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Marie Antoinette and her upside-down fairy tale

You know that question...if you could invite anyone to dinner, who would it be? I would so invite Marie Antoinette!

Born Maria Antonia the 15th daughter of Maria Theresia, Empress of Austria, Marie Antoinette was a loving mother and wife whose story is like an upside-down fairy tale. I resonate with Marie Antoinette because like her, I adore the arts, fashion, chocolate, flowers, dance and music. More than that, my family and friends mean the world to me. If I could go back in time I would want to hug her and help her; she was such a good person.

God Bless her Habsburg heart! The Hapsburg house of Austria was the oldest royal house of Europe and the empress proudly gave Marie away to the enemy, France. Marie requested to be addressed in French the moment she stepped on French soil so she could embrace her new French self and leave her native German tongue forever. She never said, "Let them eat cake!" She was not ignorant or rude! She was a good hearted and kindly Queen who tried to aid the poor of her country because she knew it was her duty. The French disliked her from the beginning because she was not French! She was an Austrian princess who threatened the French culture.

Photo: Marie Antoinette with her four children: Marie Thérèse, Louis Joseph, Louis Charles, and Sophie Béatrix painted by her friend Élisabeth Vigée-Le Brun

Her true character became more apparent after the birth of her children. She had so much compassion and did everything she could for Austria and France. Marie was a devout Catholic and did what her mother (Maria Theresia) told her. Marie and her mother had more of a business relationship than a loving mother/daughter bond. Marie Antoinette very much always wanted to be a mother herself. She wanted to devote the attention to her own children that she felt she did not receive as a child.

Marie Antoinette was a loving wife and mother above everything. What pulls on my heart the most is that she breastfed her own child when they had an abundance of hearty wet nurses. She did it because she loved wholeheartedly and wanted to be with her babies (this was uncharacteristic for royalty). From what I've read about France, they have never been a country to breastfeed because their breasts are thought to be for their husbands not their children. Marie made sure she was involved with her children in every way, especially their education. Marie grew up with everything under the sun; then went to live at the "Sun King's" Palace of Versailles. Talk about a fairy tale! But, Marie did not let her kids grow up the same way. She didn't give them everything, exposed them to poverty, and was careful not to spoil them.

I love Marie Antoinette! What I love the most is the incredible love she had for her children. I think she was extremely unselfish for giving up her heritage and family (she never saw her mother again once she left).

She was not perfect! But I've always thought it's the imperfections that make people so very beautiful. The mistakes she made, she made because she was bored. She immersed herself into a life of pleasure and careless extravagance because of this boredom. This included masked balls in Paris, gambling, and extravagant fashion (honestly, who could blame her). Her husband, bless his pudgy heart, was as slow as a French snail consummating their marriage! It was seven years before this happened. Of course being a foreign woman, she was to blame and scorned for her inability to produce an heir.

Once she had children she spent less time gambling and more with her family. She was nicknamed "Madame Deficit" because of her hobbies, gambling and fashion. There was also the "Affair of the Necklace" which she was framed for.
Marie just wanted to be loved. Imagine growing up without praise, hugs, and attention then leaving your family at 14...She had a bond with Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart whose mother's attention he was always trying to gain. Mozart and Marie were close in age and played together as children. They both desired to please and capture the love and affection of their mothers.

She very much cared for and respected her husband, Louis XVI! She had a small close and supportive inner circle of friends who she could trust and supported her to the end including the Princess de Lamballe and Count Axel von Fersen.

I so would have liked to come to Marie's defense seeing how the French treated her so unfairly. If you take anything from this, let it be Marie was a wonderful mother. She said, "I have seen all, I have heard all, I have forgotten all." Marie will never be forgotten.

Do you know anyone like Marie Antoinette that you would like to invite to dinner?

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