Queen Marie-Antoinette is forced to leave Versailles with her royal family in the month of October 1789. She does not know if she will ever return to her home and if life will ever be the same. She comforts her children and says they will soon come home, but in her thoughts she doubts it.
A century later a young Finnish woman, Alma Söderhjelm, studies the French history of the revolutionary years. Alma lives in nervous times as the young nation Finland strives for freedom from the Russian tsar. In these wary circumstances she makes a defining choice. Alma traces Marie Antoinette’s secret love life when she finds the diaries of a Swedish aristocrat. She decides to bring the full drama into the light.
Through months in house arrest, a last joyful summer at Saint-Cloud, a dramatic flight towards the French border and the family’s final days together in Le Temple we follow Marie-Antoinette in her fight to protect what she cherishes more than her own life: Her own children and her secret love for the nobleman Axel von Fersen.
These two women live extraordinary lives in revolutionary times. One born into careless wealth and aristocracy, but also to duty, etiquette and rituals. The other pays a high price for her freedom.