What Really Happened After Marie Antoinette Died?

On October 16, 1793, Marie Antoinette, former queen of France, was beheaded (via History). According to Mental Floss, while the French people were starving, Marie Antoinette was living it up and spending excessively. She quickly became a scapegoat and the poster child for an overdue revolution. (per All That's Interesting). When the people stormed the Bastille, the situation became dire for the royals. Sensing their impending doom, they tried to flee france. History Hit states that they were caught en route. Marie was arrested, along with her husband, King Louis XVI, and their two children, Marie Thérèse and Louis Charles.

Per History Extra, the king was later executed and the queen was eventually separated from her two children and imprisoned at the Conciergerie. Marie Antoinette then went to trial and was found guilty of high treason and other counts, including sexually abusing her young son. However, this accusation is regarded as false and is something she vehemently denied (via Biography). Nonetheless, Marie Antoinette was sentenced to death and walked to the scaffold, where she was guillotined by the same executioner who beheaded her husband. She was only 37 years old. Although her children were not executed, they both suffered dismal fates.

The fate of Marie Antoinette's children

According to Mental Floss, Marie Antoinette and King Louis XVI had four children before the French revolution. They included Marie Thérèse, Louis Joseph, Louis Charles, and Sophie. Unfortunately, Louis Joseph died from tuberculosis before the storming of the Bastille, and their youngest child, Sophie, died before the age of 1. Distractify reports that Marie Antoinette and her two surviving children, Marie Thérèse and Louis Charles, were imprisoned together for two months before they were separated. And that's when things got even more rough.

Per Biography, Louis Charles, who was the heir to the throne, was kept in a dark cell and fed very little. He was reportedly abused by jailers and kept in isolation. It's believed he was manipulated to provide false accusations that his mother had been molesting him, which ultimately damned her even more. He died in prison at the age of 10 from what is believed to be tuberculosis. His mummified heart is on display at the Basilica of Saint-Denis (via Atlas Obscura).

As for Marie Thérèse, she was released from prison at 17 and married Duc d'Angoulême, her first cousin. It was said to be an extremely unhappy marriage and she lived most of her life in exile. However, she did become queen of France for 20 minutes when her husband inherited the throne. He abdicated after less than half an hour in favor of his nephew. Afterward, Marie Thérèse lived in exile. She died in 1851, age 72.