Did Louis XVI and Marie Antoinette love each other? What do you think of Marie's relationship with Count Fersen?
Well first off, I apologize if this gets long. (Which it will)
Did they love one another? Absolutely. There is no doubt whatsoever that Louis XVI and Marie Antoinette grew to love one another very much. Yes I say grew to because it did not start out that way. They had a typical arranged marriage, and Louis was brought up to abhor anything Austrian. They didn’t have that romantic love at first sight sort of story, but I think it makes it all the sweeter that their love developed over time.
Louis was basically the ancien regime-equivalent of the nerdy loner in the science club who somehow ended up dating the prom queen and never recovered from the shock.
It just seems so fitting, as yes they were complete and utter opposites but they loved one another nonetheless. Louis XVI was infamous for the fact that, unlike his predecessors (And indeed his own brothers) he NEVER took a mistress. It was practically unheard of for the King of France not to have a mistress, but he remained devoted to her and her alone.
Here’s some quotes from various sources I thought might help prove my point:
In obvious ways they were strikingly different: Louis beginning to put on weight, Antoinette slim; he steady, she quick; he reserved, she open; he with few close friends, she with many; he awkward, she majestic; he seeing the dark side, she the bright; he a keen reader, she bored by books; he unmusical, she happy with harp and clavichord.
But at a deeper level they possessed traits in common. Both had a lot of heart: they felt for those less fortunate than themselves, they loved their children and were happiest when with them. Both had a sense of duty and wanted above everything to do their job well.
Louis and Antoinette - Vincent Cronin
[Marie Antoinette] ran to [her husband,] threw her arms round his neck and hugging him tenderly, told him: “I feel, my dear husband, that I love you more each day. Your honesty and frankness charm me; the more I compare you with the others [note: his brothers] the more I know how much more you are worth.”
—Ambassador Mercy to Maria Theresa, 19 December 1771.
… [Louis XVI] spoke to his august consort in an infinitely cordial and tender manner, saying among other things that he loved her with all his heart and that he could swear to her he had never had the least feeling or sentiment for any woman, but for her alone.
—Ambassador Mercy to Maria Theresa, 17 June 1779
… kissing Mme la Dauphine, he said to her, “But do you love me?”
[She] answered, “Yes, you cannot doubt it, I love you sincerely and respect you even more.”
The young prince seemed very moved by these words; he caressed Mme la Dauphine most tenderly…
—Ambassador Mercy to Maria Theresa, 12 November 1773
This princess, as virtuous as she was amiable, whom monsters later on accused of having never loved her husband, was absolutely in despair. As soon as she heard the King’s carriage entering the Cour Royale she ran towards him holding the Dauphin in her arms, then breathless and almost fainting she fell into those of the King who was no less moved than she was. Holding out one hand to his children who covered it with kisses, with the other wiping the tears from the eyes of Marie-Antoinette and Madame Elisabeth, Louis XVI smiled again…he kept on repeating: “Happily no blood was shed, and I swear that not a drop of French blood will ever be shed on my orders.” ~ Histoire de la Revolution Francaise (3 vol.) by M.H. Lemaire, 1816
“In fact the King did not get the measles and he did miss the Queen; their relationship became noticeably deeper following the birth of their child. Finding three weeks too long to be apart, Louis XVI made his own romantic gesture. He stood for a quarter of an hour in a private courtyard of the Petit Trianon while the Queen leant out of a window. No one else was allowed to be present at this touching encounter but it was learned afterwards that tender words had been exchanged on both sides.
Marie Antoinette - The Journey
On the morning of his execution, Louis XVI removed his wedding ring and handed it to his valet, Jean-Baptiste Cléry, saying:
[Give] this ring to the queen; tell her that I part from it with pain and only at the last moment.
I could add more but I think that’s sufficient enough.
As for the Fersen question, HERE are some posts by the lovely Elena Maria Vidal that sum it up much more eloquently than I could. To quote the beginning of them:
Too often in the many articles about Marie-Antoinette that have surfaced in the last year due to the Coppola film, Count Axel von Fersen is referred to as the "queen’s lover” or as her “probable lover.” It is repeatedly disregarded that there is not a scrap of reliable historical evidence that Count Fersen and Marie-Antoinette were anything but friends, and that he was as much her husband’s friend as he was hers.
I can see why people are attracted to the idea of Fersen. He’s the dashing, romantic Swedish hero and people want to think that Antoinette found true love and happiness with him despite her tragic life. Well she DID find true love and happiness in her life, but it wasn’t with Fersen. It was with her husband, whom she loved more than anyone else and whom she stuck by until the end.
Oh my god I just thought of kid flash and robin getting into an argument over Robins capabilities because he doesn’t even have a superpowers and robins like “I don’t need superpowers to keep up with you” and KF is like “oh yeah? Try and keep up NOW” and he starts running around giving robin little taps on his shoulders and robin gets annoyed after a few seconds and grabs KF while he’s running and throws him on the ground n pins him saying “I don’t have a superpower, but if I DID then it would be the ability to pick out your weaknesses.” All smug and shit and then he notices that his knee is hella rubbing up on KFs crotch and KF is KIND?A??? Get TINg a bO NER- and KF is just “you were saying?” And ROBIN JUST IS BLUSHING
Imagine Person B has bad eyesight, so they wear contacts. They never wear their glasses because they hate when people look at them. One day, they lose their contacts so they have to wear glasses. Person A finds them and calls them cute all day just to piss Person B off.
The rain had finally stopped for a period, and
sunlight pierced the highest windows, making the brocades and jewels of
over two thousand people who lined the room shimmer. But no one indeed
glittered more fiercely than I did. With the four thousand diamonds that
studded my dress to reflect the sun’s rays, I was caught in a firestorm
of spangled light.
Marie Antoinette: Princess of Versailles - Kathryn Lasky
Person A asks person B something along the lines of, "Do you (like) like me?" because A really likes B but genuinely doesn't know if B likes them back. Then B is all like, "Oh my god! Am I that obvious?! I thought I was hiding it pretty well!" (Or better yet, A asks person C to ask if B likes A, and so B is super embarrassed but relieved that it's not so much of a secret anymore. C reports back to A like "Have I got news for you!")
Marie Antoinette was dressed in white brocade sewn with diamonds; not only had she brought many stones from Vienna, but Louis XV had given her the parure of her bridegroom’s late mother. In odd contrast to such glittering adornment, her wedding dress did not fit properly, both her stays and petticoats showing through a gap. She was so overcome when she signed the register she spelt her name wrongly and spilt some ink - a large blot can still be seen on the page. Louis-Auguste, in a golden suit also sewn with diamonds, was even more nervous than his wife, trembling and blushing.