The cartoons also attempt to link President Obama with Louis XIV, or possibly Louis XVI, though it's not clear that their creators have any idea who either king was or what they looked like. As if the ignorance inherent in maligning Marie Antoinette (1755-1793) were not enough, the painting spoofed by "Gateway Pundit" and identified in the Mail article as one of her husband Louis XVI (1754-1793) actually depicts his great-great-great-grandfather Louis XIV (1638-1715), with whom I'm pretty sure Mr. Obama has nothing in common other than also being a head of state.Political debate is a healthy part of the process; it can become heated but when it sinks to naked mockery then it shows the emptiness of the cause. As for Bill O'Reilly referring to Marie-Antoinette as "villainous" I can only say that I am appalled that someone so clueless is given so much air time. (I always thought Bill would do better sounding off in a bar than on prime time television.) The "villainous" Queen's charitable works are a matter of public record. She oversaw the upbringing of several needy children, whose education she paid for, while caring for their families. She established a home for unwed mothers, called the Maternity Society. During the famine of 1787-88, the royal family sold much of their flatware to buy grain for the people, and themselves ate the cheap barley bread in order to be able to give more to the hungry.
The King and Queen were patrons of the Maison Philanthropique, a society founded by Louis XVI which helped the aged, blind and widows. The Queen taught her daughter Madame Royale to wait upon peasant children, to sacrifice her Christmas gifts so as to buy fuel and blankets for the destitute, and to bring baskets of food to the sick. Marie-Antoinette took her children with her on her charitable visits. Every Sunday, Marie-Antoinette would personally take up a collection for the poor, which the courtiers resented since they preferred to have the money on hand for gambling. Louis XVI and Marie-Antoinette contributed a great deal throughout their reign to the care of orphans and foundlings. They patronized foundling hospitals, which the Queen often visited with her children. The king and queen did not see helping the poor as anything extraordinary, but as a basic Christian duty. The royal couple's alms-giving stopped only with their incarceration in the Temple in August 1792, for then they had nothing left to give but their lives.
(Sources: Memoirs of Madame de la Tour du Pin, Marguerite Jallut's and Philippe Huisman's Marie-Antoinette, Vincent Cronin's Louis and Antoinette, Antonia Fraser's The Journey, Madame Campan's Memoirs, Mémoires de madame la Duchesse de Tourzel, Maxime de la Rocheterie's The Life of Marie-Antoinette)
Another story of Marie-Antoinette's kindness and compassion is HERE. Share