Saturday, October 16, 2010

In memoriam to a beautiful soul, Marie Antoinette

Marie Antoinette Imprisoned in the Conciergerie
The Marquise de Bréhan c. 1793-95

Today is a day of mourning for me. Marie Antoinette a misunderstand woman during her time and ours was murdered on this date in 1793 during the increasing revolutionary uproar. Brought to France in 1770 as a 14 year old girl. Marie Antoinette would never see her family again. Her arranged marriage to Louis Auguste was not consummated for 7 years due to a problem with Louis. Before his death Louis wrote in his Last Will and Testament:

I beg my wife to forgive all the pain which she suffered for me, and the sorrows which I may have caused her in the course of our union; and she may feel sure that I hold nothing against her, if she has anything with which to reproach herself.

But the people and court blamed dear Marie Antoinette. She had to pay the price for this. During this period Marie Antoinette lived extravagantly to make up for the lack of affection from her husband and the endless criticism of her mother, but as time went on and she began to have children she toned it down. Marie Antoinette thought and reacted with her heart & and was impulsive. Not something popular in 18th century France where every action was to be expected. She found it hard to put up with the pomp and ceremony of the Etiquette at Versailles and sought a more intimate life. Surrounded by friends who formed a coterie, she often took refuge in her inner Cabinets in the Petit Trianon palace given to her by Louis XVI, or in her Hamlet, a genuine and picturesque village built for her. Reluctant to observe the ceremonial niceties imposed by her function, the queen progressively attracted the scorn of public opinion up to her tragic death during the French Revolution. Marie Antoinette was constantly an object of rumor and false accusations. Marie Antoinette was simply an easy target for rumor and criticism. The queen became the prime target of scurrilous pamphlets, libels and caricatures, especially after 1785 when the “Necklace Affair”. Marie Antoinette never said "Let them eat cake" and supported many charity originations and gave money to the poor. She showed very great courage in enduring her trial before the revolutionary Tribunal. On the day of her execution on 16 October 1793, her strawberry blond hair that had turned white was chopped off and she was driven through Paris in an open-air cart for all of Paris to see, wearing a simple white dress and plum colored shoes. At 12:15 pm, two and a half weeks before her thirty-eighth birthday, she was executed at the Place de la Révolutionon the present place de la Concorde. In 1815, her remains were placed in the basilica of Saint-Denis, the royal crypt.

Marie Antoinette's hair