Terror > The Execution of Marie Antoinette
> A Summary of what happened...
French people hated the Queen for her Austrian blood and her expensive
tastes. Marie Antoinette was called Madame Deficit and blame was placed
on her for the country's financial problems. As she matured, Marie Antoinette
became less frivolous. She tried to change her image by wearing simple
gowns and posing for portraits with her children, but her efforts had
little effect on the brutal public. In October, she was tried by a mock
trial, as was her husband. Marie Antoinette was convicted of treason
and sentenced to be guillotined. On October 16, 1793 she was taken through
the streets of Paris in an open cart. She maintained her dignity until
the bitter end. On the scaffold she accidentally stepped on the executioner's
foot, and her last words were, "Monsieur, I ask your pardon. I did not
do it on purpose."
In 1785, Louis René Édouard Cardinal de Rohan tried to regain his position in the royal court by acting as an delegate to acquire a valuable diamond necklace for Marie Antoinette. Rohan ordered the necklace from a jeweler who gave it to him believing he was the Queen's agent. The necklace was never seen again.
It is believed that Rohan took the necklace to London, where it was broken up and sold. When the jeweler failed to receive payment, Rohan was arrested and charged with fraud. He was exiled to a monastery. The more popular myth which helped discredit the monarchy on the eve of the Revolution, was that Marie Antoinette sold herself to the Count for this necklace.