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Princess Maria Antonia of the Two Sicilies

Princess Maria Antonia of the Two Sicilies

Italian princess
The basics
Quick Facts
Intro Italian princess
Gender female
Birth 19 December 1814 (Palermo, Province of Palermo, Sicily, Italy)
Death 7 November 1898 (Gmunden, Gmunden District, Upper Austria, Austria)
Star sign Sagittarius
Family
Mother: Maria Isabella of Spain
Father: Francis I of the Two Sicilies
Spouse: Leopold IIGrand Duke of Tuscany
Children: Archduchess Maria Isabella of AustriaFerdinand IVGrand Duke of TuscanyArchduke Karl Salvator of AustriaArchduke Ludwig Salvator of AustriaArchduke Johann Salvator of AustriaMaria Luisa of AustriaPrincess of Tuscany
The details
Biography

Princess Maria Antonia of the Two Sicilies (Maria Antonia Anna; 19 December 1814 – 7 November 1898) was Grand Duchess of Tuscany from 1833 to 1859 as the consort of Leopold II. As other women of her family, she was always called Maria Antonietta, a more common and graceful form of Maria Antonia, and she always signed with this name.

Biography

Maria Antonia was born at the Royal Palace of Palermo on 19 December 1814, daughter of Francis I of the Two Sicilies and his wife Maria Isabella of Spain, she was baptised Maria Antonia in honor of Maria Antonia-Anna's great-aunt Marie Antoinette, deceased sister of her grandmother Maria Carolina of Austria.

When she was born, the Neapolitan court had already moved to Sicily because Napoleonic troops have invaded the Continental part of the Reign. After few months the Royal Family could return to Naples thanks to the Congress of Vienna.

She was particularly close to her brother the future Ferdinand II of the Two Sicilies who affectionately dubbed her Totò. She was also close to her sister in law, Maria Christina of Savoy who came to the court in 1832.

Marriage and issue

In 1833, when she was eighteen, Maria Antonia married Leopold II, Grand Duke of Tuscany, who was seventeen years older. They were first cousins because Francis I, Maria Antonia's father, and Princess Luisa of Naples, Leopold's mother, were both children of Ferdinand I of the Two Sicilies and Maria Carolina of Austria. Marie Antoinette and Leopold had ten children:

  • Archduchess Maria Isabella of Austria. Married her maternal uncle Prince Francis, Count of Trapani, youngest son of Francis I of the Two Sicilies and Maria Isabella of Spain.
  • Ferdinand IV, Grand Duke of Tuscany (10 June 1835 – 17 January 1908).
  • Archduchess Maria Theresa of Austria, Princess of Tuscany (29 June 1836 – 5 August 1838).
  • Archduchess Maria Christina of Austria, Princess of Tuscany (5 February 1838 – 1 September 1849).
  • Archduke Karl Salvator of Austria, Prince of Tuscany (30 April 1839 – 18 January 1892). He married Princess Maria Immaculata of Bourbon-Two Sicilies, second daughter of Ferdinand II of the Two Sicilies and Archduchess Maria Theresa of Austria.
  • Archduchess Maria Anna of Austria, Princess of Tuscany (9 June 1840 – 13 August 1841).
  • Archduke Rainer of Austria, Prince of Tuscany (1 May 1842 – 14 August 1844).
  • Archduchess Maria Luisa of Austria, Princess of Tuscany (31 October 1845 – 27 August 1917). Married Karl, Prince of Isenburg-Büdingen.
  • Archduke Ludwig Salvator of Austria, Prince of Tuscany (4 August 1847 – 12 October 1915).
  • Archduke Johann Salvator of Austria, Prince of Tuscany (25 November 1852 – reported lost at sea in 1890). There was speculation that he survived, using the alias (Johann Orth).

Honours

In her honour were baptised in Florence the Piazza Maria Antonia – today Piazza dell'Indipendeza (Independence Square), the railway line Maria Antonia and the homonym station, now called Firenze Santa Maria Novella.

The Revolution

In April 1859, before the Franco-Piedmont war against Austria, Leopold II proclaimed neutrality, but the Grand Ducal government was already near the end: people used vulgar insults towards the Grand Duchess and the troops gave signs of insubordination.

On 27 April, at four o'clock, in front of the enraged mob on Florence streets and of troops rebellion, Leopold II left Palazzo Pitti by chariot, getting out through Boboli door, heading toward Bologna. He had just refused to abdicate in favour of his son Ferdinand.

Ancestry

Titles, styles, honours and arms

Titles and styles

  • 19 December 1814 – 12 December 1816 Her Royal Highness Princess Maria Antonia of Naples and Sicily
  • 12 December 1816 – 7 June 1833 Her Royal Highness Princess Maria Antonia of Bourbon-Two Sicilies
  • 7 June 1833 – 21 July 1859 Her Imperial and Royal Highness the Most Serene Grand Duchess of Tuscany, Archduchess of Austria, etc.
  • 21 July 1859 – 7 November 1898 Her Imperial and Royal Highness the Most Serene Dowager Grand Duchess of Tuscany

Honours

  •  Austria-Hungary : Dame of the Order of the Starry Cross
  •  Two Sicilies : Dame of the Sacred Military Constantinian Order of Saint George
  •  Spain : Dame of the Order of Queen Maria Luisa
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