The Childhood of Marie-Antoinette
Marie-Antoinette, born in 1755, was the fifteenth child in a family of sixteen. In the picture above the future queen of France is the small girl with a doll. Although her parents were the Holy Roman Emperor and Empress, they were very informal as royals go. "The Imperial family," said Goethe, as quoted by Maxime de La Rocheterie, "is nothing more than a large German bourgeoisie." Rocheterie, in his classic biography of Marie-Antoinette, describes the household in which Marie-Antoinette was raised:
Etiquette was unknown. The emperor and empress liked to live in the midst of their subjects kind and friendly toward all but restraining familiarity by respect. Unfortunately they were so absorbed by the care of the policy and administration of their vast empire that they had little leisure to superintend the education of their numerous children. They confided them to tutors and governesses whom they chose with care and to whom it appears they gave their instructions without, however, seeing that they were carried out. (Rocheterie, p 2) more...
Thanks again to Tea at Trianon, from which I receieve my inspiration for many articles.