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Marie Antoinette Essay

2577 words - 11 pages

Marie Antoinette

Marie Antoinette is one of the more famous French monarchs. Born an Austrian princess, she became one of the last monarchs to rule the French. Marie Antoinette has had a big impact on the French Revolution. But sadly, she isn’t remembered as a great queen or ruler because of the way she and her husband died on the guillotine.

Born November 2, 1755, in Vienna, Austria, Marie Antoinette was the youngest daughter of Emperor Francis Stephen I and Empress Maria Theresa of the Holy Roman Empire. She was raised with the intent of someday becoming the queen of France. So in 1770, at the tender age of 15, she was wed to Louis XVI, the prince of France. Four years later, she ...view middle of the document...

She was often ridiculed for being so frivolous with her money and spending it on such silly things.

That wasn’t the only reason people didn’t like Marie; They were envious of her lavish life, and did not approve of many of the choices that she had made as a queen. Louis’s brother and cousin both thought that they would have been more capable rulers than he, and they were jealous of his marriage to Marie Antoinette. Others disapproved of her lack of queenly class, and how she disregarded court etiquette. Members of nobility often gossiped about Marie, and fabricated ridiculous stories about her personal life to spread around. They told tales of her apparently bisexuality, sending funds to Austria, and the true paternity of her children. Many believed the stories about her kids because they knew that Louis had some “issues” when it came to reproducing. It took the couple many years before they could even have sex.

In the mid 1780’s, the Diamond Necklace Affair was the talk of France. It involved Prince de Rohan and Madame Lamotte, who both wanted a place in Marie Antoinette’s court, and Boehmer the jeweller, who couldn’t convince Marie to buy his extravagant diamond necklace.

Lamotte convinced men that she was Marie’s lesbian lover, and told Rohan that Marie did, in fact, want the necklace. So, Rohan went to Boehmer and got it for her. He gave the necklace to Lamotte after meeting a prostitute dressed as Marie Antoinette on a late night rendezvous near the “Temple of Love”, where the queen apparently had some trysts with others.

When Rohan approached the queen to collect payment for the necklace, the gig was up. The king and queen found out what had happened, and both were enraged at Rohan for thinking that Marie couldn’t get the necklace without a middleman. All of this led to the arrest of the cardinal, the highest churchman in France, in front of the entire court. The queen wanted a public acquittal, so the king held a trial before Paris’s Parliament.

This whole ordeal dragged on for months, and everyone in France learned of all of the Monarchy’s dirty deeds. The highest nobles, swindlers, a prostitute who looked like Marie Antoinette, and Marie Antoinette herself were all a part of the trial. After everything that had happened, Rohan was aquitted on the charge of insulting the queen. When the verdict was read in the Paris opera house, there was mayhem, and the queen left, shocked.

Lamotte, too, was convicted of her crimes. She was branded and thrown in jail. She escaped, though, with the help of her husband. To get revenge, she told everyone that she was, in fact, Marie Antoinette’s lover. She said such things like the queen was insatiable in her desires, and that the affair was all for the queen’s amusement. This story spread like wildfire, and was widely believed.

Following the Diamond Necklace Affair, Marie’s life slowed down. Sort of. She and Louis bore four children, and she began to spend more time with her...

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