Elisabeth Christine of Brunswick-Wolfenbüttel

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
Elisabeth Christine of Brunswick
Elisabeth Christine of Braunschweig Wolfenbuettel Austria1.jpg
Portrait of Empress Elisabeth Christine, painted by Rosalba Carriera.
Tenure 1711–1740
Spouse Charles VI, Holy Roman Emperor
Maria Theresa, Holy Roman Empress
Archduchess Maria Anna of Austria
Archduchess Maria Amalia
House House of Welf
Father Louis Rudolph, Duke of Brunswick-Lüneburg
Mother Princess Christine Louise of Oettingen-Oettingen
Born 28 August 1691
Brunswick, Germany
Died 21 December 1750 (aged 58)
Vienna, Austria
Burial Imperial Crypt, Vienna, Austria

Elisabeth Christine of Brunswick-Wolfenbüttel (28 August 1691 – 21 December 1750) was Princess of Brunswick-Wolfenbüttel, Holy Roman Empress, German Queen, Queen of Bohemia and Hungary; and Archduchess of Austria by her marriage to Emperor Charles VI.[1] She was renowned for her delicate beauty and also for being the mother of Empress Maria Theresa. She is also the maternal grandmother of Marie-Antoinette, Queen of France, though she died five years before her granddaughter's birth in 1755. She was also the longest serving Holy Roman Empress.[2]


Elisabeth Christine was the eldest daughter of Louis Rudolph, Duke of Brunswick-Lüneburg and his wife Princess Christine Louise of Oettingen-Oettingen.

At age 13 Elisabeth Christine became engaged to the future Charles VI, Holy Roman Emperor, through negotiations between her ambitious grandfather, Anthony Ulrich, Duke of Brunswick-Wolfenbüttel and Charles' sister-in-law, Empress Wilhelmina Amalia, whose father was John Frederick, Duke of Brunswick-Lüneburg and thus belonged to another branch of the Guelph dynasty.

However, the Protestant bride opposed the marriage at first, since it involved her switching to Catholicism, but finally she gave in and on 1 May 1707, was converted in Bamberg, Germany.

At the time of the wedding, Charles was fighting for his rights to the Spanish throne against the French-born King Philip V of Spain, so he was living in Barcelona. Elisabeth Christine arrived in Spain in July 1708 and married Charles on 1 August 1708 in the church of Santa Maria del Mar in Barcelona. When her husband left for Vienna to take possession of the imperial crown in 1711, he left Elisabeth Christine behind in Barcelona appointing her as General Governor of Catalonia during his absence. She wisely ruled Catalonia alone until 1713, when she had to leave Barcelona and join her husband in Vienna. Later, they had two children who survived infancy, Empress Maria Theresa and Archduchess Maria Anna. Elisabeth Christine died in Vienna.


Name Portrait Lifespan Notes
Leopold John
Coat of arms of the House of Habsburg.png 13 April 1716 –
4 November 1716
Archduke of Austria, died aged seven months.
Maria Theresa
Kaiserin Maria Theresia (HRR).jpg 13 May 1717 –
29 November 1780
Archduchess of Austria and heiress of the Habsburg dynasty, married Francis III Stephen, Duke of Lorraine (later Francis I, Holy Roman Emperor).
Maria Anna
Maria Anna of Austria.jpg 26 September 1718 –
16 December 1744
Archduchess of Austria, married Prince Charles Alexander of Lorraine, with she served as Governor of the Austrian Netherlands. Died in childbirth.
Maria Amalia
Andreas Moeller 003.jpg 5 April 1724 –
19 April 1730
Archduchess of Austria, died aged six.


Coat of arms as consort of the Pretender to the Spanish Throne.

Titles, styles, honours and arms[edit]

Titles and styles[edit]

  • 28 August 1691 – 1 August 1708 Her Serene Highness Princess Elisabeth Christine of Brunswick-Wolfenbüttel
  • 1 August 1708 – 12 October 1711 Her Royal Highness Archduchess Elisabeth Christine of Austria
  • 12 October 1711 – 20 October 1740 Her Imperial Majesty the Holy Roman Empress
  • 20 October 1740 – 21 December 1750 Her Imperial Majesty the Dowager Holy Roman Empress


  1. ^ http://www.infoplease.com/ce6/people/A0811424.html
  2. ^ Her tenure, from 12 October 1711 to 20 October 1740, is about seven months longer than either tenures of two other long-serving empresses, Beatrice I, Countess of Burgundy, and Eleonor Magdalene of the Palatinate-Neuburg.

External links[edit]

Elisabeth Christine of Brunswick-Wolfenbüttel
Born: 28 August 1691 Died: 21 December 1750
Italian royalty
Preceded by
Anne Marie d'Orléans
Queen consort of Sicily
Succeeded by
Maria Amalia of Saxony
Preceded by
Maria Luisa of Savoy
Queen consort of Naples
Queen consort of Sardinia
Succeeded by
Anne Marie d'Orléans
German royalty
Preceded by
Wilhelmina Amalia of Brunswick
Holy Roman Empress and German Queen
Succeeded by
Maria Amalia of Austria
Queen consort of Bohemia
Queen consort of Hungary
Succeeded by
Maria Luisa of Spain
Archduchess consort of Austria
Preceded by
Henrietta Maria of Modena
Duchess consort of Parma and Guastalla
Titles in pretence
Preceded by
Maria Anna of Neuburg
Queen consort of Spain
Reason for succession failure:
Crown passes to Philip V
Title merged with
Spanish monarchy