On October 16, 1793, Marie Antoinette was beheaded. The iconic French monarch was guillotined nine months after her husband, Louis XVI met his end in the same way. The pair was sought out for treason during the French Revolution; their people felt that the couple lived too extravagantly in harsh economic times. Antoinette is remembered for famously remarking “Let them eat cake!” when she heard that French peasants had no bread.
Sofia Coppola’s 2006 film, Marie Antoinette, played up the young queen’s penchant for lavishness. Kirstin Dunst captures the spirit of the doomed French monarch, who bought one too many pairs of shoes in her lifetime. But after all, as the film points out, Antoinette was a young bride and young queen, and was already a legend by age 20. She probably enjoyed shopping just as much as any teenagers do today.
Much later, in 1916, Margaret Sanger would open the first public health clinic in the United States. Remembered as the founder of Planned Parenthood, Sanger’s clinics have become a nationwide presence. Today, in an era of economic strife akin to Antoinette’s lifetime, Planned Parenthood may reach a fate none too different from the moncarch’s. Given the outcome of the November election, it may be off with the head of the Planned Parenthood Federation of America too.