After a recent visit to Versailles in the Spring, I was so intrigued to read about the life of Marie Antoinette, not to mention my interest initially began out of appreciation for the exquisite costume and set design of Sophia Coppola's movie, Marie Anoinette.
Madame Antoine, Archduchess of Austria, married Louis XVI at the young age of 14, leaving Austria to become the Dauphine of France. At 19, she became Queen of France. Her marriage was not properly consumated for 5 years, and became preoccupied with fashion and luxury for the lack of her husband's affection. As the daughter of Maria Teresa, and a member of the Austrian Habsburg Empire, her mother used her as a political pawn to keep Austrian alliances.
Marie Antoinette was often sympathetic and caring, and was misunderstood when uttering the famous words, "let them eat brioche," during the bread shortage of the late 1700's. Many historians question whether she ever mentioned those famous words at all, some believe it was said 100 years before her time, and it was also completely uncharacteristic of her. She was often seen as compassionate and eager to please. Sadly, her reputation dwindled as her spending continued on during a time of financial hardship in France, earning her the nickname Madame Deficit. She was executed by the guillotine in 1793 for treason, alongside the King.