Maria Leopoldine of Austria
|Maria Leopoldine of Austria|
Portrait by Lorenzo Lippi, 1649.
|Holy Roman Empress; German Queen;
Queen consort of Hungary and Bohemia;
Archduchess consort of Austria
|Tenure||2 July 1648 – 19 August 1649|
28 November 1632|
|Died||19 August 1649
|Spouse||Ferdinand III, Holy Roman Emperor|
|Issue||Archduke Charles Joseph of Austria|
|Father||Leopold V, Archduke of Further Austria|
|Mother||Claudia de' Medici|
Maria Leopoldine of Austria-Tyrol (28 November 1632 – 19 August 1649), was by birth Archduchess of Austria and member of the Tyrolese branch of the House of Habsburg and by marriage the second spouse of her first cousin, Holy Roman Emperor Ferdinand III. As such, she was Empress of the Holy Roman Empire, German Queen and Queen consort of Hungary and Bohemia. She died in childbirth.
Maria Leopoldine was born in Innsbruck on 28 November 1632 as the third (but second surviving) daughter and the fifth and youngest child of Leopold V, Archduke of Further Austria, and Claudia de' Medici. She was born posthumously, because her father died two months before her birth, on 13 September 1632. On her father's side, her grandparents were Charles II, Archduke of Inner Austria and his wife Princess Maria Anna of Bavaria and on her mother's side her grandparents were Ferdinando I de' Medici, Grand Duke of Tuscany and his wife Princess Christina of Lorraine. In addition to her full-siblings, she had and older half-sister, Vittoria della Rovere, born from her mother's first marriage with Federico Ubaldo della Rovere, Duke of Urbino.
Maria Leopoldine's oldest brother, Ferdinand Charles, inherited Further Austria, but Dowager Archduchess Claudia assumed regency because of her son's minority. In a letter written to his mother, Elizabeth of England, on 8 September 1641, Charles Louis of the Palatinate (later Elector Palatine) described the intentions of his uncle, King Charles I of England, and Maria Leopoldine's first cousin, Holy Roman Emperor Ferdinand III, to arrange a marriage between the 9-years-old Archduchess and himself; the marriage between them was to end "all grudges betweene our families". However, the union never took place.
Marriage and death
In Linz on 2 July 1648 Maria Leopoldine married the widowed Holy Roman Emperor Ferdinand III, thereby becoming empress of the Holy Roman Empire, Queen of the Germans, Queen of Hungary and Queen of Bohemia. The wedding ceremony was splendid; The composer Andreas Rauch celebrated the marriage as "anticipating (with the help of Divine Providence) the most beautiful end of the Thirty Years' war" and an opera titled I Trifoni d'Amore, produced by Giovanni Felice Sances, was meant to commemorate the event, but the Prague premiere was canceled at the last moment when King Vladislaus IV of Poland (Ferdinand III's brother-in-law) died within two months of the wedding; the planned Pressburg performance apparently never took place. The new Empress was as closely related to her husband as her cousin and predecessor, Maria Anna of Spain; both marriages were means by which the House of Habsburg, from time to time, reinforced itself.
Soon after her wedding, Maria Leopoldine became pregnant, and was depicted as such in the 1649 painting by the Italian painter and poet Lorenzo Lippi. The Imperial couple's only child, Archduke Charles Joseph of Austria, was born on 7 August 1649. The childbirth was extremely difficult, ending in the death of the 16-year-old Empress. Her husband remarried within two years, while their son died childless aged 15. She is buried in tomb 21 in the Imperial Crypt in Vienna. The writer Wolf Helmhardt von Hohberg, then at the beginning of his career, sent to Emperor Ferdinand III a poem written in honour of the late Empress, called "Poem of tears" (de: Klag-Gedicht).
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Maria Leopoldine of AustriaBorn: 28 November 1632 Died: 19 August 1649
Maria Anna of Spain
|Empress of the Holy Roman Empire
German Queen, Archduchess consort of Austria
Title next held byEleanor of Mantua
|Queen consort of Hungary and Bohemia