The French monarchy was a shining beacon of tranny. King Louis XIV was called “the Sun King,” and built the greatest monument to aristocracy ever; the Palace of Versailles. Many were born and died under the feet of the ruling class who feasted on the blood and spirit of the peasantry. Life, under their rule, was suffering.
Eventually the tyranny was too much and the King who wielded it too weak to cling to its blade. It was torn from King Louis XVI who was far too inept to defend his kingdom from his own, enlightened, people.
But in doing so, oppressed turned tyrant. Centuries of pain was unleashed on the aristocracy and when they had no more blood to bleed, it was unleashed each other. The guillotine lopped off heads as if preparing a chicken dinner for a celebration of the new republic.
King Louis was not spared, of course. His blood was demanded to seal, once and for all, the tomb of the French monarchy. But his was not enough.
The Queen may have been even more reviled than her husband. Pretty, wealthy, elite, aloof she was hated deeply by virtually all of the citizens of the new Republic and therefor they thirsted for her blood above all other’s.
She was broken and destroyed emotionally and mentally. Her husband, the king, was killed. Her children were taken from her. Her young boy tortured. She was dead inside; a shell of a woman. Put on trial, she was found guilty and sentenced to death. The anger of the nation was heaped on her. And in the final moment, something moving happened.
Legend has it that as Marie Antoinette was making her way up the steps of the guillotine she stepped on the foot of the executioner and muttered a single word, “pardon.” it was the last word she ever spoke. “I’m sorry.”
While she likely simply meant she was sorry for stepping on his foot, her manners still deeply imbedded in her heart, in that moment the words carried far more weight.
Was she sorry for looking down on those she felt were not her equal (everyone)? Was she sorry for not caring for her fellow human? Was she sorry for her elitism and gluttony and hedonism?
I like to think, in that moment, she was sorry for the life she lived. I like to think, in that moment, she repented to humankind for being such an awful, tyrannical, monster.
If that is true, if she truly was sorry in that moment, I for one, forgive her.