France’s Fleeting Love For Their Queen

June 3, 2021

Marie Antoinette by Vigee Le Brun.

“The natural disposition of the French is to love their princes,” the Maréchal de Noailles wrote in 1753.  The people loved their dauphiness; they saw only the fresh bloom of her cheek and her tenderness of heart.  But in the distance, where Marie Antoinette was kept, the public saw her ever charming, as on the day of her arrival, kind and sympathetic, as on the day she sent all the money in her purse to those wounded on the Place Louis XV.  “Her youth,” said Montbarrey, “her face, her figure, seduced all hearts and called forth enthusiasm.” It would seem as if they hailed her as the bride of a whole people;

The charity of Louis XVI and Marie Antoinette

France, who knew not where to bestow its traditional love for its princes, gave it with both hands to the dauphiness. She was the bright beacon toward which all eyes turned, the fertile source whence sprang all the graces. It was incredible that any popular measure should be undertaken without originating with her or passing through her hands. “Madame the Dauphiness is making herself adored here,” wrote the impartial Mercy at the end of 1770; “and public opinion is so fixed on this point that some days ago on the occasion of a diminution of the price of bread the people of Paris said openly in the streets and markets that it was surely Madame the Dauphiness who had solicited and obtained this reduction for the benefit of the poor people.” These charming traits, which sprang naturally from her heart and were carried by the thousand voices of fame abroad, sustained and augmented the popular enthusiasm.

The Life of Marie Antoinette, Volume 1 By Maxime de La Rocheterie. Chapter VII, Page 76-77.

Short Stories on Honor, Chivalry, and the World of Nobility—no. 780

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