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Marie Antoinette: Through the years The ill-fated French queen has invaded our cultural consciousness ever since her death on a guillotine in 1793. A look at some of her multifaceted images down through the decades.

1933: Biography "Marie Antoinette: The Portrait of an Average Woman," by Austrian writer Stefan Zweig, appears in the United States, offering a more critical assessment of the queen and her behavior. The book remains popular and was rereleased in 2002.

1938: Hollywood actress Norma Shearer plays the role of Marie Antoinette in a glitzy big-budget biopic, and creates a sensation. Shearer earns an Oscar nomination for her role in the movie, which co-stars John Barrymore and Tyrone Power and sparks a frenzy for all things Versailles across America.

1956: Queen Elizabeth II pays a visit to Versailles, and goes back again the following year.

1982: President Ronald Reagan visits Versailles.

1990: Madonna channels Marie Antoinette in a lavish full-costume number for her song "Vogue" at the MTV Video Music Awards.

1994: Princess Diana visits Versailles. Numerous comparisons have been drawn, since then, between Diana and Marie Antoinette -- both young virgin brides taken by royalty as future queens, both tragic figures, both doomed to early deaths.

2001: Historian Antonia Fraser publishes "Marie Antoinette: The Journey," a new and sympathetic biography of the queen which humanizes and praises her. The book becomes a best seller and catches the attention of movie director Sofia Coppola.

2005: Coppola gets rare total access from the French government to film at the Palace of Versailles in Paris in order to film her movie of Marie Antoinette.

2006: Coppola's "Marie Antoinette," with Kirsten Dunst as the teenage queen, receives a poor reception at the Cannes Film Festival in the spring. The movie premiered in the United States on Friday.

Source: Buffalo News research