Preparing for her execution, Marie Antoinette had to change clothes in front of her guards. She put on a plain white dress, white being the color worn by widowed queens of France, with a black petticoat, and a white cap adorned with black ribbon.
Her hair was shorn, her hands bound painfully behind her back and she was put on a rope leash. At 11am she left the La Conciergerie in an open cart drawn by two large white horses. Unlike her husband, who had been taken to his execution in a carriage, she had to sit in an open cart for the hour it took to convey her from the Conciergerie via the rue Saint-Honoré thoroughfare to reach the guillotine erected in the Place de la Révolution.
She maintained her composure, despite the insults of the jeering crowd. A constitutional priest was assigned to her to hear her final confession. He sat by her in the cart, but she ignored him all the way to the scaffold. Marie Antoinette was guillotined at 12:15 p.m.
Her last words are recorded as, "Pardonnez-moi, monsieur. Je ne l’ai pas fait exprès." or "Pardon me, sir, I did not do it on purpose.", after accidentally stepping on her executioner's shoe. After the queen’s head fell it was shown to the crowd, who cried: “Vive la République!” Both Marie Antoinette's and Louis XVI's bodies were exhumed on January 18, 1815, during the Bourbon Restoration, when the comte de Provence ascended the newly reestablished throne as Louis XVIII, King of France and of Navarre. Christian burial of the royal remains took place three days later, on January 21, in the necropolis of French kings at the Basilica of St Denis. ♡ RIP dear Marie Antoinette ♡
Otd, October 16, 1793, at 12:15pm, Queen Marie Antoinette was executed for treason at the Place de la Révolution, in Paris. This was just 9 months after her husband King Louis XVI’s execution.
On October 14, Marie Antoinette’s lengthy trial began with a 15 hour session and a 24 hour session over 15-16 October. After 10 weeks in the Conciergerie, the queen’s incarceration was coming to an end. The verdict of the jury was affirmative. It was 4.30am when she heard her sentence: death by guillotine. She didn’t utter a single word.
The three main charges against her were: depletion of the national treasury, conspiracy against the internal and external security of the State, and high treason because of her intelligence activities in the interest of the enemy; the latter charge alone was enough to condemn her to death. At worst, she and her lawyers had expected life imprisonment.
Obviously, Marie’s trial was basically just a set up; they wanted her to be the scapegoat for the French Revolution, so they made up charges, ridiculous ones, just to make her look guilty.
After guards returned Marie Antoinette to her cell, she asked Warden Bault for a pen and paper. He complied and she wrote a letter to Elisabeth, the late king’s sister: “I write to you, my sister, for the last time. I have been condemned, not to an ignominious death – that only awaits criminals – but to go and rejoin your brother. Innocent as he, I hope to show the same firmness as he did in his last moments. I grieve bitterly at leaving my poor children; you know that I existed but for them and you – you who have by your friendship sacrificed all to be with us.” When the queen finished the letter, she reportedly kissed each page repeatedly, folded it without sealing it, and gave it to Warden Bault. The gendarme standing guard outside the cell must have observed this because, when Bault left the queen, the guard confiscated the letter and it was taken to Fouquier-Tinville. Elisabeth would never receive the queen’s last testament.
Continued on next post...
This little box in our collection holds another box that holds a pen that once belonged to Marie Antoinette.
Made in France around 1760-1780. Green lizzard skin (!), red velvet, gold and lacquer. The octagonal pen is in gold.
A handwritten note informs that it was acquired by Count Brahe when he visited Petit Trianon. Perhaps around 1811, when we know he was in Paris? He was friends with Axel von Fersen (both of Swedish high nobility and related, if my memory serves me right) so perhaps something to remember them by... (Count von Fersen was murdered by a mob in 1810.)
Skokloster Castle collection, inv no 195.
Currently on loan to our sister museum The Royal Armoury.
On this day in 1859 Abolitionist John Brown, with 21 men, seizes the U.S. Armory at Harpers Ferry, Va. U.S. Marines capture the raiders, killing several. John Brown is later hanged in Virginia for treason.
After a two-day trial Marie Antoinette, Princess of #Austria and Queen Consort of #France was convicted of high treason and executed in #Paris during the #FrenchRevolution#OTD 1793. Famously, the phrase “Let them eat cake” was wrongly attributed to her as her response to her people's starvation. It's thought her last words were, “Pardonnez-moi, monsieur. Je ne l’ai pas fait exprès.” or “Pardon me, sir, I did not do it on purpose.”, after she accidentally stepped on her executioner's shoe.
On this day ... Napoleon loses the Battle of Leipzig (1813), Jane Eyre is published (1847), Disney is founded (1923), Mao Zedong and his Forces start the long march (1934), a U2 spy plane recon photo showing the nucleair missie base on Cuba is shown to JFK (1962) and Harold Wilson is elected PM (1964) #onthisdayinhistory#history#cuba#chinatown#disney#napoleonbonaparte