Tuesday, November 14, 2017

Childhood of Maria Theresa

From Geri Walton:
Maria Theresa was Marie Antoinette’s mother, but before she became a mother, she was a child herself. She was born to Emperor Charles VI and Elisabeth Christine of Brunswick-Wolfenbüttel on 13 May 1717 at the Hofburg Palace. Her older brother, Leopold John, had been born on 13 April 1716, but he died when he was seven months. Thus, there was great rejoicing in the kingdom when a healthy baby girl was born. (She was also the oldest of three girls, her younger sisters were the Archduchess Maria Anna and the Archduchess Maria Amalia, who lived to be only six years old.)

Because of the loss of Leopold John and the difficulty of having children, Charles VI took steps to provide for a male-line succession failure with the Pragmatic Sanction of 1713, a document which abolished male-only succession. The sanction allowed Maria Theresa or any of Charles VI’s other daughters to succeed over the children of his elder brother and predecessor, Joseph I. Moreover, Charles VI “felt the importance of securing his beloved daughter’s undisputed title to the throne,”[1] even though he remained disappointed Maria Theresa was not a boy and knew the male line would die with him. Maria Theresa also recognized her political importance, and it was said from an early age she “seemed one of nature’s queens, born to reign and subdue.”[2] (Read more.)

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