|Marie Antoinette with Madame Royale and the Dauphin|
|French Royal Family circa 1822|
So who was the Dark Countess? Was she really Marie Thérèse Charlotte de Bourbon, driven into a life of solitude by the tragic memories of what happened to her family during the Terror and her own horrific experiences while imprisoned? Or was she just a woman who liked to live a quiet life, a woman who maybe suffered from a facial injury or social phobia that caused her to avoid mixing with strangers? Hopefully the scientific analysis of the body will yield answers and her identity will be confirmed. But if the Dark Countess is not the French princess, who was she and why did some of Europe’s most senior royals give her shelter and help her to live in comfortable isolation, away from the world?