How It Works - - HISTORY MYTHS -

When the wife of King Louis XVI was told her French sub­jects had no bread to eat, she re­torted, “Let them eat cake.” Or did she? It was 1789, crop fail­ures had left the starv­ing pop­u­la­tion deeply re­sent­ful of the monar­chy, and the Aus­trian-born queen be­came their tar­get. How­ever, the phrase ‘let them eat cake’ had been used for years. More than a cen­tury ear­lier, Marie-thérèse – the Span­ish bride of King Louis XIV – sup­pos­edly said the French peo­ple should eat “the crust of the pâté”.

The in­fa­mous re­mark stuck though, and Marie An­toinette’s rep­u­ta­tion for deca­dence was blamed for caus­ing the coun­try’s eco­nomic down­turn. While it’s true that she em­braced life at Ver­sailles, her love of palace par­ties, fash­ion and gam­bling wasn’t the cause of the French Revo­lu­tion. Nev­er­the­less, the mis­un­der­stood monarch was sen­tenced to death along with the rest of the royal fam­ily, but the myth sur­vived her.

Marie An­toinette be­ing led to her ex­e­cu­tion on 16 Oc­to­ber 1793

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