Friday, June 15, 2012

A young archduchess becomes less worldly

June 15, 1888

Archduchess Margarete Sophie of Austria, daughter of Archduke Karl Ludwig,  was recently installed as the Abbess of Community of Nobile Ladies of the Hradschin in Prague.  The new abbess is, according the Chicago Daily Tribune, is 18 years old.    She "enjoyed the ceremony of retiring from the world."

The young archduchess was "robed in black with an ermine mantle.  During the ceremony, "the ring and insignia of her rank were turned over to her," with little pomp or ceremony. 

But if she gets tired of "the secluded life," she can change her mind, as the rules of this convent are not strict.The order was founded during the rain of Empress Maria Theresia, as a "retreat for noble unmarried ladies."  It is a place where they can go away "if they get tired" or if the meet a prospective husband who does not please them."

Queen Maria Cristina of Spain, mother of the "teething King of Spain, was the abbess of this order before she was betrothed to King Alfonso XII.

Archduchess Margarete Sophie Marie Annunciata Theresia Caroline Luise Josephe Johanna was born at Arstetten on May 13, 1870.  She was the third eldest child and only daughter of Archduke Karl Ludwig and his second wife, Princess Maria Annunciata of Bourbon-Two Sicilies. 

She was named for her father's first wife, Princess Margarethe of Saxony, and her paternal grandmother, Princess Sophie of Bavaria.
[Note:  In 1893, Margarete married Duke Albrecht of Württemberg.  They had seven children.  Margarete died 1902.]

1 comment:

phoebes in santa fe said...

I guess she didn't stay inured for very long - 5 years. Actually, the convent sounded like a great place for a tired archduchess to get some R&R from her busy life.

But seriously, she left and got married, had seven children in nine years and died. Possibly/probably in childbirth. She probably would have lived longer had she stayed a nun.