Maria Luisa of Spain

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Maria Luisa of Spain
Grand Duchess Maria Luisa with her children pointing to a bust of Empress Maria Theresa by Mengs circa 1770
Holy Roman Empress
Tenure20 February 1790 – 1 March 1792
Grand Duchess of Tuscany
Tenure16 February 1764 – 20 February 1790
Born(1745-11-24)24 November 1745
Palace of Portici, Naples
Died15 May 1792(1792-05-15) (aged 46)
Hofburg Palace, Vienna
SpouseLeopold II, Holy Roman Emperor
IssueMaria Theresa, Queen of Saxony
Francis II, Holy Roman Emperor
Ferdinand III, Grand Duke of Tuscany
Charles, Duke of Teschen
Archduke Alexander Leopold
Joseph, Palatine of Hungary
Maria Clementina, Duchess of Calabria
Anton Victor, Archbishop of Cologne
Archduke Johann
Archduke Rainer Joseph
Archduke Louis
Rudolf, Archbishop of Olmütz
Full name
María Luisa de Borbón y Sajonia
HouseHouse of Bourbon
FatherCharles III of Spain
MotherMaria Amalia of Saxony

Maria Luísa of Spain (24 November 1745 – 15 May 1792) was Holy Roman Empress, German Queen, Queen of Bohemia and Hungary as the spouse of Leopold II, Holy Roman Emperor.

Background[change | change source]

Maria Luisa was born in Portici, in Campania, the site of the summer palace (Reggia di Portici) of her parents, King Charles, King of Naples and Sicily and Maria Amalia of Saxony. She was the fifth daughter, and second surviving child, of her parents. Her father became King of Spain as Charles III in 1759, and she moved with her family to Spain. Her first cousins included Louis XVI, Maria I of Portugal and Charles Emmanuel IV of Sardinia.

Grand Duchess of Tuscany[change | change source]

On 16 February 1764 she was married by proxy at Madrid to Archduke Peter Leopold, the second son of Emperor Francis I and Empress Maria Theresa of Austria, and the heir apparent to the Grand Duchy of Tuscany. The next year, on 5 August, she married him in person at Innsbruck. Only a few days later, the death of Emperor Francis made Maria Luisa's husband the new Grand Duke of Tuscany, and the newly married couple moved to Florence, where they would live for the next twenty-five years.

Holy Roman Empress[change | change source]

In 1790, on the death of Peter Leopold's childless brother, Joseph II, Maria Luisa's husband inherited the Habsburg lands in Central Europe, and was shortly thereafter elected Holy Roman Emperor. Taking the name of Leopold II, the new Emperor moved his family to Vienna, where Maria Luisa took on the role of imperial consort. Leopold died scarcely two years later, dying on 1 March 1792. Maria Luisa followed her husband to the grave in less than three months, not living long enough to see her eldest son Francis elected as the last Holy Roman Emperor.

Mozart's opera La clemenza di Tito was commissioned by the Estates of Bohemia as part of the festivities that accompanied the coronation of Maria Luisa and her husband Leopold as king and queen of Bohemia in Prague on 6 September 1791. In musical circles, Maria Luisa is famous for her putative denigration of Mozart's opera as "German rubbish" ("una porcheria tedesca"), however no claim that she made this remark pre-dates the publication in 1871 of Alfred Meissner's Rococo-Bilder: nach Aufzeichnungen meines Grossvaters, a collection of stories about cultural and political life in Prague in the late eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries.

Issue[change | change source]

  1. Maria Theresa of Austria (14 January 1767 - 7 November 1827) marrried Anton of Saxony and had issue.
  2. Francis II, Holy Roman Emperor (12 February 1768 - 2 March 1835) married Elisabeth of Württemberg and had issue; married Maria Teresa of Naples and Sicily and had issue; married Maria Ludovika of Austria-Este no issue; married Caroline Augusta of Bavaria no issue.
  3. Ferdinand III, Grand Duke of Tuscany (6 May 1769 - 18 June 1824) married Luisa of Naples and Sicily and had issue; married Maria Ferdinanda of Saxony no issue.
  4. Maria Anna of Austria (22 April 1770 - 1 October 1809) died unmarried.
  5. Charles of Austria (5 September 1771 - 30 April 1847) married Henrietta of Nassau-Weilburg and had issue.
  6. Alexander Leopold of Austria (14 August 1772 - 12 July 1795) died unmarried.
  7. Albrecht Johann Joseph of Austria (19 September 1773 - 22 July 1774) died in infancy.
  8. Maximilian of Austria (23 December 1774- 10 March 1778) died in infancy.
  9. Joseph of Austria (9 March 1776 - 13 January 1847) married Grand Duchess Alexandra Pavlovna of Russia and had issue; married Hermine of Anhalt-Bernburg-Schaumburg-Hoym and had issue; married Maria Dorothea of Württemberg and had issue.
  10. Maria Clementina of Austria (1777 - 1801) married Prince Francesco, Duke of Calabria and had issue.
  11. Anton of Austria (1779 - 1835) died unmarried unmarried, Grand Master of Teutonic Knights
  12. Johann of Austria (1782 - 1859) married morganatically.
  13. Rainer of Austria (30 September 1783 - 16 January 1853) married Elisabeth of Savoy and had issue.
  14. Louis of Austria (13 December 1784 - 21 December 1864) died unmarried.
  15. Rudolph of Austria (8 January 1788 - 24 July 1831) died unmarried.

Titles, styles, honours and arms[change | change source]

Titles and styles[change | change source]

  • 24 November 1745 – 16 February 1764 Her Royal Highness The Infanta Dona Maria Luisa
  • 16 February 1764 – 20 February 1790 Her Royal Highness The Grand Duchess of Tuscany
  • 20 February 1790 – 1 March 1792 Her Imperial Majesty The Holy Roman Empress
  • 1 March 1792 - 15 May 1792 Her Imperial Majesty The Dowager Holy Roman Empress

Other websites[change | change source]

Media related to Maria Luisa of Spain at Wikimedia Commons