Marie Antoinette and the French Revolution
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Early Years: 1755-1770

Marie Antonia in cradle
Marie Antonia in cradle


November 15: Empress Maria Thérèse of Austria gives birth to her fifteenth child, Maria Antonia Josepha Joanna.


Seven Years’ War begins, with Austria and France as allies for the first time. The struggle focuses on the colonial rivalry between France and England and the fight in Germany between the house of Austria and the rising kingdom of Prussia.


Maria Antonia lives a carefree early childhood, and receives a typical education for a young lady: one that focuses more on religion and moral principles than on the academic subjects in which their brothers were instructed.
Maria Antonia as shepherdess in ballet
Maria Antonia as shepherdess in ballet


Seven Years’ War ends. To preserve the alliance between France and Austria, it is arranged that France's Louis XV's grandson should marry Maria Antonia.
A popular legend from around this time claims that Maria Antonia meets Mozart.


Maria Antonia's father, the Holy Roman Emperor Francis I, dies.
Louis XVI as the dauphin (prince)
Louis XVI as the dauphin (prince)


April 21: Empress Maria Theresa sends 14-year-old Maria Antonia to France to marry Louis-Auguste.
May 7: Maria Antonia leaves behind her Austrian clothing, crosses the Rhine river border, and is welcomed by French court messengers.


Early Years 1755 - 1775Married to France: 1770-1780Queen as Mother: 1780-1786Financial Failings: 1787-1788Change of Power: 1789A Revolution: 1789-1790New Rule: 1791A Monarchy Falls: 1792Revolution Enemies: 1792-1793Reign of Terror: 1793-1794Aftermath: 1794-1799
Explore Versailles Queen's Chamber

Empress Maria Theresa
Learn more about Marie Antoinette's mother.

Marie Antoinette's Story
Read more about the course of Marie Antoinette's life.

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