Tuesday, February 23, 2016

Elisabeth of Württemberg

A princess who married one of Marie-Antoinette's many nephews. Joseph II was very fond of her. I wonder if in some ways she replaced the little daughter whom he lost. From Madame Gilflurt:
Elisabeth was one of a dozen offspring born to Frederick II Eugene, Duke of Württemberg,  and his wife, Sophia Dorothea of Brandenburg-Schwedt. Like so many children of her class, it was intended from the start that she would make an expedient political marriage and negotiations swiftly began to secure her a fiancé. The groom-to-be was eventually named as Francis, nephew of Holy Roman Emperor Joseph II and the man who would one day hold that title himself.

When Elisabeth was 15 she travelled from Brandenburg to Vienna and took up resident with the sisters of the Salesianerinnenkloster. In her new home she converted to Catholicism in preparation for her marriage and completed her education. Here she remained until 1788 when, on 6th January, she married the twenty year old Francis. As the couple settled into life together the new Archduchess swiftly became a favourite of her new husband's uncle, Emperor Joseph II, who had brokered the marriage to his nephew. He found her charming and refreshing company and she came to view Joseph in a grandfatherly light, spending long hours in his company. Her affection was of great comfort to the Emperor; his health was falling and he had faced a series of high profile political failures that left him disillusioned and unhappy. (Read more.)

No comments: