SUBALBUM:  Isabel de Farnesio

Isabel de Farnesio was one of the Queens who were disastrous for Spain. According to her Wikipedia article:  “At the age of twenty-one (1714) she was married by proxy at Parma to Philip V of Spain. The marriage was arranged by Cardinal Alberoni, with the concurrence of the Princesse des Ursins, the Camarera Mayor.

On arriving at the borders of Spain, Elizabeth was met by the Princesse des Ursins, but received her sternly, and, perhaps in accordance with a plan previously concerted with the king, at once ordered her to be removed from her presence and from Spain. Elizabeth quickly obtained complete influence over Philip V, who was considered a weak king. This influence was exerted altogether in support of the policy of Alberoni, one chief aim of which was to recover the ancient Italian possessions of Spain, this resulted in the seizure of Sardinia and Sicily. So vigorously did she enter into this policy that, when the French forces advanced to the Pyrenees, she placed herself at the head of one division of the Spanish army.

But the Triple Alliance thwarted her plans. In 1720 the allies made the banishment of Alberoni a condition of peace. Sicily also had to be evacuated. And finally, all her entreaties failed to prevent the abdication of Philip, who in 1724 gave up the throne to his heir.

Seven months later, however, the death of the young king recalled Philip to the throne. During his later years, when he was nearly imbecile, she directed the whole policy of Spain so as to secure thrones in Italy for her sons. In 1736 she had the satisfaction of seeing her favorite scheme realized in the accession of her son Don Carlos (afterwards Charles III of Spain) to the throne of the Two Sicilies and his recognition by the powers in the treaty of Vienna. Her second son, Philip, became duke of Parma. Elizabeth survived her husband by twenty years."

Having done so much in Italy for no other cause than aggrandizing the Farneses, I have to wonder what she did about affairs in Spain (she did a little). Whether an Italian Queen in Spain or a British CEO or Swedish board chair botching it badly in the USA, you do need to pay attention to the trifling small people needs of the natives.


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