When Marie Antoinette is first presented to the French royal family, Aunt Victoire is holding a pekingese. This breed was unknown in Europe until a hundred years later when British forces successfully invaded China in the Second Opium War and five pekingese belonging to the Chinese Emperor's aunt, who had committed suicide as the British troops advanced on the Forbidden City while the rest of the Imperial family fled, were brought back to Britain, where one was presented to Queen Victoria, who named it Looty.
Several times throughout the movie, Marie Antoinette is seen trying on shoes that distinguish between the left and right foot. Shoes were not made as left and right until 1850, over 50 years after she left Versailles.
When Marie Antoinette arrives at Versailles in 1770, both of the front facing façades' have their future, modern looks. In fact, the right one was changed in 1774 and the left in 1815. In 1770 the should still have looked as they did during the reign of Louis XIV. This error therefore, was impossible to avoid.
Throughout the movie, numerous characters are seen sipping champagne from wide champagne saucers. In the 18th century, champagne would be served in tall, conical flute glasses, as the coupe-shaped champagne glass appeared around 1850 and did not become dominant until the 1870's.
A clip of sumptuous food also shows a fork whose design is wrong by around a century. Four-tined forks did not appear until around the 1830's and they did not really catch on until the 1870's. It is among the more common Hollywood historical props goofs because several popular silverware patterns named "Versailles" can be found in antique stores; however almost all of them were designed in the 1880's at a time of enthusiasm for all things fancy.
After Marie Antoinette asks to be excused, she runs along a
hallway topped with chandeliers composed of light bulbs and not candles. In fact, in several scenes, the candle lights do not flicker, an obvious sign that bulbs were used instead.
Several times throughout the film, chandeliers can be seen clearly with electric light bulbs that weren't present in the 18th century. This is because Versailles was 'renovated' in the early 20th century and the candles were replaced with lamps. Therefore the crew had no control over this.
The masquerade ball held in the Paris Opera is clearly seen to take place in the Palais Garnier in Paris, built between 1861 and 1875 during the reign of Napoleon III. This impressive opera house, with its lavishly decorated and easily recognizable grand staircase replaced the old and less sumptuous opera house of Rue le Peletier.
Around 43:09, after Marie Antoinette and Louis XVI are walking away from a forced encounter with Madame Du Barry, boom mic is visible right above Kristen Dunst's head as she says "Those are my last words to that woman."
At the wedding, Louis slips the wedding ring on the third finger of Marie's left hand. However, at the reception, the wedding ring on the second finger. For the rest of the movie, the ring is either on the second finger or gone.
When Marie Antoinette's brother Emperor Joseph II arrives and before they sit down for tea he tastes a cookie. He is beside the table and starts to walk toward the camera after putting the cookie down. The next shot of him, he is behind the table.
In the dinner scene outside of Petit Trianon, the Duchess de Polignac tells an amusing story, thus causing Count Fersen, on her right, to laugh while facing her. However, the camera cuts to just him immediately after and he is staring "seductively" at Marie Antoinette while taking a drink. No time has passed, since Yolande-Gabrielle is still continuing on with her story.
When King Louis XV approaches the Dauphin as they await Marie's arrival after the handover, the Dauphin is wearing gloves. When the king presents Marie to the Dauphin moments later, the gloves are gone.
When the royal family leave the palace for the final time Marie Antoinette is looking out of the carriage window as it passes the center of the gardens. However, after she delivers her final line to Louis XVI the camera cuts back to the view out of the carriage window and it passes the center a second time.
When Marie Antoinette is having her first meal at the palace early in the movie there is a caged cockatoo near where she is dining. This scene is set in 1770, Australian cockatoos were not exported to Europe until after 1788.
The palace shown at the beginning of the film after Marie is awakened by a maid drawing open the curtains of her bedroom is neither Hofburg Palace, where she was born, or Schönbrunn Palace, where she was raised, but the Upper Belvedere portion of Belvedere Palace in Vienna, which, although owned by Empress Maria Theresa, was mainly used for social functions.
Marie Antoinette and Louis XVI actually had four children, not three as pictured in the painting in the movie. Their fourth child, Sophie-Beatrix died as a baby as was insinuated by the painting, but at that time they also had three other children. Marie-Therese, Louis-Joseph and Louis-Charles. Louis-Joseph would have just passed away (from tuberculosis) at the time that Versailles was overthrown. In the original painting of Marie Antoinette and her four children Louis-Charles in sitting on her lap, this is not shown in the painting in the movie, nor are the ages of the children accurate historically.
The Comte de Provence (future King Louis XVIII) introduces Louis and Marie to his newborn son, but Provence and his wife never had children. The baby, who is correctly referred to as the duc d'Angoulême, was the son of the Comte d'Artois (future King Charles X). Angoulême later became the husband of Louis and Marie's daughter Madame Royale, and pretender to the throne as Louis XIX.
As Mercy lectures Marie on offering meats to Louis's hunting party, she offers him a plate of macarons. Macarons were served at Louis XV's court, but not at Louis XVI's court. And the macarons Marie offers Mercy (filling between two cookies) didn't exist until the 1830s.
At the hand-off, la Comtesse de Noailles tells Marie-Antoinette the tent was built astride the border of French and Austrian soil. This is a true historical event that happened in 1770 near the township of Kehl, in the German province of Baden-Württemberg, which was then part of the Holy Roman (Austrian) Empire. That province has changed ownership several times throughout history, and has been part of the Federal Republic of Germany only since 1953.
When Marie Antoinette is requesting larger trees for the walkway, the lady-in-waiting behind her is wearing the same thin white ruffled dress that we see Marie commissioning from a dressmaker some years later, and wearing at the Petit Trianon.