Marie Antoinette

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  • She was born Maria Antonia Josepha Johanna von Habsburg-Lothringen on 2 November 1755 in Vienna, Austria. She was the 15th child of Francis 1, the Holy Roman Emperor, and the Empress Maria Theresa.
  • Marie Antoinette
  • oyal women of the 18th century were seen as tools to be used in making international agreements and deals. They did not marry for their own choice, but as part of deals made by their fathers or grandfathers, and Marie Antoinette was no different. Her father made a partnership with King Louis 15th of France, and as part of that agreement, she was promised in marriage to Louis’ grandson, Louis-Auguste. In 1770, when she was fifteen, she left Austria forever, moved to France and was married to sixteen year old Louis-Auguste.
  • Life in the palace was difficult for Marie Antoinette. As queen, she was supposed to carry certain daily duties , including ‘levees’. A levee was a reception held in the morning for people to watch a royal person get out of bed, and be dressed. She was also expected to hold audiences, enjoy public meals, and several other regular duties.
  • Royal women of the 18th century were seen as tools to be used in making international agreements and deals. They did not marry for their own choice, but as part of deals made by their fathers or grandfathers, and Marie Antoinette was no different. Her father made a partnership with King Louis 15th of France, and as part of that agreement, she was promised in marriage to Louis’ grandson, Louis-Auguste. In 1770, when she was fifteen, she left Austria forever, moved to France and was married to sixteen year old Louis-Auguste.
  • She soon got bored with these and began to enjoy a life of pleasure and fun instead, with a small group of friends she gathered around her. She became known for her expensive activities, such as balls, hunting parties, gambling, sleigh races, parties and fetes. She encouraged her husband to dismiss any ministers who tried to stop her spending so much money. People began to see her as a bad influence in the court and as someone wasting France’s money. Of course, a queen's first responsibility was to provide heirs to the throne. Because in those days many children died, it was expected that a queen should start having babies soon after marrying. However, it was not until 1778 that she had her first child, a daughter, and sons in 1781 and 1785.
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