Princess Maria Antonia of the Two Sicilies

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Maria Antonia of the Two Sicilies
Maria Antonia Bezzuoli.jpg
Grand Duchess of Tuscany
Tenure 7 June 1833 – 21 July 1859
Spouse Leopold II
Issue
Maria Isabella, Countess of Trapani
Ferdinand IV, Grand Duke of Tuscany
Archduke Karl Salvator
Maria Louisa, Princess of Isenburg
Archduke John Salvator
Full name
Maria Antonia Anna
House House of the Two Sicilies
House of Habsburg-Lorraine
Father Francis I of the Two Sicilies
Mother Maria Isabella of Spain
Born (1814-12-19)19 December 1814
Royal Palace of Palermo, Italy
Died 7 November 1898(1898-11-07) (aged 83)
Gmunden
Religion Roman Catholic

Princess Maria Antonia of the Two Sicilies (Maria Antonia Anna; 19 December 1814 – 7 November 1898) was Grand Duchess of Tuscany from 1833 to 1859 as the consort of Leopold II. As other women of her family, she was always called Maria Antonietta, a more common and graceful form of Maria Antonia, and she always signed with this name.

Biography[edit]

Maria Antonia was born at the Royal Palace of Palermo on 19 December 1814, daughter of Francis I of the Two Sicilies and his wife Maria Isabella of Spain, she was baptised Maria Antonia in honor of Maria Antonia-Anna's great-aunt Marie Antoinette, deceased sister of her grandmother Maria Carolina of Austria.

When she was born, the Neapolitan court had already moved to Sicily because Napoleonic troops have invaded the Continental part of the Reign. After few months the Royal Family could return to Naples thanks to the Congress of Vienna.

She was particularly close to her brother the future Ferdinand II of the Two Sicilies who affectionately dubbed her Totò. She was also close to her sister in law, Maria Christina of Savoy who came to the court in 1832.

Marriage and issue[edit]

In 1833, when she was eighteen, Maria Antonia married Leopold II, Grand Duke of Tuscany, who was seventeen years older. They were first cousins because Francis I, Maria Antonia's father, and Princess Luisa of Naples, Leopold's mother, were both children of Ferdinand I of the Two Sicilies and Maria Carolina of Austria. Marie Antoinette and Leopold had ten children:

Honours[edit]

In her honour were baptised in Florence the Piazza Maria Antonia – today Piazza dell'Indipendeza (Independence Square), the railway line Maria Antonia and the homonym station, now called Firenze Santa Maria Novella.

The Revolution[edit]

On April 1859, before the Franco-Piedmont war against Austria, Leopold II proclaimed neutrality, but the Grand Ducal government was already near the end: people used vulgar insults towards the Grand Duchess and the troops gave signs of insubordination.

On 27 April, at four o'clock, in front of the enraged mob on Florence streets and of troops rebellion, Leopold II left Palazzo Pitti by chariot, getting out through Boboli door, heading toward Bologna. He had just refused to abdicate in favour of his son Ferdinand.

Ancestry[edit]

Titles, styles, honours and arms[edit]

Titles and styles[edit]

  • 19 December 1814 – 12 December 1816 Her Royal Highness Princess Maria Antonia of Naples and Sicily
  • 12 December 1816 – 7 June 1833 Her Royal Highness Princess Maria Antonia of Bourbon-Two Sicilies
  • 7 June 1833 – 21 July 1859 Her Imperial and Royal Highness the Most Serene Grand Duchess of Tuscany, Archduchess of Austria, etc.
  • 21 July 1859 – 7 November 1898 Her Imperial and Royal Highness the Most Serene Dowager Grand Duchess of Tuscany

Honours[edit]

References[edit]

Princess Maria Antonia of the Two Sicilies
Cadet branch of the House of Bourbon
Born: 19 December 1814 Died: 3 January 1865
Italian royalty
Vacant
Title last held by
Maria Anna of Saxony
Grand Duchess consort of Tuscany
7 June 1833 – 21 July 1859
Monarchy abolished
Titles in pretence
Loss of title
Republic declared
— TITULAR —
Grand Duchess consort of Tuscany
21 July 1859 – 3 January 1865
Vacant
Title next held by
Alice of Parma