maria antonia of naples and sicily

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On January 12th, 1740, Archduchess Maria Carolina of Austria was born. Her full name was Maria Carolina Ernestina Antonia Johanna Josepha, and she was the third child and third daughter born to Maria Theresa and Francis I.

Sadly, the little Archduchess did not live very long, becoming gravely ill and dying just  over a year after her birth. She was buried in tomb 53 in the Imperial Crypt in Vienna.

Two younger sisters were named in her memory. One died tragically the day of her birth, and one would go on to become Queen of Naples and Sicily, and be the longest lived of all of Maria Theresa’s children.

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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.

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10 Granddaughters of Maria Theresa

Carolina of Parma, Princess of Saxony

Maria Theresa, Archduchess of Austria

Maria Ludovika of Austria-Este, Empress of Austria

Maria Antonia of Parma, Ursuline Abbess

Maria Theresa of Naples and Sicily, Empress of Austria

Marie Therese Charlotte, Duchesse d’Angouleme

Luisa of Naples and Sicily, Grand Duchess of Tuscany

Maria Clementina of Austria, Princess of Naples

Maria Theresa of Austria-Este, Queen of Sardinia

Sophie Helene Beatrice, Princess of France