Queen Marie Antoinette

Queen Marie Antoinette Queen Marie Antoinette

Introduction

Marie Antoinette was born at Hofberg Palace in Vienna, Austria on the 2 November 1755. She was born an archduchess of Austria and the youngest child of Empress Maria Theresa and Emperor Francis. She got married in May 1770 at the tender age of 14 years old. Her husband was Louis Auguste, who was the heir to the French throne. On 10 May 1774, her husband ascended the throne and became known as Louis XVI, Marie Antionette then became the Queen.

Many have criticized this young Queen for her escapades of sleigh riding, attending balls incognito, hunting and watching horse racing. However, they were reasonably innocent past times for a twenty-year-old queen. The gambling, however, became a severe addiction and added to this gambling was an entrenched part of court life dating back to the reign of Loius XIV. It obsessed all levels of the French Society during the Enlightenment.

The Start of Marie Antoinette’s Gambling

Marie Antoinette learnt to gamble by her mother. Her mother taught her purely to protect her from suffering huge losses. Also, the stakes at the court of Austria were far higher than the court of France, which made this young Princess a fearless player. As the years progressed, she incurred substantial gambling debts, and Louis XVI forbade her to play, as he was trying to save the Government finances. She was relentless, and after much begging and pleading to play one last game, he allowed her the privilege. Marie Antoinette used this to her advantage, and the game lasted for three days solid.

Conclusion

Marie Antoinette’s gambling addiction only took up a short period in her life, yet it is what she is remembered for. Sadly not for her contribution to charities, her loyalty to her husband, the loss of her children or her famous words “Let them Eat Cake.”

King Henry the VIII

King Henry the VIII King Henry the VIII

This fascinating Tudor Monarch King Henry VIII was crowned King of England in 1509 and was not a King who had been expected to rule. He only took the throne because his older brother had died.

As his reign progressed, he grew desperate for a son to carry on his legacy and tried to have his first marriage annulled which was denied by the Pope. He then decided to take matters into his own hands and landed up marrying a total of six wives.

Nights filled with Gambling

When Henry VIII ascended the throne, he followed a philosophy of work to live not live to work. He preferred hunting and hawking over reigning. When his outdoor activities ended, Henry would take the time to attend to some of his obligations.

His nights were usually filled with dancing, playing cards or Gambling and he was often referred to as England’s No 1 Gambler due to it being his favourite leisure activity. He enjoyed playing dice, a version of Backgammon known as Tables and the checkers related game known as “Betting Queek.”

Henry was not a very lucky gambler or very skilful for that matter and once gambled away the beloved Jesus Bells of St Paul’s Church on a single roll of the dice. True to form he ensured the winner of that bet, Sir Miles Partridge was convicted of treason and hung publicly at London’s Tower Hill.

Wrapping it Up

King Henry VIII gained the reputation as an aggressive and heavy-handed ruler who made rash decisions and between all his political genius and unforgivable personal anarchy he was also an avid gambler who enjoyed “Bragg” and sports betting. During his reign, he lost £3250 which is equivalent to £2.5 million today. Ironically he banned his military from participating in any form of Gambling as it would distract them from their duties.