Maria Beatrice of Savoy

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Maria Beatrice of Savoy
Maria Beatrice Vittoria of Savoy.jpg
Portrait by Adeodata Malatesta
Duchess of Modena
Consort 14 July 1814 – 15 September 1840
Born (1792-12-06)6 December 1792
Died 15 September 1840(1840-09-15) (aged 47)
Castello del Catajo, Italy
Spouse Francis IV, Duke of Modena
Issue Maria Theresa, Countess of Chambord
Francis V, Duke of Modena
Archduke Ferdinand Karl Viktor
Maria Beatrix, Countess of Montizón
Full name
Maria Beatrice Vittoria Giuseppina di Savoia
House House of Savoy (by birth)
House of Austria-Este (by marriage)
Father Victor Emmanuel I of Sardinia
Mother Maria Theresa of Austria-Este

Maria Beatrice of Savoy (Maria Beatrice Vittoria Giuseppina; 6 December 1792 – 15 September 1840) was a Princess of Savoy and Duchess of Modena by marriage.


She was the eldest daughter of Victor Emmanuel, Duke of Aosta and his wife Maria Teresa of Austria-Este. Her father became King of Sardinia unexpectedly in 1802 when Charles Emmanuel IV abdicated.

Her maternal grandparents were Archduke Ferdinand of Austria-Este and Maria Beatrice Ricciarda d'Este. Ferdinand was the third son of Francis I, Holy Roman Emperor and Maria Theresa of Austria. Maria Beatrice was the eldest daughter of Ercole III d'Este and Maria Theresa, Princess of Carrara.

In December 1798, Maria Beatrice left Turin with her parents and uncles due to French Revolution and Napoleonic Wars. They fled to Parma, then Florence. They finally settled at Sardinia, the last dominion held by Kingdom of Sardinia, for refuge. Maria Beatrice spent most of her time at Cagliari in later 13 years.

On 20 June 1812, Maria Beatrice married her maternal uncle Francis, Archduke of Austria-Este; the couple received a special dispensation for their marriage from Pope Pius VII. Maria Beatrice's husband became Francis IV, Duke of Modena, Reggio, and Mirandola on 14 July 1814, making Maria Beatrice Duchess of Modena. They were parents to four children:

The couple left Sardinia on 15 July 1813 for Zakynthos Island, and then sailed to Trieste off the east shore of Adriatic Sea, finally reached Vienna by land. On the invasion of Joachim Murat during The Hundred Days, they fled Modena until 15 May 1815.

Jacobite recognition[edit]

Upon the death of the abdicated King Charles Emmanuel IV on 6 October 1819, King Victor Emmanuel, father of Maria Beatrice, became the Jacobite heir, and Jacobites recognized her as "Princess Mary of England, Scotland, France and Ireland"; with the death of her father on 10 January 1824, Maria Beatrice became recognized by Jacobites as rightful Queen of England, Scotland and Ireland as Mary III. After the death of the last of the Jacobite 'Pretenders', Henrietta's line-through her younger daughter (Anne-Marie of Orleans, wife of Victor Amadeus II of Savoy) became the sole legitimate line of descent of Charles I. Maria Beatrice never actively pursued her British claims.

Due to the outbreak of a revolution Maria Beatrice had to fled Modena again with her family on 5 February 1831, but with Austrian military help her family was able to return in the year.

Maria Beatrice died of a heart condition on 15 September 1840 at Castello del Catajo. Her son Francis was the next Jacobite heir-general. Her remains were kept in the Chiesa di San Vincenzo in Modena.

Maria Beatrice was a Lady of the (Austrian) Order of the Starry Cross.

Had she gained the throne she would have been Mary III & II.[1]


Titles, styles, honours and arms[edit]

Titles and styles[edit]

  • 6 December 1792 – 20 June 1812 Her Royal Highness Princess Maria Beatrice of Savoy
  • 20 June 1812 – 14 July 1814 Her Imperial and Royal Highness Archduchess Maria Beatrice of Austria-Este
  • 14 July 1814 – 15 September 1840 Her Imperial and Royal Highness The Duchess of Modena
    • Jacobite, 10 January 1824 - 15 September 1840 Her Majesty The Queen of England, Scotland, France and Ireland


  1. ^ Mary III & II and Mary IV & III were numbered in such a way because some Jacobites regard Elizabeth I of England as illegitimate, and therefore consider Mary, Queen of Scots, to have been the rightful Queen Mary II of England from the death of Mary I

External links[edit]

Maria Beatrice of Savoy
Born: 6 December 1792 Died: 15 September 1840
Titles in pretence
Preceded by
Victor Emmanuel I of Sardinia
Jacobite succession
Succeeded by
Francis V, Duke of Modena