Though Marie Antoinette may not have actually said, “Let them eat cake,” the French monarchy and aristocracy displayed an almost laughable disconnection from common people in the decades leading up to the French Revolution. Though historians have been right to point to a variety of French Revolution causes - ranging from economic and social issues to questions of political representation - it is also true that French royal excess played no small role in driving a wedge between commoners and royals. Considering the decadence, cluelessness, and outrageous choices of the monarchy, it almost seems like the French were begging for revolution.
From the ostentatious Palace of Versailles to out-of-touch political decisions, the extravagance of the Louis line ultimately led to the monarchy’s downfall. Royal decadence in an age of moderation and Enlightenment led the French to question the role of monarchy in an increasingly democratic age.
They may not have been the weirdest royals in history, but Louis XVI, Marie Antoinette, and their predecessors were certainly among the most decadent. It comes as no surprise, then, that in an infamously bloody revolution, members of the French royal family would lose their heads as commoners attempted to reset the balance between the rulers and the ruled.
Marie Antoinette's Expensive Tastes Were A Slap In The Face
Louis XIV Built Versailles As An Exclusive Elite Playground
Louis XV Gave His Mistresses Way Too Much Power
Marie Antoinette Had A Special Playground-Retreat From Public Life
King Louis XVI Locked The Third Estate Out Of A Meeting
A Member Of The Royal Family Fanned The Flames Of Revolution