MARIE ANTOINETTE HISTORY LESSON
Print the Marie Antoinette reading
comprehension passage and questions (see
Students should read the story silently,
then answer the questions about the story that follow.
Excerpt from passage
Imagine what it must be like to be a queen. Going to parties, wearing the hottest fashions, telling other people what to do….. Sounds like a fairy tale come true, doesn't it? Well, back in the late 1700's, a girl named Marie had all of these things. She was the Queen of France. However, Marie's fairy tale did not have a happy ending. She found out that being a queen is more than being pretty and having fun.
Marie Antoinette was born in Austria in 1755. Her parents were the Emperor and Empress of the Holy Roman Empire. Her original name was Maria Antonia. Marie had 15 brothers and sisters. She was the youngest female child and it is said she was the prettiest of all the girls in her family.
Archduchess Antonia had a happy childhood. Although life in public was strict and formal, in private, Antonia's family was relaxed and casual. Antonia's mother, the Empress, was a strong leader. She was loved immensely by the people she ruled over. She spent as much time as she could with her children, but much of Antonia's education and training was left up to her governess, who enjoyed spoiling the pretty little girl. Unfortunately, Antonia spent more time playing than studying which did not prepare her for her future duties as a queen. Antonia did enjoy music and she learned to play the harp. She also learned to dance quite well. On occasion she even played duets with the famous composer Mozart.
Antonia's childhood came to an end at the age of 14 when her mother arranged her marriage to the dauphin, or crown prince, of France. So, in 1770, the young Antonia, left her childhood home in Austria and made the long journey to the French Palace of Versailles to be married. (continued...)
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