Birthdays mean cake. Cakes are the number one image of a birthday celebration. We here at Doozy talk cakes every single day we make birthday cards. They are our bread and butter, so to speak. Which brings me to Marie Antoinette.
I’ve been reading a book on Royal Scandals* and just finished the chapter on poor Marie. Many of you know by now that Marie Antoinette never actually uttered the phrase “Let them eat cake” when she heard peasants complaining about not having enough food to eat. It has also been attributed to Marie-Therese, wife of Louis XIV from one hundred years earlier. It first appears in France in Rousseau’s (rather unreliable) auto-biography where he attributes it to “…a great princess who once said…”
And those weren’t the words exactly. What she said went like this: “Qu’ils mangent de la brioche.” Brioche isn’t cake really but a weirdly-shaped eggy bun. But “Let them eat weirdly-shaped eggy buns” doesn’t have the same ring to it in English. So “Let them eat cake” stuck.
So let’s give Marie Antoinette her due. What does the late Queen have to say for herself?
“I was a queen, and you took away my crown; a wife, and you killed my husband; a mother, and you deprived me of my children. My blood alone remains: take it, but do not make me suffer long.
“Courage! I have shown it for years; think you I shall lose it at the moment when my sufferings are to end?”
[Spoken in response to a priest who accompanied her to the guillotine after he whispered, “This is the moment, Madame, to arm yourself with courage.”]
Her final words on Earth were:
“Pardonnez-moi, monsieur. Je ne l’ai pas fait exprès”
Translated they mean, “Pardon me sir. I did not mean to do it”. She said this to her executioner upon whose foot she stepped before she was executed by guillotine.
Okay enough of this “heads will roll” talk. If your loved one’s birthday is just around the corner, remember what allows us to earn our daily bread – birthday ecards! Take a look at our vast collection of free birthday ecards. And heck, arrange a party. Blow up balloons, grab some champagne. And most definitely, let them eat cake.
*”A Treasury of Royal Scandals”, Michael Farquhar, Penguin Books, 2001