When a ruling class starts to show understanding and pity for the lower orders, idealizing them in verse, arguing over plans for reform and how to better their lot, it is a fine thing, history tells us, and a sign of genuine nobility. But on the one hand it does very little for these same lower orders, and on the other, it augurs very badly for the ruling class. It is a sign that it has lost its self-belief, lost faith in its own divinely ordered superiority: in short, it has lost its raison d’être….
The same applies to Marie Antoinette. It was all very fine, thoroughly human and extremely worthy of her that she should love nature, the people, and the whole romantic ideal that would bring the Revolution to a triumphant head. That she hated stiff Spanish formality and wanted to be just one person among others was deeply sympathetic in her. But it is not the business of a Queen to be human.I do not completely agree; I think that Marie-Antoinette was quite aware of the dignity of her position. Nevertheless, it is an interesting point. More about Szerb's book, HERE.