Who Was Marie Antoinette?

Portrait of Marie-Antoinette de Habsbourg-Lorraine (1755-93) (oil on canvas), French School, (18th century)

Maria Antonia Josepha Joanna, better known as Marie Antoinette, was the last queen of France.  She helped provoke the popular unrest that led to the French Revolution and to the overthrow of the monarchy in August 1792, becoming the symbol of excesses within the monarchy. She is often credited with the famous quote "Let them eat cake," [although there is no evidence she actually said it].  As consort to Louis XVI, Marie Antoinette was beheaded nine months after her husband by order of the Revolutionary tribunal. She was 37 years old.