Maria Theresia and her children


The queen Maria Theresia of Habsburg- Lothringen was born as Maria Theresia Walburga Amalia Christina in 1717. She was the ruler of almost half Europe for over 40 years. In 1737 she married Franz Stephan Duke of Lorraine. When she was in her early twenties her father died and she became queen. Maria Theresia never received a political education, because her father wanted a boy as successor and so she had to teach everything herself . In the beginning of her reign, she was not accepted as queen by the kings of Prussia and Bavaria. The results were two wars. Over the course of twenty years, Maria Theresa gave birth to sixteen children, thirteen of whom survived infancy. One of her major interests was to marry off her children. She didn´t care much, if her children loved their future partner. It was only important that there is an advantage for the state. Nevertheless she was always a passionate mother, who wrote once a week letters to all her children.


Her children


Maria Elisabeth Amalia Antonia Josepha Gabriela Johanna Agatha

Died in  infancy


Maria Anna Josepha Antonia, called Marianna

She was often ill, but very interested in natural science. Marianna never married and became abbess in a convent in Klagenfurt.


Maria Karolina Ernestina Antonia Johanna Josepha

Died in  infancy


Joseph Benedikt August Johann Anton Michael Adam

He later became King Joseph II. His first beloved wife Isabella of Parma died after she had given birth to their first child. Joseph never wanted to marry again, but he was forced by his mother. His second wife was Maria Josepha of Bavaria. He had two children, who died in their infancy.


Maria Christina Johanna Josepha Antonia called Mimi or Marie

She was the favorite daughter of Maria Theresia. Mimi was the only child, who was allowed to marry the man she loved.


Maria Elisabeth Josepha

As a teenager she was known as the most beautiful princess in Vienna but she became ill when she was 13. Her appearance never really recovered. After her mother’s death her brother sent her to a women convent, where she staid the rest of her life.


Karl Joseph Emanuel Johann Nepomuck Anton Prokop

He was the favorite son of Maria Theresia and she wanted him to become the next king. Unfortunately he died after a severe illness at the age of 16.


Maria Amalia Josepha Johanna Antonia

At the age of 23 she was forced to marry, the only 17 year old, Ferdinand of Parma against her will. In this time she was in love with a young prince, but her mother regarded him as too politically insignificant for marriage. She was the only child, who broke off the contact with Maria Theresia. She had 7 children.


Peter Leopold Joseph Anton Joachim Pius Gotthard called Leopold

The name Peter, which is very unusual for the Habsburgs, was requested by his godmother Elisabeth of Russia. At first he was only duke of the Toscana, but after Joseph II death, he became emperor of Austria. In 1765 he married Maria Ludovica, the daughter of the Spanish king Karl III. They had 16 children together.


Maria Karolina

Died at birth


Johanna Gabriele

She was the only daughter, who didn´t receive the name Maria, because her godfather was protestant. Johanna died at the age of 12 because of smallpox. Before her early death she was engaged to Ferdinand I of the Two Sicilies.


Maria Josepha Gabriela Johanna Antonia Anna

She died soon after her sister Johanna Gabriele at the age of 11. After her sister’s death her mother engaged her  to Ferdinand I.


Maria Karolina Luise Josepha Johanna Antonia called Caroline

1768 she had to marry Ferdinand I. She didn´t love her husband, but accepted her situation. As queen of Sicily and Parma she had a great influence in politics. They had 18 children.


Ferdinand Karl Anton Joseph Johann Stanislauss

At the age of 17 he married Maria Beatrice d´Este. They had 8 children.


Maria Antonia Josepha Johanna, known as Marie Antoinette

She was married at the age of 15 to the French dauphin. When she was 19 she became Queen Marie Antoinette of France. She was very unhappy with her situation. The queen had 4 children, three of them died before their 10th birthday. She was killed in 1793 at the age of 39 because of the French Revolution.

Maximilian Franz Xaver Joseph Johann Anton de Paula Wenzel called Max

His mother chose the clerical carrier for him, when he was a child. Max later became archbishop of Cologne.


5 thoughts on “Maria Theresia and her children

  1. Goodness, this woman must’ve loved the name Maria very much, although I do know of modern families where every child has received the name Mary or Joseph, in some form or another. It is also interesting to see the repetition of Johanna and Josepha, which I assume is to do with family traditions and/or religion?

    • She was very religious, but Maria is also part of a tradition, which her father started. Her sisters also have Maria in their name. Her uncle, who was also emperor, was named Joseph. I think she adored him, because he named her first-born after him and not after her father named Karl. Joseph the first was a very famous king and did great things. I cannot explain Johanna, but I might be connected to the religion

    • Maria was quite fashionable at this time, where most kings and queens were very religious.

      I am planning to write more about her grandchildren and great-grandchildren soon. You can find there many interesting names from different cultural backgrounds. From Italian, French, Portuguese and Spanish. But there are also quite many princesses, called Maria Theresia and Maria Theresa.

  2. Pingback: Leopold II and his family « Ich und die Namen

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