Maria Theresa of Naples and Sicily

This page was last edited on 2 December 2017, at 09:44.

Maria Theresa of Naples and Sicily (6 June 1772 – 13 April 1807) was the last Holy Roman Empress and the first Empress of Austria by marriage to Francis II, Holy Roman Emperor. She was the eldest daughter of Ferdinand IV & III of Naples and Sicily (later Ferdinand I of the Two Sicilies) (1751–1825) and his wife, Marie Caroline of Austria (1752–1814).

Maria Theresa of Naples
Maria Theresa of Naples and Sicily, Holy Roman Empress
Holy Roman Empress,
Queen consort of the Romans
Tenure 1 March 1792 – 6 August 1806
Tenure 11 August 1804 – 2 March 1807
Born 6 June 1772
Royal Palace, Naples
Died 13 April 1807 (aged 34)
Hofburg Palace, Vienna, Austria
Burial Imperial Crypt, Vienna, Austria
Spouse Francis II, Holy Roman Emperor
Issue
Detail
Full name
Maria Teresa Carolina Giuseppina di Borbone
House Bourbon-Two Sicilies
Father Ferdinand I of the Two Sicilies
Mother Maria Carolina of Austria
Religion Roman Catholicism

Life

Maria Theresa of Naples and Sicily - miniature Hofburg
Maria Theresa of Naples as a young child

Born Maria Teresa, and named after her maternal grandmother Maria Theresa of Austria, she was the eldest of 17 children born to her parents, the King and Queen of Naples and Sicily. Her father was a son of Charles III of Spain and Princess Maria Amalia of Saxony. Through her mother she was a niece of Marie Antoinette; through her father she was a niece of Maria Luisa of Spain and Charles IV of Spain. She was her mother's favourite child from birth until she left the Neapolitan court to marry.

Her brothers included the future King Francis and Leopold, Prince of Salerno. Another, Carlo, Duke of Calabria died in 1778 aged 3 of smallpox.

Her sisters included Grand Duchess of Tuscany. Her younger sister Princess Maria Cristina, was the wife of the future Charles Felix of Sardinia as Queen of Sardinia. Maria Cristina's twin Princess Maria Cristina Amelia died in 1783 of smallpox. Another sister was the Queen of the French as the wife of Louis Philippe I and the youngest was the future Princess of Asturias.

Empress

Josef Kreutzinger - Kaiserliche Familie
Maria Theresa with her husband and children.

On 15 September 1790 she married her double first cousin Archduke Francis of Austria, who would later become Holy Roman Emperor Francis II, and then Emperor Francis I of Austria. The marriage is described as a happy one, despite differences in personality.

Maria Theresa was described as easy-going with a sensuous appearance. She loved masquerades and carnivals, and participated in every ball even while she was pregnant.

Hedwig Elizabeth 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.[1]

In February 1799, her seeming indifference to the revolution against her parents in Naples attracted some disfavour in Vienna.[2] Hedwig Elisabeth Charlotte also recounts a scene described to her by a foreigner, who bribed his way into the private park at Laxenburg and came to witness a scene between the couple:

"He saw the Emperor sitting on a bench, alone in his thoughts. Immediately, the Empress came to fetch him, and he exlaimed: "Can't you ever leave me alone, so that I may breathe for one moment? For God's sake, don't follow me around all the time."[3]

She did have some political influence, as she was interested in politics. She gave her husband advice and is believed to have been partially responsible for the dismissal of Johann Baptist Freiherr von Schloissnigg and Graf Franz Colloredo; she was also critical of Napoleon and encouraged her husband in the wars against him.

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. He also composed numerous masses to celebrate her reign. Her favourite composers included Paul Wranitzky and Joseph Leopold Eybler, a composer of sacred music.

Titles and styles

  • 6 June 1772 – 15 September 1790: Her Royal Highness Princess Maria Theresa of Naples and Sicily
  • 15 September 1790 – 1 March 1792: Her Royal Highness Archduchess Francis of Austria
  • 1 March 1792 – 11 August 1804: Her Imperial Majesty The Holy Roman Empress, German Queen, Queen of Hungary and Bohemia
    • simplified: Her Imperial Majesty The Holy Roman Empress
  • 11 August 1804 – 6 August 1806: Her Imperial and Royal Apostolic Majesty The Holy Roman Empress, Empress of Austria, German Queen, Queen of Hungary and Bohemia
  • 6 August 1806 – 13 April 1807: Her Imperial and Royal Apostolic Majesty The Empress of Austria, Queen of Hungary and Bohemia

Ancestry

Ancestors of Maria Theresa of Naples and Sicily
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
16. Louis, Grand Dauphin of France
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
8. Philip V of Spain
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
17. Maria Anna Victoria of Bavaria
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
4. Charles III of Spain
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
18. Odoardo Farnese, Hereditary Prince of Parma
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
9. Elisabeth Farnese
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
19. Dorothea Sophie of Neuburg
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
2. Ferdinand I of the Two Sicilies
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
20. Augustus II of Poland
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
10. Augustus III of Poland
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
21. Christiane Eberhardine of Bayreuth
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
5. Maria Amalia of Saxony
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
22. Joseph I, Holy Roman Emperor
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
11. Maria Josepha of Austria
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
23. Wilhelmine Amalia of Brunswick
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
1. Maria Theresa of Naples and Sicily
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
24. Charles V, Duke of Lorraine
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
12. Leopold, Duke of Lorraine
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
25. Eleanor of Austria
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
6. Francis I, Holy Roman Emperor
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
26. Philippe I, Duke of Orléans
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
13. Élisabeth Charlotte of Orléans
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
27. Elizabeth Charlotte of the Palatinate
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
3. Maria Carolina of Austria
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
28. Leopold I, Holy Roman Emperor
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
14. Charles VI, Holy Roman Emperor
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
29. Eleonor Magdalene of Neuburg
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
7. Maria Theresa of Austria
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
30. Louis Rudolph, Duke of Brunswick-Lüneburg
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
15. Elisabeth Christine of Brunswick
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
31. Christine Louise of Oettingen
 
 
 
 
 
 

References

  1. ^ Charlottas, Hedvig Elisabeth (1927) [1797-1799]. af Klercker, Cecilia, ed. Hedvig Elisabeth Charlottas dagbok [The diary of Hedvig Elizabeth Charlotte] (in Swedish). 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)
  2. ^ Charlottas, Hedvig Elisabeth (1927) [1797-1799]. af Klercker, Cecilia, ed. Hedvig Elisabeth Charlottas dagbok [The diary of Hedvig Elizabeth Charlotte] (in Swedish). VI 1797-1799. Translated by Cecilia af Klercker. Stockholm: P.A. Norstedt & Söners förlag. pp. 171–72. OCLC 14111333. (search for all versions on WorldCat)
  3. ^ Charlottas, Hedvig Elisabeth (1927) [1797-1799]. af Klercker, Cecilia, ed. Hedvig Elisabeth Charlottas dagbok [The diary of Hedvig Elizabeth Charlotte] (in Swedish). VI. Translated by Cecilia af Klercker. Stockholm: P.A. Norstedt & Söners förlag. pp. 171–72. OCLC 14111333. (search for all versions on WorldCat)
  • 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

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
Maria Luisa of Spain
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
Maria Ludovika of Austria-Este
Queen consort of Hungary and Bohemia
1792–1807
New title
Creation of Austrian Empire
Empress consort of Austria
1804–1807

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