Marie Antoinette organizes the rescue of a hurt postillion

November 17, 2011

Painting by Alexander Kucharsky

While organizing emergency measures for a postillion of her carriage who had been hurt in the exercise of his duties, Marie Antoinette addressed those she was giving instructions to as “my friend.”

—    My friend, go and bring the doctors.

—    My friend, go and fetch a gurney.

—    My friend, see if he is conscious.

When the nobles of the Court heard what had happened they commented in admiration, “Surely Maria Teresa would have recognized her daughter in this episode, and Henry IV his heiress.”

Pierre de Nolhac, Marie-Antoinette Dauphine (Paris: Calmann-Lévy, 1898), p. 242. ( translation.)


Short Stories on Honor, Chivalry, and the World of Nobility—no. 126

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  • Remaining calm during a crisis is a key element for good leadership. Marie Antoinette's ability to do this was put to the greatest of tests when the revolutionary mob stormed Versailles. However, her calm leadership was being honed long before as can be seen in small episodes like this one.

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