Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Princess Maria Anna Bourbon-Parma: a portrait

Marlene A. Eilers-Koenig Collection

Archduchess Maria Anna Isabelle Epiphanie Eugenie Gabriele of Austria, was the second child of Archduke Friedrich of Austria, Duke of Teschen, and Princess Isabelle of Croy.

She was born at Linz on January 6, 1882.  Maria Antonia married Prince Elias of Bourbon-Parma, youngest son of Duke Roberto I of Parma and his first wife, Princess Maria Pia of Bourbon-Two Sicilies. 

The marriage took place in Vienna on May 25, 1903.  They had eight children: (Elisabetta (1904-1983), Carlo Luigi (1905-1912), Maria Francesca (1906-1994), Roberto (1909-1974), Francesco Alfonso (1913-1959), Giovanna Isabella (1916-1949), Princess Alicia (1917) and Princess Maria Cristina (1925-2009).

Princess Alicia was the only child to marry and have issue.  In 1936, she married Prince Alfonso of Bourbon-Two Sicilies in 1936.

When Duke Roberto I died in 1907, he was succeed as the titular Duke of Parma by his eldest son, Prince Enrico, who was mentally disabled.  Prince Elias became the guardian for Enrico and his five other mentally disabled siblings, including his other brother, Giuseppe, who succeeded as Duke in 1939.   He died in 1950, and Elias, who had been acting as regent since the death of his father, finally succeeded as Duke of Parma.

Maria Anna never became the Duchess of Parma as she died on February 15, 1940.  

Elias died on June 27, 1959 at the age of 78, and was succeeded by his son, Roberto II, who died in 1974.  The Ducal title was inherited by his half-uncle, Prince Xavier,

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