Wednesday, June 12, 2013

The Daughters of King Maximilian I of Bavaria

Maximilian I Joseph was the first King of Bavaria and he had 13 children from his two marriages. His first wife, Princess Auguste of Hesse-Darmstadt, bore him five children, two of them were daughters, but she died after giving birth to her last child. One year after Auguste's death, Maximilian married the 20-year-old Princess Caroline of Baden, and together they had eight children - two sons and five daughters.

Vice-Reine of Italy and Duchess of Leuchtenberg
Augusta was the eldest daughter of King Maximilian and Princess Auguste. At an early age, she was betrothed to Prince Karl of Baden, but the engagement was broken at the instigation of Napoleon Bonaparte, who wanted a Bavarian princess as a wife for his stepson, Eugene de Beauharnais. This was a political marriage - because of Augusta's marriage to Eugene, Bavaria became a kingdom and her father became King of Bavaria. Fortunately, Augusta and Eugene's marriage turned to be a happy one, and they were very loving and devoted to each other. With her beauty, charming manners, and high sense of duty, Augusta became a favorite of Napoleon, who affectionately called her, "my beloved daughter".

Caroline Augusta,
Empress of Austria
At the age of 16, Caroline married Prince William of Wurttemberg. This was a purely political marriage, and as a result, the marriage was unhappy. William did not like the fact that he married her against his will and so he avoided her as much as possible. "We are victims of politics", he once told her. The couple later divorced but Augusta soon found happiness by marrying the thrice-widowed and much older Emperor Franz of Austria. As empress, Caroline was popular in Austria. She stayed away from politics and devoted much of her time taking care of her ailing husband and giving to charities. She had a rather tense relationship with her half-sister Sophie, who also married into the Habsburg family.

Queen of Prussia
Elisabeth, nicknamed "Elise", was the eldest daughter of King Maximilian by his second marriage to the much younger Princess Caroline of Baden. She first met her future husband, King Frederick William of Prussia, while she was staying with her family in Baden. After meeting Elise, Frederick William refused to marry any other girl except her. She was an exemplary and devoted wife to her husband; she took care of him during his long illness. Elise had dark hair, black eyebrows, and a set of wonderful eyes; the latter was what apparently captivated the Prussian king the most about his wife.

Amalia Augusta,
Queen of Saxony
Amalia Augusta was the identical twin sister of Elisabeth. She was married to the future King John of Saxony. She succeeded her younger sister, Maria Anna, as queen consort.

Archduchess of Austria
Sophie was the mother of Emperor Francis Joseph of Austria and thus the mother-in-law of the Empress Elizabeth of Austria ("Sissi"). In her youth, she was described to be very beautiful that her half-brother, King Ludwig I, had her portrait painted for his Gallery of Beauties. She was an ambitious and energetic woman that many at court called her as "the only man at court".

Maria Anna
Queen of Saxony
Maria Anna married King Frederick August of Saxony, brother of King John of Saxony. Frederick August and Maria Anna did not have any children, and so when the King died, he was succeeded by his brother John and Maria-Anna's older sister, Amalia Augusta.

Duchess in Bavaria
Ludovika was the mother of Empress Elizabeth of Austria ("Sissi"). In her youth, she fell in love with Don Miguel of Portugal who later became King, but since her parents were against the match, Ludovika was instead married to her cousin Duke Max. She was disappointed that she was the only one among the sisters who did not marry a sovereign or a prince with a title. Like her sister Sophie, she was also ambitious and tried her best to ensure that all of her daughters would marry into the different royal houses of Europe.


Amanda said...

I check your Arrayed in Gold every day, and I always get so excited whenever you update it :)

Gem said...

Thank you for constantly checking out my blog, Amanda. It took quite sometime before I made an update, and so I appreciate your kind comment.

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