A Lost Bet

When Empress Maria Theresa was pregnant with her daughter Marie Antoinette, she wagered a bet with one of her courtiers, Count Dietrichstein, about the sex of the baby. The Empress believed she would give birth to a daughter, the Count thought the baby would be a boy. As we all know, he lost:

“When the appearance of a girl, said to be as like her mother as two drops of water, meant that he lost the bet, the Count had a small porcelain figure made of himself, on his knees, proffering verses by Metastasio to Maria Teresa. He may have lost his wager but if the new-born augusta figlia resembled her mother, then all the world would have gained.*”

Marie Antoinette: The Journey by Antonia Fraser, chapter 1

Further reading:
Maria Antoinette: The Journey by Antonia Fraser

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