Scientists were able to decipher the shaded words from the personal correspondence between Marie Antoinette and the Swedish Count Axel von Fersen.
The shaded words in the eight letters turned out to be “gentle friend”, “adore”, “madly” and “beloved.” X-ray fluorescence spectroscopy helped scientists to decipher these words. It took researchers 150 years to establish the identity of the person who hid a series of words. In their opinion, this is Count Axel von Fersen himself.
French literature professor Katriona Seth expressed her opinion on the shaded words. According to the professor, these symbols do not indicate a romance between Marie Antoinette and the count. Shaded characters can be considered a semblance of modern emoticons.
“You can use such a symbol in correspondence with a friend instead of writing the word “goodbye”, for example. However, a person who does not know anything about emoticons in such a situation will assume that you are in love. Moreover, at that time the count was having an affair with another woman, ”commented Ekaterin Seth.
Marie Antoinette of Austria became Queen of France and Navarre in 1774. She was also a trendsetter, so the king had to pay for Antoinette’s many outfits. The queen led a lifestyle that violated the etiquette of the Versailles court: she gambled, admitted into her salon everyone who was capable of playing a big game, not knowing that she was admitting people with a bad reputation.
As a consequence, Marie-Antoinette lost 171,344 francs (approximately $ 185,162) in 1778. The Queen’s reputation was bad: a large number of rumors were spread about her, which were readily believed. In 1793, Marie Antoinette was executed on charges of betraying the country’s interests. She was beheaded at what is now the central square of Paris. By order of King Louis XVIII of France in 1815, her remains were identified and transferred from the Madeleine cemetery to Saint-Denis.
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