Queen Marie Antoinette
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.
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.”