Marie Antoinette was the beautiful Queen of France who became a symbol for the wanton extravagance of the 18th century monarchy, and was stripped of her riches and finery, imprisoned and beheaded by her own subjects during the French Revolution that began in 1789.
As her life began there was little hint of this total reversal of life’s fortunes. Marie Antoinette was born in 1755 at very apex of the European social pyramid.
She was born a princess and archduchess, the 15th daughter of Maria Teresa, Empress of Austria. The Hapsburg house of Austria was the oldest royal house of Europe, and the young princess enjoyed the relaxed environment of the Schonbrünn Palace and the indulgence of tutors her parents, brothers and sisters.
Marie Thérèse was famous Austrian empress who counted among her many accomplishments her ability to marry her many children in ways strategic to the Austrian empire. So it was with Marie Antoinette. For this daughter, Marie Thérèse arranged a special marriage to cement the new alliance with France that she had concluded with Louis XV. So, Marie Antoinette was to leave Austria to the most prestigious throne in all Europe.