Destinations in Vienna, Paris, and beyond for travelers interested in tracing the footsteps of the infamous French queen.
Marie Antoinette, the flashy 18th century Queen of France who spawned hundreds of Halloween costumes and a litany of “let them eat cake” merchandise, remains one of those historical figures who continues to attract loyal fans and fierce critics centuries after her death.
The 15th child of a royal Hapsburg family in Austria, the young Maria Antonia was thrust into the diplomatic spotlight when she was married to Louis XVI at the age of 14.
At first, the young princess — and later, the queen — took to royal life, becoming a fashion trendsetter for European royals while spending fortunes on any frivolity that piqued her fancy, including a small estate built in Versailles where she could pretend to be a peasant.
The young queen’s reign would be short-lived, however, as tensions had long been building in France over the dictatorial reign of the noblemen above the peasant classes. Years of poor agricultural harvests, coupled with rising anger about taxes and the extravagant spending on the part of King Louis XVI and Queen Marie Antoinette, led to a revolt that would blossom into revolution in 1789.