Marie Antoinette took care of the sick and needy herself

October 27, 2011

Marie Antoinette

Whenever succoring the sick and the needy, Marie Antoinette never stopped to consider the distance between her social position and that of the unfortunate person she was assisting.

One day, as some of the Queen’s servants entered her suite, they were astonished to find her taking care of an old man who was lying down. Marie Antoinette was ripping up handkerchiefs, which she then soaked in a basin of fresh water, before cleaning the old man’s wounds as carefully as any professional nurse would have done. The patient was an old servant. She had asked him to move a very heavy piece of furniture and in doing this there was a mishap and he hurt himself badly.

Madame Campan, Mémoires sur la vie de Marie-Antoinette (Paris: Nelson Éditeurs, 1823), p. 44. ( translation.)


Short Stories on Honor, Chivalry, and the World of Nobility—no. 121

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