Archive | November, 2013

Austrian Archduchesses who married in France

30 Nov

Everybody know that Marie Antoinette was the Queen of France and Austrian Archduchess by birth, but she wasn’t the first Austrian Archduchess married in France. That’s what people don’t really know about, so I wanted to write something about it.

1571. Elisabeth of Austria, Queen of France

Elisabeth of Austria, Queen of France

Elisabeth of Austria (5 July 1554 – 22 January 1592) was the daughter of Maximilian II, Holy Roman Emperor and Maria of Spain. As part of the House of Habsburg, she was an Archduchess of Austria. She was pious and multilingual and spoke Spanish, German, Latin and Italian fluently and only had troubles learning French. She married Charles IX. of France in 1570. and had one child with him, a daughter Marie Elisabeth of Valois.

1620. anne of austria

Anna of Austria

Anna of Austria (22 September 1601 – 20 January 1666) held the titles Infanta of Portugal and Spain and Archduchess of Austria. She was indeed born in Spain and her father was Philip III. of Spain but she belonged to House of Habsburg and that’s where the title Archduchess of Austria comes from. She married Louis XIII. in 1615. and became Queen of France.

1660s Maria Theresa as Queen of France

Maria Theresa of Spain

Maria Theresa of Spain (10 September 1638 – 30 July 1683) was the daughter of Philip IV. of Spain and Elisabeth of France. As a member of the House of Habsburg she was entitled to use the title Archduchess of Austria. She married her cousin Louis XIV, The Sun King in 1660.

1783. Marie Antoinette in blue dress

Marie Antoinette

Marie Antoinette (2. November 1755. – 16. October 1793.) was the last Queen of France. She was a daughter of Empress Maria Theresa and Francis I. As a member of the House of Habsburg-Lorraine she used the title Archduchess of Austria. Marie Antoinette and Louis XVI. marrie in 1770. and had four children.

1810. Marie Louise, Duchess of Parma

Marie Louise of Austria

Marie Louise of Austria (12 December 1791 – 17 December 1847), Empress of the French and later Duchess of Parma. She was a daughter of Francis II, Holy Roman Emperor and his wife Maria Teresa of Naples and Sicily. She was part of the House of Habsburg-Lorraine and her grandfather was Leopold II, Holy Roman Emperor; Empress Maria Theresa’s son. Marie Louise married Napoleon I. in April 1810. and became Empress of the French.

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Jane Eyre’s wedding dress

25 Nov

Have you read Charlotte Bronte’s novel Jane Eyre ? Even if you haven’t read the book, you must have seen one of the films. My favourite version is the one from 2011. with Mia Wasikowska as Jane Eyre. Though I love all the dresses from the film, one of my favourites is Jane’s wedding dress so I wanted to share this with all of you.

jane eyre 31

Jane Eyre 5

1840s wedding dresses are absolutely gorgeous and unique, and yet simple and romantic. It’s not surprising at all that I’m in love with this one. It’s so elegant and dreamy, but still subtle, it’s not, thank God, too much. I love everything about this dress; creamy-beige colours, subtle white flowers, roses on the bosom, lace detail on the neckline and most of all beautiful white veil (which is not seen on the picture.) Fingerless gloves are also a nice detail, characteristic for Romantic era fashion (1820s to 1850s).

I love all the dresses in the film but my heart stopped when I saw this beautiful wedding dresses which was, indeed, one of the nicest I’ve ever seen. Queen Victoria set the era of white wedding gowns and this one was no exception. I’ve also found some wonderful fashion plates dating from 1844., published in magazine Le Follet. It’s possible that Mr. Rochester brought Jane’s wedding dress from France, because he often went there (that’s where he met Adele’s mother.)

1844. march wedding dress and day dress

I love both wedding dresses and veils too. I think they’re fairly similar to Jane’s dress, especially the details and the veil. I love the veil on the plate above; it’s so romantic but toned down compared to previous romantic styles such as 1830s. Both of the dresses are long-sleeves but Jane’s dress has slightly lower neckline than the ones shown on fashion plates.

I love soft curls hairstyle shown below, but Jane’s hairstyle in the movies looked more like the one above. I actually liked the combination of a veil and a hat, though a thought it a little strange at first. I must confess I quite keen on 1840s fashion and on wedding dresses as well, considering that wedding dresses followed the fashions of the day.

1844. nice shawl, Le Moniteur de la Mode

What did you think of Jane’s wedding dress ? Did you liked it as much as I did ?

Victorian underground fashion – From Hell

23 Nov

from hell 12

Last night I finally watched the movie From Hell (2001) and I quite enjoyed it, but the thing that caught my attention the most was the fashion, Victorian underground fashion, to be precise. Dark and gloomy atmosphere of the Victorian era is inspirational to me and I love watching movies that portray lives of Victorian underground society – prostitutes, drunk men, poor orphaned children, thieves and unfortunate destinies for many of them. And I must confess I loved Heather Graham as Mary Jane Kelly and Johnny Depp as Inspector Abberline. Heather is charmingly beautiful with her large blue eyes and seems to me like she matched Mary Kelly’s appearance who allegedly had blue eyes and red hair.

from hell 2

Unfortunate destinies of these poor people make me very sad. Let’s take an Irish girl Mary Kelly (6th victim of Jack The Ripper) for example. Wasn’t she just like any other rich aristocratic lady, wasn’t she dreaming of being belle of the ball, wearing evening dresses, having garden full of roses, having a good husband and be respected for once. Didn’t she have wishes and feelings. Mary Kelly and her friends were all such a sad women; exhausted, tired and disappointed with their lives.

It wasn’t Mary Kelly’s wish to become a prostitute and wander the streets at night. Life and poverty forced her and her friends into prostitution and they never had a chance to be virtuous, innocent women simply enjoying life as it is. They never had a chance of wearing nice dresses and attend fancy balls. It’s ironic that they were considered immoral as if they wanted to live like that. What a sad and tragic lives they had, poor little things.

from hell 8

from hell 10

Prostitutes were called ”Unfortunates” in London those days. Both Victorian Underground world and fashion are interesting to me and keep fascinating me over and over again. Unfortunates wore the same clothes as any other women at that time but with special characteristics. For instance, their dresses had lower necklines and corset was often visible; peaking from the neckline. Since prostitutes worked to rent a room, they were never certain they would earn enough to come back the next night. That’s why they carried all of their possessions, including clothes, with them selves.

With that on mind, you ought not to be surprised when you see that Mary Kelly and her friends wore lots of petticoats, scarfs and multiple layers of stockings. I’ve noted that fingerless gloves, little reticules and different scarfs, pelerines and fichus were most often worn by prostitutes. In conclusion; prostitutes wore the same clothes as other poor women at the time but with less formality, after all; nobody expected morality from them.

from hell 5

Summer of 1888. was quite dreadful in London. Dark, cold, wet and gloomy days weren’t so rare in August when the first victim of Jack the Ripper, Mary Ann Nichols, was found in Buck’s Row in Whitechapel. Seems like the atmosphere was perfectly suitable for these murders.

However, here are some fashion plates from 1887. and 1888. that show the dresses which could have been worn by Mary Kelly and others. It is, I believe, quite clear they didn’t wore the newest fashion and their dresses, besides being simple and made of cheap fabrics, were year or two old. They didn’t have enough money to pay rent, so how and why would they buy the newest dresses.

1888. day dresses

1888. day dresses, england, summer

Jack the Ripper’s fourth victim, Elizabeth Stride’s clothes at the time of her death were described as:  ”Stride was wearing a black jacket and skirt, with a posy of a red rose in a spray of maidenhair fern or asparagus leaves. Her outfit was complemented by a black crêpe bonnet.” The first victim, Mary Ann Nichols, actually implied before her death that she would earn the money on the street with the help of her new bonnet.

Bonnets worn in 1888. looked pretty much like hats and were tied under the chin with a bow, but sometimes they were merely a decoration, standing on the top of the head. Mary Jane Kelly reportedly always wore a clean, white apron but never a hat. Here are some examples:

1887. bonnets, french

1886. Journal des Demoiselles, with five different images of women's hairstyles, hats and head coverings. This spring models are richly decorated with gaudy feathers, bows and other adornments, april

Besides clothing, Victorian unfortunates could easily been recognized because they were the only women on the streets at night and in the early morning.

Queen Victoria’s children

21 Nov

Queen Victoria and Prince Albert had nine children. Victoria and Albert ruled together and set standards of morality for the entire Kingdom, but their family life wasn’t as perfect as it may seem.

Look at the painting below; it shows Victoria and Albert in ideal setting with their five angelic, fair haired children. But it wasn’t so ideal – it was in fact completely opposite.

1846. queen victoria and family

Queen Victoria adored Albert and lived only for his love but she was quite selfish. She wanted him only for herself and although they had nine children she actually hated being pregnant and constantly giving birth. She loved the process of making babies but she didn’t like the product that came out of that. Little frogs, that’s how she called her children when they were first born. She also refused to breastfed them, and later forbid her daughters doing the same.

Victoria and Albert’s domestic life was a battle field. They constantly argued because she wanted to control everything including her children. Nobody was being spared from her, more often then not, tyrannical nature. She not only controlled her children for the rest or her life but she expected them to be beaten and obey the rules. Their childhood was a nightmare and Queen Victoria was a cold, selfish mother.

1845. Victoria, Princess Royal

Victoria, Princess Royal

Victoria and Albert’s first child was Victoria Adelaide Mary Louisa, Princess Royal born on 21. November 1840. She was very studious and intelligent, learning to read and write before the age of five. Victoria was her father’s favourite child and he tutored her in politics and philosophy. She knew hot to cook, grow vegetables and sew – those were the domestic values Prince Albert had installed in their upbringing. She spoke German, as did her siblings, and also Latin and French.

She married Frederick III, German Emperor at the age of seventeen. The marriage proved to be both a love match and a dynastic alliance. They had eight children together. After he died in 1888. she turned to charities and opened many schools for girls. Being a gifted artist in her own right she became a patron of arts and learning and one of the organizers of 1872. Industrial Art Exhibition. She died in August 1901., seven months after her mother Victoria, of breast cancer.

1846. Prince Edward by W.

Edward VII.

Their second child, Albert Edward, was born on 9. November 1841. He was his parents disappointment; he didn’t excel in his studies and he rebelled against rigorous education system. His talents laid in social skills; he had sweet manners, charm, sociability and tact.

He married Alexandra of Denmark and eventually had six children with her. Alexandra loved fashion and glamor and he loved society, balls and … other women. Some of his mistresses were Alice Keppel, Lillie Langtry, Agnes Keyser and Sarah Bernhardt. Edwardian era, described as a golden era of long summer afternoons and garden parties, basking in a sun that never sets on the British Empire, unfortunately lasted only nine years because Edward died on 6. May 1910.

1848. Princess Alice

Princess Alice

Third child, Alice Maud Mary was born on 25. April 1843. She was named Alice to honour Victoria’s first Prime minister, Lord Melbourne who once commented that Alice was his favourite female name. She was the most emotionally sensitive of all her siblings and was once described as ‘caring and compassionate’, but she also had a sharp tongue. Alice was very close to her older sister Victoria and was greatly upset when Victoria got married.

Later she became very close to Edward. Alice married in 1862. to Louis IV, Grand Duke of Hesse. They had seven children together but Alice died at the age of 35 leaving all her children behind. Her eldest daughter, Princess Victoria of Hesse and by Rhine, was only fifteen at the time.
Alice died on 14. December; the same date Albert had died seventeen years ago.

1849. prince alfred, duke of saxe-coburg and gota

Prince Alfred

Prince Alfred was born on 6. August 1844. He married Grand Duchess Maria Alexandrovna of Russia but the marriage wasn’t the happy one. They had six children and only one son who attempted suicide in 1899. and died of complications week later at the age of 24. Prince Alfred died a year later.

1851. Princess Helena

Princess Helena

Princess Helena Augusta Victoria was born on 25. May 1846, the day after her mother’s 27. birthday. Helena was outspoken and lively child and Alfred’s favourite sister. She had many interests; science, technology, horseback riding and boating. She excelled at playing the piano at an early age and was very good at needlework.

She married Prince Christian of Schleswig-Holstein and they had five children together. In the 1880’s she showed interest in nursing so she supported Florence Nightingale and eventually became President of the Army Nursing Service. She was plump and although not very beautiful, she was praised for her amber-coloured eyes and wavy brown hair.

1853. Princess Louise

Princess Louise

Princess Louise Caroline Alberta was born on 13. March 1848. From the early years, Louise was intelligent and talented, and her artistic talents were soon recognized. She was witty and she danced the best out of all her sisters.

She became artist and sculptor and married John Campbell, 9th Duke of Argyll. They had no children and she outlived her husband for twenty four years. Louise died in 1938. at the age of 91.

1850. Queen Victoria with prince Arthur

Queen Victoria with little Prince Arthur in 1850.

Prince Arthur and Prince Leopold

Prince Arthur William Patrick Albert was born on 1. May 1850. He married Princess Louise Margaret of Prussia in 1879. They had three children; two daughters and a son.

Prince Leopold George Duncan Albert was born on 7. April 1853. He had hemophilia and died at the age of thirty but he had enough time to marry Princess Helena of Waldeck and Pyrmont and have two children with her. His son Charles Edward was actually born four months after his death.

1868. princess beatrice

Princess Beatrice

Princess Beatrice Mary Victoria Feodore was born on 14. April 1857. She had sad and melancholic childhood since her father, Albert, died when she was only five years old. Queen Victoria then turned to intense mourning and kept Beatrice to her side for the rest of her life. Beatrice was her Victoria’s favourite child, and although the Queen didn’t like children she considered Beatrice to be attractive. Victoria once described her dearest daughter as “a pretty, plump and flourishing child … with fine large blue eyes, [a] pretty little mouth and very fine skin”. The Queen particularly loved Beatrice’s golden hair which became the focus of her paintings.

The Queen loved Beatrice exquisitely and did not wish her to get married and abandon her. That is the reason Beatrice married at the age of 28 (which was considered old for a Victorian bride) to Prince Henry of Battenberg. They had four children. Beatrice died at the age of 87 in 1944.

Women in the Victorian era

18 Nov

Victorian era was full of contrasts; while the privileged minority enjoyed prosperity and luxury that came along, the poor ones had to carry the burden of development and industrialization of Great Britain. Women had no political rights, but rich aristocratic ladies spent their days in leisure and idleness; going to tea parties, dancing on balls or simply discussing the newest fashion with her friends.

women_free_time

Women’s virtues

Whether married or not, Victorian women were expected to be fragile, innocent, modest, polite, obedient, chaste, submissive, delicate flower incapable of deciding anything except menu and her evening attire.

In order to find a suitable (rich, noble and accepted in the society) husband girls were polished head to toe. Victorian women’s knowledge consisted of singing, painting/drawing and embroidery skills, playing an instrument and dancing. Besides all this it was also good for a girl to know a little bit of French or Italian, but her most valued skills were the domestic ones. Women were expected to be ”Household Angels”; taking care of their children and learning them proper values but also keeping eyes on the servants and arranging a menu for the day. The ideal Victorian women were tirelessly patient and sacrificing. Tough job, right ?

1866. Evening dresses for women and girls

Marriage

In Victorian era marriage was not romantic and fairytale affair as shown in many novels. Love played a minor role in choosing a spouse. Good-breeding and huge dowry were, on the other hand, much more important. Engagement was something like a business contract and Victorians were encouraged to marry within their social class or higher, but never lower rank. Poor nobles often married wealthy bourgeoiswomen; they got their fortune and ladies got a title – perfect match.

1840. queen victoria and albert's wedding

A woman who was getting married had to provide a large dowry and her future husband had to prove he can provide her a luxurious life she’s used to. Marriage was carefully planed and financial aspects of both families were openly discussed.

1861. wedding dresses, godey's ladies book

After the business aspects were secured, engagement followed. The husband gave his wife a ring, and the woman’s mother was responsible for organizing engagement dinner for the bridal couple. Engagement lasted roughly six months to two years. After the official engaged, couple was allowed more intimacy: they could hold hands in public, take a walk together, ride alone in the open carriage, and even spend some time alone behind closed doors, but only at daytime.

Family life

Women had to ensure that the home is a place of comfort and peace for her husband and family from the stress of industrial Britain. To ensure a respectable household, happiness, comfort and well-being of their families women had to be the mistress of the household and work off her job wisely and effectively. She had to supervise their maids and organize their work, which was not easy because they are most often unreliable.

1843. Queen Victoria, Albert and Victoria, Madame Royal

Popular poem The Angel in the House, written in 1854., shows the ideal wife; patient and willing to sacrifice for her family.

Man must be pleased; but him to please

Is woman’s pleasure; down the gulf
Of his condoled necessities
She casts her best, she flings her breast […]

She loves with love that cannot tire;
And when, ah woe, she loves alone,
Through passionate duty love springs higher,
As grass grows taller round a stone.

The woman was supposed to be an angel in the house, always sacrificing for others, always cheerful, charming, nice but above all chaste. Her chastity was supposed to be her chief beauty.

Free time

Aristocratic ladies spent their days embroidering, reading, painting, writing letters, sipping tea or coffee and chatting with their friends. Lady should be her husbands pride, always looking presentable dresses in fashionable apparel. Rich ladies also had a lot of social obligations. They were obliged to organize and attend balls, dinners, dances or tea parties. Theater was also a place of amusement to nineteenth century ladies.

1869. The Game of Billiards by Charles Edouard Boutibonne

At least once a week lady should visit her tailor in order to keep up with the fashion. The biggest shame in ladies life was for sure to be seen in last seasons dress. Unforgivable!

Victorian morality

Sex was a taboo in Victorian era and women had to save themselves for the marriage. If women had sexual contacts with anyone except their husbands they were considered fallen women. Victorian literature and art is full of examples of women paying dearly for straying from moral expectations. Adulteresses met tragic ends in novels such as Anna Karenina by Tolstoy or Madame Bovary by Flaubert.

1877.  Portsmouth Dockyard painting by James Tissot

Education

Women had the opportunity to study refined subjects like history, geography and literature. These subjects were to provide them with interesting, but undeniable topics for discussion. Despite the limitations and stigmatization, some women have succeeded in male subjects such as law, physics, engineering, science and art. These women were pioneers in the struggle for equal education in England. Women rarely had the opportunity to attend universities. It was even said that studying is against women’s nature. Women were to stay more or less an ornament of society.

women_reading

Women today have more privileges but they are indeed denied a privilege to wear such fine dresses.

What would Amy March wear ?

14 Nov

Little women is one of my favourite books, and although I love all the characters, Amy is my favourite and I find to like how her life turned out at the end. I never could help it wonder ”what did Amy March wear ?” Since I entered the magical word of history of fashion I have been able to answer my question, and now I’ll answer this question to all of you who were wondering the same.

1861. ladies in evening dresses, may

Amy March wore simple and casual dresses when she was a child. The Marches were poor and simple family and it’s only natural that they didn’t put much emphasis on clothing and fashion. Amy is twelve years old at the beginning of the book, so unfortunately she missed most of the civil war era balls that Meg went to. Amy was too young at the time so she always stayed home with Beth.

1863. children's fashions

1863. Children’s fashions, La Follet.

”Little Raphael”, as her sisters called her, was in a fair way to be spoiled because everyone pampered her indulged her often selfish wishes. But there was one thing, however, that quenched her vanities. She had to wear her cousin’s dresses.

Now, Florence’s mama hadn’t a particular of taste, and Amy suffered deeply at having to wear a red instead of blue bonnet, unbecoming gowns, and fussy aprons that did not fit. Everything was good, well made, and little worn, but Amy’s artistic eyes were much afflicted, especially this winter, when her school dress was a dull purple with yellow dots and no trimming.

She hated her purple school dress with yellow ”skyrockets” on it. Seriously, who wouldn’t ? Now, let’s take a look at some fashion plates from the Civil war era:

1864. children's fashions October, Godey's

1864. Children’s Fashions for October, Godey’s Lady’s Book.

Descriptions for the four girls:

”Fig 1 – Gray poplin dress, trimmed with a fluted ribbon of Tartan colors. Gray straw hat, trimmed with plaid velvet and gray feathers.

Fig 2 – Solferino merino dress, trimmed with black silk and Solferino braid.

Fig 3 – Napolean blue cashmere dress, trimmed with rows of black velvet. White muslin guimpe, finished at the throat with a worked edge. White muslin de laine petticoat, trimmed on the edge with a fluting of the material. Above this are three rows of black silk braid.

Fig 4 – Gray cashmere skirt, trimmed with a bias band of white cashmere, edged and braided with scarlet velvet. Garibaldi and sash of white cashmere, bound and braided with scarlet velvet. Scarlet cloth jacket, braided with white and trimmed with black drop buttons.”

1860s children's clothing

Now, I know that the beginning of the story was set in December 1861. but this particular fashion plate shows the dresses which a twelve year old Amy would most likely be wearing. At the age of twelve girls wore dresses just little bellow the knee. Amy was just between being a child and a woman; she was indeed a little women.

Although the dresses of little girls highly resembled their mothers, I’m sure that Marmee would never force Amy into wearing huge crinolines that were fashionable at the time. Amy’s dresses were probably more simple and comfortable than these fashion plates suggest.

1861. paris fashions for women, teen and a child

As Amy grew older she started wearing more elegant and fashionable dresses. At the age of sixteen she was very beautiful with big blue eyes, perfect porcelain skin and golden locks. Although her dresses weren’t the newest or the most fashionable she knew how to use the best out of them. Amy also had a sweet, almost angelic personality so everybody liked her, especially aunt March who decided to take her to Europe as a companion. Aunt bought her some dresses and bonnets in London because she packed herself in a rush and forgot half of the things.

”Aunt Mary got me some new things, for I came off in such a hurry I wasn’t half ready. A white hat and blue feather, a muslin dress to match , and the loveliest mantle you ever saw. Shopping in Regent street is perfectly splendid. Things seem so cheap, nice ribbons only sixpence a yard. I laid in a stock, but shall buy my gloves in Paris. Doesn’t that sound sort of elegant and rich ?”

1866. ball gown and day dress france

In my opinion, pastel colours would enhance the beauty of Amy’s porcelain skin the most. I love the part when Laurie visits Amy in Nice. Nice was equally beautiful seaside town in the nineteenth century as it is now, but the best part of Nice was fashion. French elegance combined with seaside fashion – the best thing imaginable !

I can already picture Amy taking a walk with Laurie on Promenade des Anglais on a beautiful sunny day. In my head she’s wearing elegant rose-coloured seaside dress with little white dots; french simplicity with evocation of the Regency spirit from the beginning of the century.

1867. france  Cendrillon

Amy’s evening dresses were superb; she wore a lot of tulle and decorated her gowns with roses which grew in every garden in Nice. I think her evening gown could look something like the pink one above. I feel like Amy would look the best in pink. Just look at beautiful that dress above; look at that gorgeous colour, nice smooth cut, beautiful white lace and tulle details and crown at the end – lots and lots of pink roses; almost like a fairytale.

1866.

The last two dresses are perfect for Amy’s long walks in the gardens and painting sessions. Simple dresses with youthful and elegant designs are best for sweet little Amy. True beauty and grace will shine trough any kind of clothing, and that’s the case here – Amy could look young, sweet and effortlessly beautiful in any dress, whether fashionable or old and warn out.

Marie Antoinette’s childhood

12 Nov

Marie Antoinette was born as Maria Antonia Josepha Johanna on 2. November 1755.

1767. Marie Antoinette

Her life as the Queen of France is something that everybody know about, but her childhood, family and the environment she grew up in are usually less interesting and less explored part of her life.

Marie Antoinette was one of sixteen children and eleventh daughter of Empress Maria Theresa and Francis I, Holy Roman Emperor. At the time of her birth only twelve children were alive (including her younger brother Maximilian who was born the following year.)

She grew up in relaxed ambience of the court of Schonbrunn, where it was possible to derive from protocol. She later tried to recreate this atmosphere at Petit Trianon. Protocol on Schonbrunn was also rigid but not nearly as much as on Versailles. She had many brothers and sisters but she loved her sister Maria Carolina, later Queen of Naples, the most. The two sisters who were born only three years apart shared the same governesses and the same rooms.

1760. marie Antoinette

Marie Antonia’s education was extremely poor. At the age of twelve she could barely write her native German, so you can only imagine her knowledge of French and Italian. Although the imperial family and the Viennese society were multilingual, she was the fifteenth child and her education was neglected. Except languages, she studied Austrian and French history and she also showed talent in singing and playing harp and clavichord.  Her music teacher was Gluck himself.

She was extremely good at dancing, showing the talent from the early age. Horace Walpole once said “vera incessu patuit dea” (she was in truth revealed to be a goddess her step). He was actually quoting Virgil.

Marie Antonia loved dolls very much and she was very exited when the fashion dolls called Pandoras were sent to Schonbrunn from Versailles to show the newest fashion. The painting bellow, actually painted by her sister Maria Christina,  shows five year old Maria Antonia holding a doll on the Saint Nicholas day.

1760. marie antoinette holding a doll

Maria Antonia had simple, yet short childhood. When you think about it; she married at the age of fourteen, but Maria Theresa started preparing her for the marriage years earlier. She didn’t have many years to be carefree and be a typical child spending her days playing with brothers and sisters.

Now that you know her background, you can fully understand why she wasn’t prepared for the pompous and rigid life at Versailles. She just had to find her escape in the word of fashion and little Hameau de la Reine that was created just for her pleasure.

1762. Marie Antoinette

What a poor little girl, sent to such a distant and snobby court and never saw her mother and most of her siblings (except Maria Christina, Joseph II. and Maximilian) again. What a cruel destiny, when you think about it, but unfortunately that was the destiny of many other Princesses.

I’m her age and I couldn’t imagine leaving my family and my land; everything I have, for marrying someone I don’t even know. She was quite brave, indeed.