonieta the war between France and Austria was declared, putting aim to the alliance established by Bernis and Choiseul, alliance that had resisted until that moment.

Of 1779 to 1800, the painter Vigée-Lebrun painted about thirty pictures of Maria Antonieta.

excellent Phrases at its last moments

  • Days before its death, after his husband were executed, its uprooted children of its side, the manipulated Dolphin to accuse it of Estupro, and completely single, in its prison Maria Antonieta struck the head against a beam of the ceiling becoming a wound that did not stop to bleed. Still it reigns, did not complain. Before the question of one of the guards: " You have become damage? ", Maria Antonieta answered: " No, now no longer there is nothing can hacérmelo".

  • the day of its execution, while town booed the whole it and insulted, Maria Antonieta tripped raising the scaffold and was above to the twig that was on the verge of guillotining it. The queen said to him: " Perdón".


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