A Compassionate Queen

August 12, 2021

A miniature portrait of Marie-Antoinette by Anne Vallayer-Coster, one of the queen’s favorite artists and who received several important portrait commissions from the royal family. This miniature is housed at the Walters Art Museum, in Maryland.

Another time during the chase, while passing over a bridge the postilion of her carriage fell, and four of the horses passed over his body; they picked him up, bleeding and unconscious. The dauphiness immediately stopped and desired that the man’s wounds should be dressed before her.

A postilion or postillion is a person who guides a horse-drawn coach.

“My friend,” she said to a page, with spontaneous vivacity, “go for a doctor.”  “Run quickly for a litter,” she said to another; “see if he speaks, if he is conscious.” And she would not leave the place until she was assured that the wounded man would be well cared for and carried gently to Versailles, where she had him visited by her own surgeon.

Both the court and the public were enraptured, and the one remark at Paris and at Versailles was that in this act Maria Theresa would have recognized her daughter, and Henry IV his heir.

The Life of Marie Antoinette, Volume 1 By Maxime de La Rocheterie. Chapter VII, Pg. 77-78.

Short Stories on Honor, Chivalry, and the World of Nobility—no. 790

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