Empress Maria Theresa of Austria
Empress Maria Theresa, the only female ruler of the Habsburg dynasty.
She ruled the Holy Roman Empire for 40 years, between 1740 and 1780. She became an expert in marriage politics, having lots of material with sixteen children! Read about here children below.
The emperial family in 1754, painted by Martin van Meytens. Fransic and Maria Theresa with eleven children.
A Habsburg family of great fame was that of Empress Maria Theresa and Emperor Francis I of the Holy Roman Empire. Maria Theresa von Habsburg was the eldest daughter of emperor Charles VI of the Holy Roman Emire.
Altough never heard of in these days, Maria Theresa succeeded her father since he abolished male-only succession. Having no male issue Charles VI choose his eldest daughter as his successor over his brother.
Maria Theresia was married to Francis Stephen, son of the Duke of Lorraine. They founded the new dynasty of Habsburg-Lorraine. Maria Theresa was the only ruling female of the Habsburg dynasty, which ruled great parts of Europe during 650 years.
The marriage of Maria Theresa and Fransic I was also arranged by Charles VI, and for that reason Francis grew up in Vienna together with Maria Theresa. Unlike many arranged marriages their’s was one of love and affection. They had sixteen children together.
Maria Theresa made sure her children had good marriages in order to make allies throughout Europe.
Below you will find a list of of all their surviving children and their spouses.