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“Let them eat cake” is a very popular saying, thought to have been said by Marie Antoinette and to have helped start the French Revolution. However, did she actually say it, or is this exaggerated by historians?

The words first appeared in in a book in Jean-Jacques Rousseau’s autobiography, published in 1782, but it was attributed to, simply, a “great princess”. The words were first attributed to Antoinette in 1843 by Alphonse Karr. There is evidence that Louis XIV’s wife said it, 100 years before Antoinette was born, but no true evidence that Marie said it herself.

“Let Them Eat Cake”
San Diego Cake Show

Marie Antoinette was born in 1755 to Francis I, the Holy Roman Emperor, and therefore was a princess to the greatest kingdom in the world at the time. She was married in 1774 to the future king of France, Louis XVI, and lived in the palace of Versailles, isolated from the people of France. She supposedly said the words in either 1765 or 1788, a reaction to a report that the people of France were without food. This remark supposedly inflamed the people, and proved that Antoinette was truly a royal, far from the people’s needs. Eventually, Louis XVI and Marie Antoinette were deposed and executed in 1793 in the French Revolution.

“The Leafy Cake”
San Diego Cake Competition

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Close-up view

My brother, Morgan, recently competed in the San Diego Cake Competition, and got a 3rd place ribbon! He’s very creative, and used real cake and buttercream, unlike most other competitors.

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