Marie Antoinette, officially known as Marie-Antoinette-Josephe-Jeanne d’Autriche-Lorraine, was the last queen of France before the French Revolution took place. She lived a luxurious lifestyle and was one of the people who provoked the revolution. This was due to her extravagant lifestyle, apparent ignorance of the commoners’ poor situation, and of a scandal involving an expensive necklace, which caused the public to lose trust in the monarchy. Soon, the ball of hatred, distrust, and resentment for the monarchy led Marie and her husband Louis XVI to the executioner’s block. As Marie Antoinette ascended the stairs to the guillotine, she accidentally stepped on the executioner’s foot, saying to him “Pardon me sir, I meant not to do it.”
Apologizing for stepping on the foot of the man who is about to behead you and who probably didn’t care that you stepped on him in the first place seems ironic to me. However inconsiderate she might have been to France as a whole, her upbringing instilled within her the courtesy of apologizing for her (minor) mistakes. As one of the primary representatives (and a popular fashion icon) for the country, Marie Antoinette was viewed by a majority of the public as a stereotypically shallow and uncaring ruler. Hence the revolution. Although convicted and executed for treason of the people, what really went on in the mind and what the intentions of the fashionable ruler were may never be known.