They are two of the most tragic consorts in history, both having the blood of Mary Stuart. Women of great beauty, passion and taste, both martyrs.Share
Pope Pius VII said that Louis VXI fulfilled all the qualifications of Christian martyrdom. He and Marie-Antoinette were both often referred to as the "Martyr-King and the Martyr-Queen" by faithful Catholics in the years immediately following the Revolution. Like Nicholas and Alexandra, they were killed because of what they represented, not necessarily because of what they had done. The people who killed them would have found any excuse. Most of the ordinary French people were horrified that Louis and Antoinette were killed; even many Revolutionaries thought they should have been exiled rather than executed.
Marie-Antoinette was hemorrhaging during her trial because she may have had ovarian or uterine cancer. That is just a theory. She may also have been anemic. She had suffered great emotional trauma. She was only 38 years old.
I think that the Queen of France had the more tragic life. Alexandra got to marry her great love and that makes all the difference in the world. Louis and Antoinette loved each other, but few loves can compare with the grand passion of Nicky and Alix.
Both women were devoted to their children and tried to have a real family life with them. Both loved the "simple life" and tried to create quiet refuges amid the splendor of the court.
Both women were vilified in ways that transcended all reality by their political enemies. In order to pull apart a family, destroy the image of the mother; in order to bring a nation into revolution, then destroy the reputation/ image of the queen/ empress, who was the mother figure of the people. If they could convince the people that the queen/empress was evil and that the king/tsar was an idiot, then it meant the children were no good and the entire family should be gotten rid of. It was a deliberate ploy. Antoinette and Alexandra are tragic because no matter what they did it played into the hands of their enemies. The Great Catherine outwardly had lovers and no one held it against her and she was loved by the people. Napoleon's Josephine spent more money on clothes in one year than Marie-Antoinette did in her entire life and yet Josephine was popular with the French people. It is sad that two women of virtue like Antoinette and Alexandra should be so terribly misunderstood.