Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Marie-Antoinette's Love for Louis XVI


With all the fervid speculations over Marie-Antoinette's relationship with Count Fersen, people forget that she saw herself first and foremost as the wife of Louis XVI, and mother of his children, the Enfants de France. There were many times she was witnessed expressing wifely affection and concern for him. Furthermore, Marie-Antoinette could have escaped without Louis and saved her life, but she refused to desert him. She sacrificed herself to remain with him, and that looks like love to me.

After the storming of the Bastille on July 14, 1789, Louis XVI went to Paris to reconcile with his subjects. Marie-Antoinette dreaded that he would be killed. When he returned safely, a contemporary writer, Lemaire, described her reaction:
This princess, as virtuous as she was amiable, whom monsters later on accused of having never loved her husband, was absolutely in despair. As soon as she heard the King's carriage entering the Cour Royale she ran towards him holding the Dauphin in her arms, then breathless and almost fainting she fell into those of the King who was no less moved than she was. Holding out one hand to his children who covered it with kisses, with the other wiping the tears from the eyes of Marie-Antoinette and Madame Elisabeth, Louis XVI smiled again...he kept on repeating: "Happily no blood was shed, and I swear that not a drop of French blood will ever be shed on my orders."
~ Histoire de la Revolution Francaise (3 vol.) by M.H. Lemaire, 1816
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2 comments:

lara77 said...

When one thinks of all the slurs and rumours against Queen Marie Antoinette; yet she was always a devoted wife and mother. Her Majesty was always conscious of her position in France;Archduchess of Austria, Dauphine de Viennois, la Reine de France et Navarre. Queen Marie Antoinette never broke her vow to God, King or Nation. It was the French People that broke their vow to her.

Matterhorn said...

One has only to look at how devastated she was by his death to know how much she loved her King.