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Oct
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Marie-Antoinette – Queen Consort of King Louis XVII (2 of 2)

Queen Consort of King Louis XVII

Good morning everyone.   This is the second part of the article and it will be good if you read the first article before reading.  Let me continue the second part now ….

As a result, she became the main target of the popular agitators, who attributed to her the celebrated and callous remark concerning the poor:  “If they have no bread, let them eat cake!”  in October 1789 popular pressure compelled the royal family to return from Versailles, to Paris, where they became hostages of the Revolutionary movement.  Six months later Marie-Antoinette opened secret communication with the Comte de Mirabeau, a prominent member of the National  Assembly who hoped to restore the authority of the crown.  Nevertheless, her mistrust of Mirabeau prevented the King from following his advice.  After assistance to a group of émigrés (nobles in exile).  They arranged for the King and Queen to escape from Paris on the night of June 20, but Revolutionary forces apprehended the royal couple at Varennes (June 25) and escorted them back to Paris.

Marie-Antoinette then attempted to shore up the rapidly deteriorating position of the crown by opening secret negotiations with Antoine Barnave, leader of the constitutional monarchist faction in the Assembly.  Barnave persuaded the King to publicly accept the new constitution (September 1791); but the Queen undermined Barnave’s position by privately urging her brother, the Holy Roman emperor Leopold ll, to conduct a counter-revolutionary crusade against France.  Leopold avoided according to her demands.  After France declared war on Austria in April 1792, Marie-Antoinette’s continuing intrigues with the Austrians further enraged the French.  Popular hatred of the Queen provided impetus to the insurrection that overthrew the monarchy on Aug. 10, 1792.

Marie-Antoinette spent the remainder of her life in Parisian prisons.  Louis XVl was executed on orders from the National Convention in January 1793, and in August the Queen was put in solitary confinement in the Conciergerie.  Despite her sufferings, her courage remained unshaken.  She was brought before the Revolutionary tribunal on Oct. 14, 1793, and guillotined two days later.

Louis-Joseph, the first son of Louis XVl and Marie-Antoinette, died in June 1789; their second son, who became the titular king of France (as Louis XVII) upon Louis XVl’s execution, died in a Parisian prison in June 1795. – The New Encyclopedia Britannica

 


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