Marie Antoinette Maria Antonia
Marie Antoinette, crayon-red chalk-drawing by J. E. Liotard, 1762 (Gottfried Keller Foundation, Geneva)
Marie Antoinette (Maria Antonia), b. Vienna, Nov. 2, 1755, d. Paris (France, executed), Oct. 16, 1793, Queen of France, youngest daughter of Maria Theresia. In 1770 married the Dauphin, who became King Louis XVI in 1774. They had four children. M. A. was erudite and musical, but superficial and arrogant; lacked diplomatic skill and was a spendthrift (called "Madame Déficit"). A controversial personality, she was hated as "the Austrian" ("l´Autrichienne"), and fuelled the escalation of the French Revolution after 1789. She tried in vain to flee with the royal family in June 1791, was confined together with husband and two surviving children in the Temple on August 10, 1792, in July 1793 separated from her son Louis Charles ("Ludwig XVII", died in 1795), imprisoned in August 1793 in the Conciergerie and beheaded after a short trial. While in prison, however, she created a good impression by her piety, courage and dignity. Of her 4 children, only her daughter Marie Thérèse Charlotte (called "Madame Royale"), from 1799 Duchess of Angoulême, survived the revolution. She lived in Frohsdorf near Wiener Neustadt from 1830, and died in Görz (Gorizia) on October 19, 1851.