habsburg lorraine

Marie Thérèse Charlotte (19 December 1778 - 19 October 1851), the eldest daughter and only surviving child of Louis XVI and Marie-Antoinette, passed away only three days after the 58th anniversary of her mother’s execution. 



French Queen Marie-Antoinette “en grand habit de cour” by Jean-Baptiste Gautier Dagoty, 1775. Versailles. These are a few variants of the same painting in tapestry, cameo, engraving and miniature painting and details. A favorite of Harriett Pullman Carolan.



As promised, here are the children of Empress Maria Theresa and Francis I, Holy Roman Emperor (well, all except Joseph who married at 19 years old in 1760 with Princess Isabella of Parma). All portraits are by Jean-Ètienne Liotard made in 1762, and with just one look you can see why his portraits were SO famous all around Europe.

1. Maria Anna Josepha Antonia, 24 years old, (born 1738). A very intelligent woman, she was her father’s favourite and had a huge interest in science and art (look at her little book), she never married since she was physically disabled, but was a member of the Vienna and Florence Academy of Arts.

2. Maria Christina Johanna Josepha Antonia, 20 years old, (born 1742). Intelligent and artistically gifted (she’s drawing in this portrait!), she was her mother’s favourite and thus the only child to choose her spouse. Well, that’s a smart girl.

3. Maria Elisabeth Josepha, 19 years old, (born 1743). Considered the prettiest of the sisters, a suitable spouse was not found in proper time and later on was considered to get married with the widowed Louis XV, but the smallpox left her a scarred face and never married.

4. Maria Amalia Josepha Johanna Antonia, 16 years old, (born 1746). Obedient and dutiful, married to the Duke of Parma, the brother of Joseph II’s first wife, with the pressure of her mother: she wanted to marry for love with Prince Charles of Zweibrücken (as Maria Christina did) but Maria Theresa never approved. Her relationship with her mother was always awful.

5. Peter Leopold Joseph Anton Joachim Pius Gotthard, 15 years old, (born 1747). Successor of the grand duchy of Tuscany and engaged to marry the Infanta Maria Luisa of Spain, he was cold, intelligent and steady (all which came handy as the Duke of Tuscany and later Emperor) and is shown here drawing a fort. Later on, his many affairs would be famous and even later he would became Holy Roman Emperor.

6. Maria Joanna Gabriella Josepha Antonia, 12 years old, (born 1750). Considered a good natured and likeable girl she was very close to her sister Maria Josepha and was engaged with King Charles III of Spain’s son, Ferdinand, but she died of smallpox inoculation later the same year this portrait was made.

7. Maria Josepha Gabriela Johanna Antonia Anna, 11 years old, (born 1751). Described as “delightfully pretty, she was (also) engaged with King Ferdinand, but died at 16 years old also of smallpox.

8. Maria Karolina Luise Josepha Johanna Antonia, 10 years old, (born 1752). Very fond of her younger sister Maria Antonia (just look at this pretty portrait of them both!), and the one who finally married King Ferdinand. Not very happy of her marriage she ended up being the mind behind the kingdoms of Naples and Sicily.

9. Ferdinand Karl Anton Joseph Johann Stanislaus, 8 years old (born 1754). When he was 9 years old the Duke of Modena signed a treaty with the Empress Maria Theresa engaging him to his only daughter Maria Beatrice, making him the heir.

10. Maria Antonia Josepha Johanna, 7 years old (born 1755). Marie Antoinette excelled at music in her childhood (she was taught by Gluck, so of course she was good!) at age 15 she was engaged to Louis-Auguste the Dauphin of France and well, we all know how it ends.

11. Maximilien-Franz, 6 years old (born in 1756). The youngest child he became Archbishop and Elector Spiritual of Cologne, and went to live in Bonn where he became patron of Ludwig van Beethoven. So this kid had a great musical taste.

One of many family portraits done of Maria Theresa, Francis I, and their numerous children.

In this portrait we can see 11 children; four sons and seven daughters. They had a total of 13 out of their 16 children who survived infancy, but not all lived to adulthood.

Archduke Charles Joseph died of smallpox at the age of 15 in January of 1761, and Archduchess Maria Johanna Gabriela died of the same disease at the age of 12 in December of 1762.

This means the portrait was done after December of 1762, but before October of 1767, when another daughter, 16 year old Archduchess Maria Josepha, also died of smallpox.

fact #2: there’s a lot of bullshit in the Austro-Hungarian imperial title

Amassing vast territories and riches, as awesome as that sounds, does come with one significant drawback: signing anything as emperor takes ages.

we get it, you own things

The precise wording on the grand imperial title changed somewhat with time, but by 1914, it went something like this:

His Imperial and Royal Apostolic Majesty, By the Grace of God Emperor of Austria, King of Hungary and Bohemia, Dalmatia, Croatia, Slavonia, Galicia, Lodomeria and Illyria; King of Jerusalem, etc.; Archduke of Austria; Grand Duke of Tuscany and Cracow; Duke of Lorraine, Salzburg, Styria, Carinthia, Carniola and Bukovina; Grand Prince of Transylvania, Margrave of Moravia; Duke of Upper and Lower Silesia, of Modena, Parma, Piacenza and Guastalla, of Auschwitz and Zator, of Teschen, Friaul, Ragusa and Zara; Princely Count of Habsburg and Tyrol, of Kyburg, Gorizia and Gradisca; Prince of Trent and Brixen; Margrave of Upper and Lower Lusatia and in Istria; Count of Hohenems, Feldkirch, Bregenz, Sonnenberg etc.; Lord of Trieste, of Cattaro and on the Windic March; Grand Voivode of the Voivodeship of Serbia etc., Sovereign of the Order of the Golden Fleece.

The sheer verbosity of the title makes most readers’ eyes simply glaze over, which may well be by design because the title is padded with a lot of what can only be described as anachronistic flattery, so let’s break it down and see what’s legit and what’s just narcissism:

  • His Imperial and Royal Apostolic Majesty: right off the bat, you might be wondering, wtf is “apostolic majesty”? It’s a wholly meaningless title originally conferred by Pope Sylvester II onto St Stephen, the first king of Hungary, in recognition of his efforts to spread Christianity, circa 1000 AD. After obtaining the Hungarian crown in 1526, the Habsburgs fashioned themselves to be the descendants of St Stephen, and Empress Maria Theresa got Pope Clement XIII to grant her the title in 1758 because idk, it sounded cool. I give this title 3 out of 3 Pinocchios (but nice try).
  • By the Grace of God Emperor of Austria: the title of emperor was legit, but it had nothing to do with God. What happened was Austria was a mere archduchy until 1804, but then the French invaded and occupied large swathes of the Holy Roman Empire (which had been controlled by the Habsburgs for centuries at that point) in the late 1700s/early 1800s, thereby threatening the very existence of the HRE and with it, the Habsburg claim to the title of Emperor. What is more, Napoleon had the gall to crown himself Emperor in May 1804. Francis II (the Habsburg Emperor of the HRE) knew he had to act to preserve his legacy so he did everything he could possibly do to protect the HRE from falling apart … just kidding, he simply invented the title of “Austrian Emperor” and crowned himself one mere months after Napoleon’s stunt, thereby becoming the only “double emperor” in history, and watched as the HRE fell apart within two years. (He no longer had to care since he had a back-up imperial title.) I give this title 1 out of 3 Pinocchios (accurate but also really bullshit). 
  • King of Hungary and Bohemia, Dalmatia, Croatia, Slavonia, Galicia, Lodomeria and Illyria: mostly accurate except the Kingdom of Illyria was really just a very short-lived administrative unit created after the Austrian Empire got the Illyrian Provinces back from the French. It was dissolved in 1849 but for some reason still existed solely as a title until 1915. I give this title 1 out of 3 Pinocchios.
  • King of Jerusalem, etc.: this is another headscratcher since the Kingdom of Jerusalem ceased to exist in 1291 and no Habsburg ever ruled over any part of the kingdom. Long story short: the Angevins bought the title from Maria of Antioch in 1277. One of the Angevins obtained the Duchy of Lorraine through marriage and so the title passed on to the House of Lorraine, which was later joined with the House of Habsburg upon the marriage of Franz Stephan of Lorraine (later HRE Emperor Francis I) and Maria Theresa of Habsburg, after which the Habsburgs claimed the title even though the kingdom itself had fallen apart almost half a millennium before they got to claim that title.  I give this title 3 out of 3 Pinocchios as well as any unused Pinocchios from other parts of this post.
  • Archduke of Austria: another title the Habsburgs made up to preserve their privileges (see fact #1). I give this title 2 out of 3 Pinocchios.
  • Grand Duke of Tuscany and Cracow: the Habsburgs did possess Tuscany (1737-1801 and again 1814-1860) but lost it to Piedmont-Sardinia in 1860, so any claim to the title after 1860 was just wishful thinking. The Kraków bit is accurate, though – the Grand Duchy of Kraków was part of the Austrian Empire between 1846 and 1918.  I give this title 1 out of 3 Pinocchios.
  • Duke of Lorraine, Salzburg, Styria, Carinthia, Carniola and Bukovina: the Habsburgs only possessed Lorraine for like a year tops. Franz Stephan of Lorraine married Maria Theresa of Habsburg in 1736, upon which Duke of Lorraine became a House of Habsburg-Lorraine title, but Franz Stephan traded Lorraine for Tuscany with Stanislaus I, the deposed king of Poland in 1737, so I have no idea why they kept claiming that title. Also, Styria, Carinthia and Carniola were all part of the Illyrian Kingdom so this is blatant double-counting. I give this title 1 out of 3 Pinocchios.  
  • Grand Prince of Transylvania, Margrave of Moravia: the principality of Transylvania ceased to exist in 1711. It was integrated into the Kingdom of Hungary, so it was a Habsburg possession, but no longer as a separate principality. Also, at some point “prince of Transylvania” was inflated to “Grand Prince of Transylvania” because apparently claiming the original fake title didn’t sound fancy enough. 2 out of 3 Pinnochios.
  • Duke of Upper and Lower Silesia, of Modena, Parma, Piacenza and Guastalla, of Auschwitz and Zator, of Teschen, Friaul, Ragusa and Zara: all of these except the Silesian one are super fake. Modena was invaded and annexed by Italy in 1859, Piacenza voted to join Sardinia-Piedmont in 1848, Parma joined Italy in 1860, Guastalla was only a duchy until 1815 when it was claimed by Parma, then Modena (and joined Italy as part of Modena). Auschwitz and Zator were part of Galicia, not independent duchies, Teschen was merged into Austrian Silesia in 1849, Friaul ceased to be a duchy in 7-fucking-76, Ragusa (Dubrovnik) was a republic, not a duchy, and was incorporated into Dalmatia in 1815, as was Zara (Zadar). Lies, lies, lies all around.  3 out of 3 Pinnocchios.
  • Princely Count of Habsburg and Tyrol, of Kyburg, Gorizia and Gradisca: The county of Habsburg was in Switzerland and the Habsburgs lost it in 1415, but I’m almost inclined to give them a pass since it’s right there in their name and all. The County of Kyburg was another small country in Switzerland that passed from Habsburg hands to the canton of Zürich in the 15th century. 2 out of 3 Pinocchios.
  • Prince of Trent and Brixen: Trent and Brixen were controlled by the Habsburgs since the 15th century, but as part of Tyrol, not an independent unit. 1 out of 3 Pinocchios.
  • Margrave of Upper and Lower Lusatia and in Istria: the Habsburgs lost Upper and Lower Lusatia to Saxony in 1635, yet continued to claim the title. Such a Habsburg thing to do. 2 out of 3 Pinocchios.
  • Count of Hohenems, Feldkirch, Bregenz, Sonnenberg etc.: these are all small towns in Austria that were part of larger units. 3 out of 3 Pinocchios
  • Lord of Trieste, of Cattaro and on the Windic March: Cattaro (Kotor) was part of the Kingdom of Dalmatia, and the Windic March stopped being a thing in the 14th century (although the area was controlled by the Habsburgs). 2 out of 3 Pinocchios.
  • Grand Voivode of the Voivodeship of Serbia etc.: the Voivodeship only existed for 11 years (1849-1860), after which it was incorporated into the Kingdom of Hungary. 3 out of 3 Pinocchios.
  • Sovereign of the Order of the Golden Fleece: the Order of the Golden Fleece is just a fancy club with no real-life implications, but at least this one is 100% true. 0 out of 3 Pinocchios

In conclusion:

“Maria Theresa, by the Grace of God, Empress of the Romans, Queen of Hungary, of Bohemia, of Dalmatia, of Croatia, of Slavonia, of Galicia, of Lodomeria; Archduchess of Austria; Duchess of Burgundy, of Styria, of Carinthia and of Carniola; Grand Princess of Transylvania; Margravine of Moravia; Duchess of Brabant, of Limburg, of Luxemburg, of Guelders, of Württemberg, of Upper and Lower Silesia, of Milan, of Mantua, of Parma, of Piacenza, of Guastalla, of Auschwitz and of Zator; Princess of Swabia; Princely Countess of Habsburg, of Flanders, of Tyrol, of Hainault, of Kyburg, of Gorizia and of Gradisca; Margravine of Burgau, of Upper and Lower Lusatia; Countess of Namur; Lady of the Wendish Mark and of Mechlin; Dowager Duchess of Lorraine and Bar, Dowager Grand Duchess of Tuscany.

REQUIEM aeternam dona eis, Domine, et lux perpetua luceat eis. Requiescat in pace. Amen”


The French Occupation of Mexico Part III — The Fall of Mexico

The Mexican victory against the French at Puebla was stunning, no one expected the outnumbered and outgunned Mexican Army and militia to defeat the professional French Army.  However the victory over France was very short lived.  After the Battle of Puebla, tens of thousands of French troops began to land in French controlled ports, reinforcing the French Army.  By 1863, the French were ready for another assault on Mexico City.

Once again the French were halted outside of the heavily fortified city of Puebla.  However this time the French, under a new commander named Gen. Elie Frederic Forey, took another approach rather than simply conducting a massive frontal assault.  The French surrounded Puebla, laying siege to the fortified city.  Cut off from supplies and reinforcements, the Mexicans slowly starved in their fortresses and trenches.  The French also brought along several siege guns with the intent of shelling the Mexicans into submission.

During the Siege of Puebla, a unit of 62 soldiers from the newly formed French Foreign Legion were tasked with guarding an inbound wagon train full of supplies for the siege.  On April 30th, 1863 the convoy was ambushed by 800 cavalry and 2,200 Mexican infantry.  In the battle that ensued the French were forced to take defensive positions at the Hacienda Camaron.  Surrounded, the French Legionnaires literally fought to the last bullet.  When out of bullets they fixed bayonets and fought hand to hand.  In the ensuing Battle of Camaron the Foreign Legion inflicted heavy casualties but were completely wiped out.  Of the 67 men, 43 were killed and the rest were wounded and captured.  In the meantime the wagon convoy made its way safely to Puebla.  Today the Battle of Camaron is celebrated as one of the defining moments of the French Foreign Legion.

After a two month siege the Mexican garrison at Puebla was forced to surrender.  This left the road to Mexico City open to the French.  Two weeks later President Juarez and his government fled the city, retreating to the distant town of Chihuahua, where the exiled government would remain for the rest of the war.  On the 7th of June, 1863 the French marched into Mexico City unopposed.  From there the army spread out, one by one capturing other important cities such as Guadalajara, Acapulco, Jalisco, Matzatlan, and Durango.  By 1864, the French controlled almost all of the country except the northern border regions along the Rio Grande and the southern most parts of the country.

With Mexico solidly in Napoleon III’s hands, Napoleon declared the country to be reformed into the Second Mexican Empire.  Napoleon himself did not become the new Emperor of Mexico, he was busy enough as Emperor of the Second French Empire.  Rather, he pressured a Austrian noble named Maximilian to become Emperor of Mexico.  Maximilian was brother to Emperor Franz Josef of Austria, and a descendant of the ancient House of Habsburg-Lorraine.  While technically Maximilian was the official head of state for Mexico, in reality Maximilian was a puppet ruler, and the French were unquestionably in charge.  The resulting Second Mexican Empire was thus a hodgepodge collection of French military men, Austrian nobles, and Mexican conservatives.  The new flag for the Second Mexican Empire reflected this, keeping the original green, white, and red color scheme as well as the Mexican serpent and eagle.  However the eagle was framed with the Habsburg seal.

External image

Istanbul Fire Brigade, shown here at Philipopel in 1918, being reviewed by Austro-Hungarian Emperor Charles

Charles I of Austria or Charles IV of Hungary (Karl Franz Joseph Ludwig Hubert Georg Otto Marie; 17 August 1887 – 1 April 1922) was, among other titles, the last ruler of the Austro-Hungarian Empire. He was the last Emperor of Austria, the last King of Hungary, and the last monarch of the House of Habsburg-Lorraine. (wikipedia)


On November 19th, 1789, Archduchess Maria Anna of Austria died. She was the second born child, and second daughter, of Maria Theresa and Francis I.

Deemed ineligible for marriage because of a physical disability, she had instead become an Abbess, which was a typical path for Royal Women who didn’t marry.

Her health began deteriorating in the winter of 1788, causing a shortness of breath and the inability for her to move without a wheelchair. She died the following year, leaving her entire inheritance to the monastery in Klagenfurt, where she had lived for many yeas. Her last words were said to have been:

“It is probably a good country, I’ve had it ever loving. There are good people with whom I lived happily and I leave with difficulty.“

Maria Anna was buried at Klagenfurt, one of four of her siblings not to be buried in the Imperial Crypt with their Habsburg ancestors.


Maria Carolina of Austria, Queen of Naples and Sicily, died of a sudden stroke in Vienna on this day, September 8th, in 1814. She was 62 years old, and was the last surviving of the 16 children of Maria Theresa and Francis I.

She was in exile after Napoleon conquored Naples, and shortly before her death she wrote this letter to her daughter, Maria Cristina:

“Nothing on earth moves me any more; my fate was settled and decided the day that I was chased like a play-actress and thrust out of Sicily…. My life is ended in this world…. I am no longer interesting except to a few old women who never stir out of their own doors, but who come to see the last of the great Maria Theresa’s children. The Prater is in its lovely green and full of flowers; but nothings seems beautiful to me any longer.”

To quote the book In Destiny’s Hands: Five Tragic Rulers, Children of Maria Theresa by Justin C. Vovk:

The body of Queen Maria Carolina of Naples and Sicily, dressed in a black taffeta gown, veil, lace cap, and silver fabric shoes, was taken to lie in state before the funeral. The Baroness du Montet described her visit to the Queen’s memorial on Sept 10:

In the Queen’s last sleep there is a trace of sadness, of infinite weariness. Maria Carolina, who thought she would die in Naples, had her portrait set up on a tomb in the Capuchin convent in Vienna together with a tender and moving inscription, a gentle testimony of the poor lady’s desire to be buried near her august parents. A sensitive but vain precaution, since the Queen’s mortal remains have been buried on the spot.

Maria Carolina was indeed buried in the Imperial Crypt with her ancestors, in Tomb 107. After her death, Napoleon wrote to his brother Joseph saying “That woman knew how to think and act like a queen, while preserving her rights and her dignity….”.

Just nine months after her death, her husband was restored to the throne.