Princesse de Lamballe, Marie Antoinette's best friend. Slaughtered and head brought to queen's prison for queen to kiss.

The princesse de Lamballe

The princesse de Lamballe was Marie Antoinette’s foremost heroine. She returned to France from the safety of London so that Marie Antoinette could have a friend with her in the months before the king was deposed – and the brave woman was slaughtered just weeks after Marie Antoinette’s husband was deposed. Lamballe was by Marie … Read More

Axel von Fersen, Marie Antoinette's love, who agonised over tragic, lonely death of his beloved queen. (See letters)

Axel von Fersen

“Stay in Paris, then it’ll be easy to reach you. The king of Prussia, with his army, has resolved to make straight for Paris. Stay in Paris.” This was the disastrous advice from Axel von Fersen, Marie Antoinette’s beloved, in the weeks before her palace was stormed and her husband deposed. Marie Antoinette listened to … Read More

Princess Marie Therese, Marie Antoinette's daughter, finally freed from prison on 17th birthday.

Marie Therese, Marie Antoinette’s daughter

Meet Marie Antoinette’s long-forgotten heroes from her imprisonment: Marie Therese, Marie Antoinette’s 14 year old daughter –  “I begged Chaumette [the public prosecutor, on his frequent visits to her room in the Temple Tower], to let me rejoin my mother. “That is not my decision,” he answered.  For 2 and a half years the 14 … Read More

Duchesse de Tourzel, governess to royal children. Witnessed September Massacres, and narrowly escaped death.

Duchesse de Tourzel

“Don’t worry, you were kind to us and we’ll stay with you till you’re safe.” These were the words spoken quietly to the brave duchesse de Tourzel, governess to Marie Antoinette’s children, shortly before she was led in to face the dreaded Revolutionary Tribunal.  Marie Antoinette’s husband, Louis XVI had been deposed and imprisoned. Tourzel … Read More

Princesse de Tarente, one of Marie Antoinette's brave ladies who came to palace to be with queen, although knew it would be attacked. Survived.

Princesse de Tarente

“I’ll stay with her. I’ll keep her right by my side.”  These were the words of the brave princesse de Tarente, one of Marie Antoinette’s ladies in waiting. She had turned up to the palace to be with the queen, even although she knew that the revolutionaries had threatened to storm the palace and massacre … Read More

Hardi, from new revolutionary Paris Council. Saved lives of Tourzel women, at great risk to his own.

Monsieur Hardi

“Citizens, this young girl has been arrested by mistake. I’m removing her from prison as it’s unfair to permit the innocent to die alongside the guilty.”  The duchesse de Tourzel’s daughter was incarcerated in La Force Prison in September 1792, when the mob arrived to slaughter suspected royalists. Monsieur Hardi, a member of the Commune … Read More

Mme Campan, queen's chief maid. Almost massacred when queen's palace besieged.

Madame Campan

“Insults by day, assassins by night,” so said Marie Antoinette to Madame Campan, her chief maid. A few weeks before Marie Antoinette’s husband, Louis XVI was deposed, Marie Antoinette was working late into the night, writing to her beloved Axel von Fersen (who was in Brussels), and neighbouring powers, pleading with them to proceed as … Read More

Michonis, kindly prison inspector, who tried to help Marie Antoinette escape, and lost his life as a result.

Michonis, inspector of prisons

“I am writing to you, my dear child, to tell you I am calm and would be quite at peace if I knew that my poor children were free from anxiety. I love you both with all my heart.” Marie Antoinette had been transferred from the Temple Tower Prison to the Conciergerie Prison, away from … Read More

Pauline Tourzel escaped death during September Massacres, with aid of some revolutionaries.

Pauline de Tourzel

“Will you be able to save my mother’s life, monsieur?” The 17 year old Pauline, daughter of the duchesse de Tourzel (governess to Marie Antoinette’s children) endured agonies when Marie Antoinette’s palace was stormed and she was separated from her mother.  She witnessed the slaughter of many courtiers in the palace – many of whom … Read More

Lafayette - hero in US. But threatened Marie Antoinette, to have her sent to a nunnery.

Marquis de Lafayette

“Do not ever let yourself fall into the hands of Lafayette!” In the weeks before the people stormed their palace and deposed Marie Antoinette’s husband, various aristocrats, including Lafayette, queued up to offer to escort the royal family safely out of Paris. The revolutionaries had made their plans clear and people were concerned for the … Read More

Father Magnin, who was led into the prison in the dead of night by the warden, to fortify queen for her final ordeal.

Father Magnin

“The good Lord has chosen me, in spite of my unworthiness, to fill your soul with His grace.” During her last weeks of life, Marie Antoinette was secretly visited in her cell, in the dead of night, and given Holy Communion – or was she? Some commentators afterwards ridiculed the idea that, at the height … Read More

Rosalie Lamorliere, queen's kindly maid in last prison, Conciergerie.

Rosalie Lamorliere

“Madame, what would you like to eat this morning?” Marie Antoinette had been at court for her trial for two long days. She was only hours from death. Her beautiful young maid Rosalie, in tears, tried to encourage the queen to eat to keep up her strength. The queen tried – but did not succeed

Empress Maria Theresa of Austria, Marie Antoinette's mother. "I pity my daughter."

Empress Maria Theresa of Austria (Marie Antoinette’s mother)

“My poor innocent queen.” Empress Maria Theresa of Austria, Marie Antoinette’s mother, was outraged when her 18 year old daughter became queen, and months later, a vile article was published, accusing the innocent young queen of being a nymphomaniac. These articles continued for almost 20 years, right up until the queen’s husband was deposed, with … Read More

Fouquier Tinville, Marie Antoinette's prosecutor - with a face to match his occupation!


Fouquier-Tinville, public prosecutor when Marie Antoinette was put on trial. With a face which perfectly suited his occupation! You would cross the road if this man was approaching you on a dark night. You would even cross the road during broad daylight! How did Marie Antoinette feel being interrogated by this man?

Mandat, commander of Paris National Guard as Parisians besieged palace. Tricked out of palace, killed, head stuck on pike and paraded around Paris.

Marquis de Mandat

“Your majesties, I have been inspecting our defences.” Mandat was commander of Paris National Guard and as such, on the 10th of August 1792, the day the revolutionaries had threatened to storm Marie Antoinette’s palace, he was busy preparing for the assault. However, shortly afterwards, Mandat was lured from the palace and shot. Then the … Read More

Elisabeth, Marie Antoinette's sister in law. Queen, in tears begged her to look after her children, when she was taken away from them.

Princess Elisabeth

“Adieu, my good and loving sister. May this letter reach you.” How could we forget princess Elisabeth, Marie Antoinette’s sister in law?  These two had often been at loggerheads in the past. There had even been some frostiness at the beginning of their imprisonment, but, as their captivity progressed, and first her husband, then her … Read More