“Let them eat cake”
Let them eat cake (“Qu’ils mangent de la brioche” in french) was the phrase pronounced by the sumptuous Queen Marie Antoinette of France when they told her that the people, hungry, asked for bread .
“Let them eat cake” appeared for the first time in 1765, when Marie Antoinette was only nine years old, in the autobiography of the philosopher Jean-Jacques Rousseau who attributed it to a “great princess”. Rousseau never named the great princess and many historians consider that the anecdote could even be an invention since his autobiography is not very reliable.
Some scholars believe that the origin of the phrase is even older and from very distant lands to France. An ancient Chinese anecdote tells that when the emperor was told that the people were hungry, because there was no rice, he said they would give him meat.
The phrase, used a lot by the revolutionary enemies of the Bourbon monarchy in France, was intended to demonstrate the queen’s apathy towards the people by offering them an expensive food and from the parties in the palace to the poor and hungry crowd. Although many still attribute it to the tragic Marie Antoinette today, it is more than a fact that the queen of Austrian birth never said it. It is only a legend, or not?