France suffered a harsh winter in 1775. When the New Year began there was plenty of snow covering the streets and gardens at
The fluffy bed of snow did provide some pleasures, however. There was enough on the ground for sleigh-riding, and this was a fun tradition in
“There is so great a quantity of snow here that nothing like it has been seen for years; so we go in sleighs as we used to do in
Marie’s sleigh was decorated with feathers and little bells that jingled with the horses movements through the park at
“We were driving yesterday, and to-day there is a great “course” in
; but as they have never yet seen a Queen take part in one, they would invent stories, and I would rather give up the pleasure than be bothered by more stories.” Paris
MARIE ANTOINETTE, VERSAILLES 14 JANUARY 1776
Well she had right to worry about stories because it was not long before women of many different classes were taking masked sleigh-rides through
It could have been the Queen!
Did you see her!
Was that the Queen?
Who was she with!!
And a general idea that every sleigh that went by contained (or could have contained) the Queen incognito made fuel for troublesome stories of frivolity and fault.
It was not long after this Marie stopped going out on sleigh-rides.