Who were the sixteen children and what happened to them? How many reached adulthood? Who is the most-known daughter internationally seen?
At the tender age of 19, on the 12th of February 1736, the marriage of Maria Theresia with her beloved Franz Stephan of Lorraine took place in the Augustinian church in Vienna. Three months after the marriage, she was already pregnant and gave birth to16 children within 20 years.
The first-born daughter, Maria Elisabeth (1737-1740) already died as a toddler. In 1738 the next daughter was born, Maria Anna (1738-1789), who was very similar to her father with her interests. Unfortunately, she suffered from a malformation of the chest and could not be married. She spent her remaining years in the Elisabethinen-Monastery in Klagenfurt.
The third child, again a daughter named Maria Karolina (born 1740) died as a baby.
The fourth child was finally Joseph II (1741-1790) the first son and long-awaited heir to the throne. He ruled with his mother and followed her after his death in 1780 to the throne. He is best known for his reforms.
In 1742, the fifth child, Maria Christina, Maria Theresa’s favorite daughter, was born exactly on her 25th birthday. She was the only one of the many children wo was allowed to choose her husband herself andmarried Duke Albert of Saxony-Teschen.
As the sixth child, Maria Elisabeth (1743-1808) came into this world and was a particularly beautiful girl. Unfortunately, her beauty was disfigured by a smallpox disease. Thus she remained unmarried and turned into to “kropferte Liesl“. (having a strumose).
Number seven was the second son Karl Joseph (1745-1761). He was the opposite of his brother Joseph and can certainly be described as the favorite son of Maria Theresa. Unfortunately, he died at the age of 16 at the smallpox, which was a big stroke of fate for the parents.
The eighth child was Maria Amalie (1746-1804), who was married against her will to Duke Ferdinand of Parma. The ninth childand the third son was Peter Leopold (1747-1792), who became ruler in Tuscany and even became emperor for two years.
In tenth place was Maria Karoline (born 1748), who died shortly after her birth. he eleventh child, Johanna (1750-1762), fell victim to smallpox at a young age, as did number twelve, Maria Josepha (1751-1767), who was about to marry the Neapolitan crown prince.
Thus it was the turn of the next daughter and the 13th child, Maria Karolina (1752-1814). She had to marry Ferdinand of Naples-Sicily. The two brought it to 18 children. Number 14 was Ferdinand Karl Anton (1754-1806), who founded by his marriage, the side line Habsburg-Modena.
As the 15th child Maria Antonia (1755-1793) was born and is probably the most famous daughter of Maria Theresa because of her tragic fate. She was married to the French Dauphin Louis XVI. and lost her life during the French Revolution on the guillotine.
The youngest and 16th child was Maximilian Franz (1756-1801), who was destined for the spiritual career. He became Archbishop and Elector of Cologne and a patron of Beethoven.
Time Travel Tipp:In Schönbrunn Palace you will learn on a guided tour how the imperial family and their 16 children lived.