Royal Extravagance - Parties, Pastries & Love Affairs!

When the King of France, Louis XV, dispatched a tutor to Austria to instruct his grandson's future wife, the tutor reported  " Marie Antoinette is more intelligent than has been generally supposed," but "she is rather lazy and extremely frivolous, she is hard to teach."

Marie Antoinette was a child of only 14 years, delicately beautiful, with gray-blue eyes and ash-blonde hair. In May 1770, she set out for France to be married, escorted by 57 carriages, 117 footmen and 376 horses. 

The young woman did not adjust well to a married life for which she was obviously ill prepared - which included putting on her make up and going the toilet in front of dozens of courtiers.

The personalities of Louis XVI and Marie Antoinette could not have been more different. He was introverted, shy and indecisive, a lover of solitary pleasures such as reading and metalwork; she was vivacious, outgoing and bold, a social butterfly who loved gambling, partying and extravagant fashions. When the king went to bed before midnight, Marie Antoinette's nights of partying and carousing had yet to begin. When she woke up just before noon, he had been at work for hours.

Ten years after their marriage,  Marie Antoinette began spending more and more time at the Petit Trianon, her private castle on the grounds of the Palace of Versailles, almost always without the king. Around this time the first rumors surfaced about her relationship with Swedish diplomat Count Axel von Fersen.