Teen Marriage: Marie Antoinette & Louis-Auguste

A R T L▼R K

41TigSB3YNL._On the 16th of May 1770, the wedding of Marie Antoinette and Louis-Auguste was held at Versailles in the Chapel Royal. Following three centuries of rivalry, France and Austria had finally become allies in 1756, so in order to cement their fresh diplomatic ties, Louis XV and the Empress Maria Theresa arranged the marriage of their respective children: the Duc de Berry, Dauphin of France, aged 15, and Marie-Antoinette, Archduchess of Austria, aged 14. Historian Margaret Hunt pointed out that, until the late 18th century marriage was “the main means of transferring property, occupational status, personal contacts, money, tools, livestock and women across generations and kin groups” (The Middling Sort: Commerce, Gender, and the Family in England, 1680-1780, University of California Press., 1996). However, marriage was also often instrumental in laying claim to political power and reinforcing peace treaties, such as was the case of our young royals’ union…

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