- "I think that my days of privacy are numbered. I have many odd thoughts about this marriage. It is hard to explain. It is not that I don't want it. I want to meet, and I am sure that I shall love, the Dauphin, but there is so much more. The Court of Versailles I think is quite different from our Imperial Court in Vienna. Versailles is a very complicated place."
- —Marie Antoinette
Marie Antoinette: Princess of Versailles is the fourth book in The Royal Diaries. It was the second book in the series written by Kathryn Lasky, after Elizabeth I: Red Rose of the House of Tudor. The book was released by Scholastic in April 2000 and republished in November 2013 with new cover art. It was also released in Mon Histoire and My Royal Story.
- "June 13, 1769
It has come at last—the marriage proposal! King Louis XV's personal envoys arrived this morning. I was called immediately to Mama's summer house, The Gloriette, where she works on the hottest days. I did not know what I was being called for. Indeed, I thought maybe Luisa had told Mama about our picnic and I was to be reprimanded for hill rolling! But as soon as I set foot in the cool marble receiving room, Mama was out of her chair behind the desk and running toward me. She crushed me to her bosom and whispered, "Antonia, you are to be married! You are to be the Queen of France!" Her cheeks were wet with tears and soon mine were, too!"
- ""I am to be Queen of France."
To forge an incredibly powerful alliance, thirteen-year-old Maria Antonia of Austria, who will one day be known as Marie Antoinette, is betrothed to Dauphin Louis Auguste, the future King of France. In order to prepare her for this awesome responsibility, she must be trained to write, read, speak French, dress, act... even breathe. Things become more difficult for her when she is separated from her family and sent to the court of Versailles to meet her future husband. Opinionated and headstrong Maria must find a way to fit in at the royal court and get along with her fiancé. The futures of Austria and France depend on it. But as she lives a luxurious life inside the palace gates, out on the streets the people of France face hunger and poverty. Through the pages of her diary, Maria captures the isolation, the lavish parties and gowns, her struggle to find her place, and the years leading up her ascendance of the throne... and a revolution."
- "Partage le journal intime de Marie-Antoinette, et vis avec elle le fascinant destin d'une jeune princesse à Versailles.
13 Juin 1769. Oh mon Dieu, ça y est! elle est enfin là—la demande en mariage! Les émissaires du roi Louis XV sont arrivés ce matin. J'ai tout de suite été appelée dans la maison d'été où maman travaille. Je pensais que j'allais me faire gronder parce que j'avais joué à peine posé le pied dans la salle de réception en marbre que maman s'est précipitée vers moi. Elle m'a écrasée sur sa poitrine et m'a murmuré: "Antonia, tu vas te marier! Tu vas devenir reine de France!" Ses joues étaient toutes mouillées de larmes, et les miennes n'ont pas tardé à l'être aussi!"
- "It's 1769. Austrian Archduchess Maria Antonia is preparing to leave her childhood home and travel alone to France. There she will be at the centre of the suffocating French court where etiquette and gossip reign. Where her every move will be watched and commented on. And where must transform herself into Marie Antoinette–the future Queen of France..."
Thirteen-year-old, Maria Antonia prepares for her upcoming marriage to the Dauphin of France, Louis Auguste. He will one day be King, when his grandfather Louis XV dies. The marriage is advantageous for Antonia's mother, Maria Theresa, Empress of Austria and Hungary, who seeks an unbreakable alliance with France. However, Theresa becomes anxious, when the official proposal fails to arrive from France.
The royal family are spending the summer in Schönbrunn Palace, when the proposal finally arrives. She spent the following months learning the etiquette of the French court as well as practicing French dancing and horse riding. A few months before marrying, Antonia's beloved governess and niece passed away. On April 19, 1770, Antonia was married by proxy with her brother standing in as Louis Auguste.
Antonia, now Marie Antoinette, makes her way to the Austrian border, where her new head Lady-in-Waiting, Countess de Noailles greets her. They perform a ceremony in which, Antoinette leaves Austria forever and enters into France. A few days later, she meets her husband for the first time in Compiègne and they stage another wedding ceremony in Versailles later.
Antoinette initially dislikes her new husband, but slowly becomes his friend over the following months. This spells trouble for Madame du Barry, the King's mistress, who schemes against Antoinette. Meanwhile, Antoinette refuses to speak to du Barry, despite her advisers urging her to. Eventually on New Year's Day, Antoinette gives in to the King's wishes and says a simple sentence to du Barry.
- Marie Antoinette, the youngest daughter of Empress Maria Theresa. She is engaged to Louis Auguste, the Dauphin of France, who will one day be King.
- Maria Theresa, the nosy mother of Marie Antoinette. She is the powerful Empress of Austria and Hungary. Her goal is to marry her children to other royals.
- Main article: Kathryn Lasky
Kathryn Lasky (born June 24, 1944 in Indianapolis, Indiana) is an American children's author. She is best known for her Guardians of Ga'Hoole. Lasky has written five books in The Royal Diaries, four in Dear America, three in My America, and one in My Name Is America.
Lasky was always fascinated by princesses, especially Marie Antoinette, who "personified all the best and the worst things about being a princess." Like Elizabeth I: Red Rose of the House of Tudor, Lasky spent a lot of time researching and "that all of what she wrote is based on actual facts."
- NCSS/CBC Notable Social Studies Trade Book for Young People (2001) - recommended
- IRA Young Adults' Choices Reading List (2002)
- Interview with Kathryn Lasky about Marie Antoinette: Princess of Versailles at Scholastic
- Marie Antoinette: Princess of Versailles Discussion Guide at Scholastic
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