- "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.
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
- Marie Antoinette: Princess of Versailles at Scholastic Canada
- Marie Antoinette: Princess of Versailles Discussion Guide at Scholastic Canada