Queen of France (2/11 / 1755-16 / 10/1793). Daughter of Francis I, emperor of the Holy Roman Empire, Marie Antoinette is born in Vienna. In 1770 marries the heir of the French throne. She becomes queen in 1774 when her husband is crowned King Louis XVI.
He tries to stabilize the shaken finances of the kingdom through fiscal and administrative reforms, arousing opposition from the aristocracy. Unable to change anything, the monarch summons the General States in 1788, an assembly in which representatives of the clergy, the nobility and the third state (bourgeoisie, urban workers and peasants, who make up 98% of the population) sit.
During the political crisis that would culminate in the French Revolution, the queen shows more decision-making power than her husband. When the situation worsens in 1791, he convinces Louis XVI to flee to the country's eastern border, but the royal couple is captured and returned to Paris. He can then make him resist the National Constituent Assembly, the new name of the General States, which proposed a monarchy of limited powers.
To her is attributed the phrase, "If the people have no bread, let them eat brioches." In 1792, Austria and Prussia unite in defense of the monarchy in France. During the war, Marie Antoinette is accused of plotting in favor of her home country. Hatred against the queen gives impetus to the insurrection that overthrew the monarchy in 1792. Louis XVI is executed in January 1793 and Marie Antoinette in October in Paris.