Marie Antoinette was born November 2, 1755 in Vienna, Austria. She was the youngest daughter of Emperor Francis Stephen I and Empress Maria Theresa, of the Holy Roman Empire. She married the French dauphin Louis XVI when she was 15. Four years later she became queen when her husband was crowned King. The couple lived at the palace at Versailles.
The couple's first child was born on December 19, 1778. The baby was a girl, and she was christened Marie Thérèse Charlotte. Marie had three other children – Louis Joseph born in 1781, Louis Charles in 1785 and Sophie Béatrix in 1786. In 1787, Marie Antoinette's youngest daughter, Sophie-Béatrix, died shortly before her first birthday. Not soon after, Marie was told that her eldest son, Louis-Joseph, was terminally ill. On June 4, the Dauphin died at age seven. The king sank into depression, and the queen was heartbroken. Immediately, some of her enemies began to spread rumors that she had poisoned her own son.
Marie Antoinette was beginning to suspect that the reformists were secretly trying to overthrow the monarchy. On July 14, 1789 a large mob marched on the Bastille Prison, and seized control of it. Marie Antoinette felt it was risky to remain so close to Paris. However, Louis decided that they would stay at Versailles.
In 1789 a mob descended on the palace at and demanded the royal family
move to the Tuilerie palace inside Paris. From that point on the King and Queen
were virtually prisoners. When Austria and Prussia declared war on France,
Marie was accused of passing military secrets to the enemy. On August 10, 1792
the royal family was arrested on suspicion of treason. On January 21, 1793 King Louis
XVI was convicted and executed on the guillotine.
During her final days of captivity, Marie Antoinette's children (Marie Therese and Louis XVII) were taken from her. Louis XVII later died, supposedly of Tuberculosis and malnutrition. Marie Therese, her firstborn daughter was the only family member to survive. Antoinette followed her husband to the guillotine on October 16, 1793. She was executed without proof of the crimes for which she was accused. She was only 37 years old.