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Marie Antoinette and Louis XVI

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Marie Antoinette and King Louis XVI

Circa 1774: King Louis XVI of France (1754 - 1793), the Dauphin de France and Marie Antoinette (1755 - 1793), queen of France.

Photo: Hulton Archive / Getty Images
Much has been written and portrayed about the marriage relationship of Marie Antoinette and Louis XVI. Here are historical facts about their lives together.

Born:

Marie Antoinette aka Maria Antonia Josepha Joanna aka Josephe Jeanne Marie Antoinette of the house of Habsburg-Lorraine: November 2, 1755 in Vienna, Austria at the Hofburg Palace.

Louis XVI aka Louis-Auguste: August 23, 1754 at Versailles.

Died:

Marie Antoinette: Executed by the guillotine on October 16, 1793. Marie Antoinette was just a couple weeks short of being 38 years old when she died.

Louis XVI: Executed by the guillotine on January 21, 1793. The evening before he died, Louis had a final farewell dinner with Marie and their children.

Ages at Wedding:

Marie Antoinette was 14; Louis XVI was 15.

Wedding Date:

On April 19, 1770 Marie Antoinette and Louis-Auguste were married by proxy in the Augustine Church in Vienna. Marie Antoinette left for France two days later. She crossed the border into France on May 7, 1770.

On May 16, 1770, their French wedding was held at Versailles in the Chapel Royal.

Her wedding dress was decorated with diamonds and pearls.

After a formal dinner and the blessing of their bed by the Archbishop of Reims, Marie Antoinette and Louis-Auguste were escorted to their bedroom. They did not consummate their marriage until seven years later, August 1777, according to a letter she wrote to her mother on August 30, 1777.

Children:

Marie Antoinette and Louis XVI had four children:
  • Marie Thérèse Charlotte: Born on Decmber 19, 1778 at Versailles. She lived in exile after the death of her family. Marie married her cousin Louis-Antoine, Duke of Angouleme in 1799. She died from pneumonia on October 19, 1851 in Vienna, Austria. Marie Thérèse is buried at the Franciscan monastery in Kostanjevica, Slovenia.
  • Louis Joseph Xavier Francois: Born on October 22, 1781. Died at the age of seven on June 4, 1789 of consumption which is known today as tuberculosis.
  • Louis Charles aka Louis XVII: Born March 27, 1785. Died at the age of ten on June 8, 1795 while alone in prison. He had been brutalized as a prisoner.
  • Sophie Béatrix: Born in 1786, Sophie died as an infant just before turning one year old in 1787.

Residences:

Marie Antoinette and Louis XVI lived at Versailles in France. Marie spent a great deal of time with her children at her Petit Trianon which was a wedding gift from her husband.

Occupations:

Marie Antoinette: Queen of France. Marie Antoinette was also the Archduchess of Austria.

Louis XVI: On June 11, 1775, he was crowned King Louis XVI in Rheims at the cathedral.

Quotes About the Marriage of Marie Antoinette and Louis XVI:

PBS on Marie Antoinette and Louis-Auguste living separate lives: "... his filled with hunting, eating, and introspection, hers with dancing, nightlife, gambling, and fashion."
Source: PBS.org

Marie Thérèse Charlotte about Marie Antoinette after Louis XVI's death: "She no longer had any hope left in her heart or distinguished between life and death."
Experts.about.com

PBS about Louis XVI: "Louis XVI was the first French king in two hundred years not to have a royal mistress."
Source: PBS.org

Explanation of the role Louis and Marie's marriage played in the French Revolution: "The marriage that for some seven years was no marriage cannot be exaggerated as an essential cause of the defamation of the queen's character. Louis' long delay in consummating the marriage not only became a subject of grave concern for those interested in the continuity of the dynasty but forever fixed the image of the king and his wife in the public mind. Spied on incessantly within the chateau, the couple became the butt of all manner of ribald humor within and later without the court ... the very faithfulness, indeed the uxoriousness [submissiveness], of Louis XVI, which made him a cuckold and dolt in the public mind, placed Marie Antoinette in an even more vulnerable position. Lacking in virility, he was seen as unable to dominate his consort. Subject to her sway, his rule was corrupted by feminine Power."
Source: The Historian. Summer 1993. v55 n4 p709(16).

Books About Marie Antoinette and Louis XVI:

Marie Antoinette: The Journey
by Lady Antonia Fraser
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Marie Antoinette
by Sofia Coppola
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Le Chevalier de Maison-Rouge
by Alexandre Dumas
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Movies About Marie Antoinette and Louis XVI:

Marie Antoinette (1938)
with Norma Shearer and Tyrone Power
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Marie Antoinette (2006)
Official Site

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