Maria Theresa of Naples and Sicily

18/19th century Holy Roman Empress
Maria Theresa
Maria Teresa di Borbone-Napoli.jpg
Holy Roman Empress
German Queen
Tenure5 July 1792 – 6 August 1806
Queen consort of Hungary and Bohemia
Archduchess consort of Austria
Tenure1 March 1792 - 13 April 1807
Coronation11 August 1793, Prague
Empress consort of Austria
Tenure11 August 1804 – 13 April 1807
Born(1772-06-06)6 June 1772
Royal Palace, Naples, Naples
Died13 April 1807(1807-04-13) (aged 34)
Hofburg Palace, Vienna, Austria
Burial
Imperial Crypt
Spouse
(m. 1790)
Issue
Among others..
Names
Maria Teresa Carolina Giuseppina di Borbone
HouseBourbon-Two Sicilies
FatherFerdinand I of the Two Sicilies
MotherMaria Carolina of Austria
ReligionRoman Catholicism

Maria Theresa of Naples and Sicily (6 June 1772 – 13 April 1807) was the first Empress of Austria and last Holy Roman Empress as the spouse of Francis II. She was born a Princess of Naples as the eldest daughter of King Ferdinand I of the Two Sicilies and Queen Maria Carolina.

Life

Maria Theresa of Naples as a young child

Early life

Born on 6 June 1772 at the Royal Palace of Naples, Maria Theresa Carolina Giuseppina was the eldest child of King Ferdinand I of the Two Sicilies and his wife Queen Maria Carolina. She was her mother’s favorite child from birth, and was henceforth named after her maternal grandmother Empress Maria Theresa.[1] Princess Maria Theresa was taught French, mathematics, geography, theology, music, dancing, and drawing.[1]

In the February of 1790, Archduke Francis’s wife, Duchess Elisabeth, died in childbirth, and it was announced that he would marry one of the princesses of Naples. Maria Theresa and her sister Luisa were both considered for the match. In the end, though, Luisa was chosen to marry Ferdinand III, Grand Duke of Tuscany, and Maria Theresa was to marry Francis.[1] The marriage was in accordance with the traditional Habsburg marriage policy.

Marriage

On 15 September 1790, at the age of 18, Princess Maria Theresa married her double first cousin Archduke Francis.[2] Francis would, in 1792, become Holy Roman Emperor. Eventually, in 1806, he would become the first Emperor of Austria.[2][3] The marriage was described as a happy one based on mutual understanding,[2] despite differences in personality. Francis was described as a melancholic character. He was shy and reserved, and was serious with a preference for a spartan lifestyle and duty. Maria Theresa, on the other hand, was described as a gracious blue-eyed blonde with a vivacious personality, a hot temper and a sensual nature. Despite these differences in personality, they were reported to have a good understanding of each other and had a very good relationship.

Maria Theresa reportedly adapted well to her new home in Vienna and did not suffer from homesickness. She participated with enthusiasm in court life, and it was noted that she enjoyed dancing and partaking in carnival balls—even while pregnant.[2] She particularly enjoyed the Waltz, which had been recently introduced as an innovation and became fashionable during her years in Vienna.

Hedvig Elisabeth Charlotte of Holstein-Gottorp described the view of Maria Theresa and the relationship between the couple in her famous diary during her visit to Vienna in 1798–99:

The Empress is reputed to be so jealous that she does not allow him to take part in social life or meet other women. Vicious tongues accuse her of being so passionate that she exhausts her consort and never leaves him alone even for a moment. Although the people of Vienna cannot deny that she is gifted, charitable and carries herself beautifully, she is disliked for her intolerance and for forcing the Emperor to live isolated from everyone. She is also accused of interesting herself in unimportant matters and socializing exclusively with her lady-companions. With them she spends her evenings singing, acting out comedies and being applauded.[4]

On 12 December 1791, the firstborn child of Princess Maria Theresa and Archduke Francis was born: Marie Louise.[5] She was educated specifically in French, English, Spanish Italian and Latin, with the expectation of her native language German.[6] Marie Louise would soon marry King Napoleon, due to the ongoing wars with France that were effecting her parents and grandparents.

Holy Roman Empress

Portrait of Empress Maria Theresa, by Johann Baptist von Lampi the Elder

In 1792, Maria Theresa’s husband Francis ascended the throne as King of Hungary, Croatia and Bohemia, and she became queen consort. In the same year, she would become Holy Roman Empress.[2] The-then Empress Maria Theresa was interested in politics and came to play a certain role in state affairs due to her influence over her spouse, to whom she acted as an adviser. She was a conservative force and belonged to the critics of King Napoleon, and was reported to have encouraged Francis in an anti-French position during the Napoleonic Wars. She has also been pointed out for being partially responsible for the dismissal of Johann Baptist Freiherr von Schloissnigg and Graf Franz Colloredo.

In the February of 1799, her seeming indifference to the revolution against her parents in Naples attracted some disfavour in Vienna.[3] Although she was her mother’s favorite child, she was bias when it come to their exile during the War.

An important patron of Viennese music, she commissioned many compositions for official and private use. Joseph Haydn wrote his Te Deum for chorus and orchestra at her request. Her favourite composers included Paul Wranitzky and Joseph Leopold Eybler, a composer of sacred music.

Death

Empress Maria Teresa of the Two Sicilies lying in state.

In the winter of 1806, Empress Maria Theresa (pregnant with her 12th child) contracted tuberculous pleurisy, which the imperial physician, Andreas Joseph von Stifft, treated with bloodletting. However, it did not trigger an improvement in health, but a premature birth. When Empress Maria Theresa died after following complications after her last childbirth (the daughter died a few days before the mother) on 13 April 1807 at the age of 34, the Emperor was inconsolable and had to be removed by force from the corpse of his wife. She was buried in the Imperial Crypt in Vienna. The shattered Emperor stayed away from the funeral, instead traveling to Buda with his two eldest children.[7] The urn containing her heart was placed in the Heart Crypt and the urn with her entrails in the Ducal Crypt. Empress Maria Theresa is one of the 41 people who received a "separate burial" with the body divided between all three traditional Viennese burial sites of the Habsburgs (Imperial Crypt, Heart Crypt, Duke Crypt).

Issue

Children of Maria Theresa of Naples and Sicily
Name Picture Birth Death Notes
By Francis II, Holy Roman Emperor
Archduchess Marie Louise Jean-Baptiste Isabey 003.jpg 12 December 1791 17 December 1847 (aged 56) Married first Emperor Napoleon I of France, had issue, married second Adam, count of Neipperg, had issue, married third to Charles, Count of Bombelles, no issue.
Emperor Ferdinand I of Austria Kaiser Ferdinand I von Österreich in ungarischer Adjustierung mit Ordensschmuck c1830.jpg 19 April 1793 29 June 1875 (aged 82) Married Maria Anna of Savoy, Princess of Sardinia, no issue.
Archduchess Maria Caroline 8 June 1794 16 March 1795 (aged 0) Died in childhood, no issue.
Archduchess Caroline Ludovika 22 December 1795 30 June 1797 (aged 1) Died in childhood, no issue.
Archduchess Caroline Josepha Leopoldine Maria Leopoline of Austria Brasilia2.jpg 22 January 1797 11 December 1826 (aged 29) Renamed Maria Leopoldina upon her marriage; married Pedro I of Brazil, had issue.
Archduchess Maria Clementina Franziska Josepha Maria Clementine Austria Salerno 1798 1881.jpg 1 March 1798 3 September 1881 (aged 83) Married her maternal uncle Leopold, Prince of Salerno, had issue.
Archduke Joseph Franz Leopold JosephFranzofAustria.jpg 9 April 1799 30 June 1807 (aged 8) Died some weeks after his mother in childhood, no issue.
Archduchess Marie Caroline 1801 MKaroline.jpg 8 April 1801 22 May 1832 (aged 31) Married Crown Prince (later King) Frederick Augustus II of Saxony, no issue.
Archduke Franz Karl Waldmüller Erzherzog Franz Carl 1839.jpg 17 December 1802 8 March 1878 (aged 75) married Princess Sophie of Bavaria; father of Franz Joseph I of Austria and Maximilian I of Mexico.
Archduchess Marie Anna Maria Anna d'Austria.jpg 8 June 1804 28 December 1858 (aged 54) Born intellectually disabled (like her eldest brother, Emperor Ferdinand I) and to have suffered from a severe facial deformity. Died unmarried.
Archduke Johann Nepomuk 30 August 1805 19 February 1809 (aged 3) Died in childhood, no issue.
Archduchess Amalie Theresa 6 April 1807 9 April 1807 (aged 0) Died in childhood, no issue.

Ancestry

References

  1. ^ a b c Bloks, Moniek (2022-01-25). "Maria Theresa of Naples and Sicily - The last Holy Roman Empress (part one)". History of Royal Women. Retrieved 2022-06-27.
  2. ^ a b c d e Susan (2013-06-05). "Maria Theresa of Naples and Sicily, Empress of Austria". Unofficial Royalty. Retrieved 2022-06-27.
  3. ^ a b "Maria Theresa - the last Holy Roman Empress". Italy On This Day. Retrieved 2022-06-27.
  4. ^ Charlottas, Hedvig Elisabeth (1927) [1797-1799]. af Klercker, Cecilia (ed.). Hedvig Elisabeth Charlottas dagbok [The diary of Hedvig Elizabeth Charlotte] (in Swedish). Vol. VI 1797-1799. Translated by Cecilia af Klercker. Stockholm: P.A. Norstedt & Söners förlag. pp. 160–61. OCLC 14111333. (search for all versions on WorldCat)
  5. ^ de Saint-Amand, p. 1
  6. ^ Schom, Alan, p. 548
  7. ^ Friedrich Weissensteiner: Frauen auf Habsburgs Thron – die österreichischen Kaiserinnen (in German), Ueberreuter Wien, 1998, ISBN 3-8000-3709-2
  8. ^ Genealogie ascendante jusqu'au quatrieme degre inclusivement de tous les Rois et Princes de maisons souveraines de l'Europe actuellement vivans [Genealogy up to the fourth degree inclusive of all the Kings and Princes of sovereign houses of Europe currently living] (in French). Bourdeaux: Frederic Guillaume Birnstiel. 1768. pp. 1, 9.
  • This article is based on its equivalent on German Wikipedia

Literature

  • Richard Reifenscheid, Die Habsburger in Lebensbildern, Piper 2006
  • John A. Rice, Empress Marie Therese and Music at the Viennese Court, 1792–1807, Cambridge 2003
  • Friedrich Weissensteiner: Frauen auf Habsburgs Thron – die österreichischen Kaiserinnen, Ueberreuter Wien, 1998, ISBN 3-8000-3709-2

External links

Media related to Maria Teresa of the Two Sicilies at Wikimedia Commons

Maria Theresa of Naples and Sicily
Cadet branch of the House of Bourbon
Born: 6 June 1772 Died: 13 April 1807
German royalty
Preceded by Holy Roman Empress
1792–1806
Holy Roman Empire
dissolved
Queen of the Romans
1792–1806
Vacant
Title next held by
Augusta of Saxe-Weimar
as German Empress
Archduchess consort of Austria
1792–1807
Succeeded by
Queen consort of Hungary and Bohemia
1792–1807
New title
Creation of Austrian Empire
Empress consort of Austria
1804–1807
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