EP 14: Paris History Avec a Hemingway (Marie Antoinette Part 3)

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Jun 15 2020 27 mins  

On June 4th upon the death of their son, they were not able to be with him when he died or attend his funeral at the Basilique Saint Denis due to the optics of spending more of the state's money. 

On October 1 and 3, two large parties were held for the king's guards and the Flanders Regiments. While the people of Paris were starving and unable to get bread, a lavish dinner at Versailles was the final straw. Before dawn on October 5, a large group met in front of the Hotel de Ville. Breaking in and stealing more than 600 weapons a group largely made up of women took off from Paris. In the pouring rain for over 5 hours they walked in the mud arriving at Versailles. Demanding to be let into the National Assembly their spokesperson Stanislas Maillard read their demands of wheat, floor and to stop blocking the route into Paris. They agreed and took it to Louis XVI to sign. The king agreed and we could be done with this story, but we know it ends differently. 

Overnight the crowd gathered outside grew restless, the guards pushed back. The crowd rushed the palace, killing the queens guards and calling out her name. The royal family would agree to go with the crowd back to Paris. Moved to the Palais des Tuileries where they can be watched closely. Things went along for two years until June 20, 1791 when they decided to escape. The Flight to Varennes, the escape to freedom would begin with one delay after another and end with their return to Paris. After being recognized from a coin with the image of Louis XVI in the small town of Viels-Maisons. On June 22 they would return to the Tuileries, this time closely watched. 

On August 10, 1792 the Tuileries were stormed, the Swiss guards were killed and the royal family sent running for their life through the garden. Arriving at the National Assembly, the king was given wine and treated like a king. Marie and her children were put into a small locked room. That night as they ran, the monarchy slipped through their fingers. The next day they were sent to the Temple prison and in a few short months the king would be killed. 

On January 21, 1793 with the sounds of canons in the distance Marie Antoinette, her sister in law and their two children knew their dad was dead. 

In the summer her children would be taken from her, Marie would be taken to the “antechamber of death” the  Conciergerie in August. After a failed attempt to break her out, she was moved to a tighter cell. In October in a sham of a trial, she was convicted and sentenced to death. The next morning she was taken on a cart through the city of Paris and to her death in the Place de la Revolution, today's Place de la Concorde. 

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