SUBALBUM:  Maria Ludovica of Modena, Empress of Austria

Holy Roman Emperor Franz II married four times - first to Eliabeth Wilhelmine von Württemberg, then Maria Teresa di Borbone, and then Maria Ludovica of Modena, the subject of this Subalbum in 1808. Maria Ludovica was the daughter of Maria Beatrice Ricciarda d’Este. After Maria Ludovica died, he married Caroline Augusta of Bavaria.

She bore no children herself, but was stepmother to Franz’ children by Elizabeth Wilhelmine. According to her Wikipedia article, "She, as leader of the war party in Austria, was a great enemy of the French Emperor Napoleon I of France and therefore also in opposition to the Austrian foreign minister Prince Klemens Wenzel von Metternich. The French had protested against the marriage because of her political views. She had considerable influence on her husband, and her talent at ruling marvelled many officials, including the Prussian minister who considered her the ruling genius at court. Maria Ludovika was also immensely popular with her subjects who hailed her a second Maria Theresa. Together with her brother-in-law Archduke Johann, she made the war effort popular. During her coronation in Pressburg, she impressed the Hungarians so much that they declared large financial and military support for the monarchy if needed. But the Emperor hesitated and Archduke Karl who had extensive control over military matters advised caution. Only the effects of the Spanish revolt in 1808 allowed the war party to prevail.” She opposed the marriage of her stepdaughter Marie-Louise to Napoleon.

She was hostess to the Congress of Vienna that was supposed to contain the democratic virus. She travelled to Italy in in 1815 and died there of tuberculosis. She was only 28 when she died.

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