Thursday, February 14, 2013

Archduchess Elisabeth dead, mother of Queen Maria Cristina

February 14, 1903

Archduchess Elisabeth of Austria died from pneumonia  this morning in Vienna, reports the New York Times.  She was 72 years old.

The archduchess was born on January 17, 1831 in Hungary, a daughter of Archduke Josef of Austria, and his third wife, Duchess Maria Dorothea of Württemberg, and a granddaughter of Emperor Leopold II.

She was married twice.  Her first marriage to Archduke Ferdinand Karl Viktor of Austria-Este, a member of the Modena branch of the Habsburg family took place on October 4, 1847.   She gave birth to a daughter, Maria Theresia in July 1849.   Archduke Ferdinand died on December 15, 1849.
Five years after the death of her first husband,  Elisabeth married her first cousin, Archduke Karl Ferdinand of Austria.    He died in 1874.

They had six children: Archduke Franz Joseph (1855-1855), Archduke Friedrich, Duke of Teschen (1856), Archduchess Maria Christina (1858), Archduke Karl Stephan (1860), Archduke Eugen (1863) and Archduchess Maria Eleonora (1864-1864).

The late Archduchess Elisabeth's eldest daughter, Maria Theresia married Prince Ludwig of Bavaria in 1866.  He is the eldest son of the Prince Regent Luitpold.  They had sixteen children, of which thirteen survive.  Her younger daughter, Maria Christina, known as Christa, is the widow of King Alfonso XII of Spain.  She reigned as regent for her son, Alfonso XIII, who was born posthumously, until he reached his majority. 

Elisabeth is also survived by her sons, Archduke Friedrich, married to Princess Isabella of Croy, Archduke Karl Stephan, married to Archduchess Maria Theresia of Austria, Princess of Tuscany, and Archduke Eugen, who is unmarried.

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