Thursday, January 3, 2013

Three of Marie Thérèse

Marie Thérèse is a name that this blogger has a personal connection to, and is rather fond of.  It might interest the reader to note that history has witnessed three bearing the name Marie Thérèse of particular note:

Queen Marie Thérèse of France.

First, Marie Thérèse (+1683), the wife and Queen of King Louis XIV of France.  She was the daughter of King Philip IV of Spain and his wife, Elisabeth.  She and Louis XIV, the "Sun King" had but one child that survived childhood, that being Louis, "le grand Dauphin."  When King Charles II of Spain died without heir in 1700, Louis XIV claimed the throne of Spain for his grandson, Philip V, by virtue of Marie Thérèse being the older sister of the deceased Charles II.  This would be settled in the War of the Spanish Succession (1702-1713), that saw Philip V and the House of Bourbon achieve the Spanish throne.

Empress Maria Theresa in 1762 by Jean-Etienne Liotard.

Our second character is the Empress Maria Theresa of Austria (+1780), which, of course, in the French, is Marie Therese.  She was the daughter of the Holy Roman Emperor, Charles VI (+1740), whose death and the dispute over Maria Theresa's succession to the hereditary lands of the Hapsburg family resulted in the War of the Austrian Succession (1740-1748).  Ultimately, Maria Theresa, while losing Silesia to Prussia, would inherit the thrones of Bohemia and Hungary and the Archduchy of Austria.  In 1745, her husband, Francis of Lorraine, Grand Duke of Tuscany, was elected Holy Roman Emperor, adding Empress to the titles of Maria Theresa.  Two of her children would be famous -- her son the Emperor Joseph II (1765-1790) infamous for his liberalism and meddling in the affairs of the Church (Frederick the Great called him the Sacristan Emperor) and her daughter, the ill-fated Marie Antoinette, wife of King Louis XVI of France.

Marie Thérèse , Madame Royale (+1851) by Antoine-Jean Gros.

Our third Marie Thérèse (+1851), is the eldest daughter of the tragic king of France, Louis XVI.  She was but eleven years old when the French Revolution broke out, and fifteen when her father was executed in 1793AD.  She would go into exile in 1796, managing to survive the Reign of Terror, and having been released from custody just before her 17th birthday.  While in exile, she would marry a cousin, Louis Antoine, Duke of Angouleme, in 1799AD, who was the son of the conservative king of France, Charles X (1824-1830), and his wife, another Marie Thérèse.  While the monarchy was restored after the fall of Napoleon, and Charles X, her father-in-law, succeeded his brother Louis XVIII to the throne in 1824, he would be overthrown in 1830 in favor of a cousin, Louis Philippe of the House of Orleans.

Live well!

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