Marie Antoinette, the last queen of France, died on October 16, 1793. Her death marked the end of a tumultuous period in French history and brought to a close the tragic story of a woman who had once been one of the most influential figures in Europe.
Marie Antoinette was born in Vienna in 1755, the daughter of the Holy Roman Emperor Francis I and his wife Maria Theresa. She was married to the future king of France, Louis XVI, at the age of fourteen as part of a political alliance between France and Austria.
Marie Antoinette’s early years in France were marked by lavish parties, extravagant spending, and a general disregard for the suffering of the French people. She became a symbol of the excesses of the French monarchy and was widely hated by the French people.
As the French Revolution began in 1789, Marie Antoinette’s world began to crumble around her. The royal family was forced to flee Paris in 1791, but they were eventually captured and brought back to the city.
Marie Antoinette was put on trial in 1793 and charged with a variety of crimes, including treason and conspiracy against the state. Despite her protestations of innocence, she was found guilty and sentenced to death.
On the morning of October 16, 1793, Marie Antoinette was taken from her cell in the Conciergerie prison to the Place de la Revolution, where she was executed by guillotine. She was 38 years old.
The death of Marie Antoinette marked the end of an era in French history. The French monarchy would never be restored, and the revolution would continue for several more years, ultimately leading to the rise of Napoleon Bonaparte.
Despite her many flaws and mistakes, Marie Antoinette has come to be seen as something of a tragic figure. She was a woman born into a life of privilege and excess but ultimately brought down by the forces of history. Her death symbolized the end of an era and the beginning of a new, more democratic France.