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Maria Theresia of Austria, Queen of Saxony

by Scott Mehl

source: Wikipedia

Maria Theresia of Austria, Queen of Saxony

Queen Maria Theresia was the wife of King Anton of Saxony. She was born Archduchess Maria Theresia Josepha Charlotte Johanna of Austria, on January 14, 1767, the eldest child of Leopold I, Grand Duke of Tuscany (later Leopold II, Holy Roman Emperor) and Infanta Maria Luisa of Spain. She had fifteen younger siblings:

Maria Theresia and her siblings were raised by their parents as opposed to a household of servants and governesses – something quite unusual for the time. Despite their father’s position, they were brought up very simply, and kept away from the pomp and ceremony of court. As she grew up, she became a very private person, and enjoyed a simple and religious home life.

Anton of Saxony. source: Wikipedia

On October 18, 1787 in Dresden, Maria Theresia married, as his second wife, Prince Anton of Saxony. They were previously married by proxy in Florence on September 8. At the time, Anton was heir-presumptive to his brother, the Elector of Saxony, who later became King Friedrich August I of Saxony. However, it was assumed that Friedrich August would have children, and Anton would not inherit the throne – something which pleased the very private princess. The couple had four children, none of whom lived past infancy:

  • Maria Ludovika (1795) – died in infancy
  • Friedrich August (1796) – died at birth
  • Maria Johanna (1798) – died in infancy
  • Maria Theresia (1799) – died at birth

After the death of her sister-in-law, Princess Caroline of Parma (married to Prince Maximilian of Saxony) in 1804, Maria Theresia helped to raise Caroline’s children.

Dresden Cathedral. photo By Lupus in Saxonia – Own work, CC BY-SA 4.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=47181888

Upon her brother-in-law’s death on May 5, 1827, Maria Theresia and her husband became King and Queen of Saxony. Sadly, her tenure as Queen was short-lived. Just six months after her husband’s accession, Queen Maria Theresia died in Leipzig on November 7, 1827. She is buried in the Wetting Crypt at the Dresden Cathedral, formerly known as the Katholische Hofkirche (Catholic Church of the Royal Court of Saxony).

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Royal News: Tuesday 25 July 2017

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Anton, King of Saxony

by Scott Mehl

source: Wikipedia

Anton, King of Saxony

King Anton was the second king of Saxony, reigning from 1827 to 1836. He was born Anton Clemens Theodor Maria Josef Johann Evangelista Johann Nepomuk Franz Xavier Aloys Januar on December 27, 1755, in Dresden, to Friedrich Christian, Elector of Saxony, and Princess Maria Antonia of Bavaria. His siblings were:

Maria Carolina of Savoy. source: Wikipedia

On October 24, 1781, in Dresden, Anton married Princess Maria Carolina of Savoy, the daughter of King Vittorio Amedeo III of Sardinia and Infanta María Antonia of Spain. Sadly, the marriage ended just over a year later when Maria Carolina died from smallpox. They had no children.

Maria Theresia of Austria. source: Wikipedia

He married a second time on October 18, 1787. His new bride was Archduchess Maria Theresia of Austria, the daughter of Leopold I, Grand Duke of Tuscany (and later Leopold II, Holy Roman Emperor) and Infanta María Luisa of Spain. The couple had four children, all of whom died at birth or shortly after:

  • Princess Maria Ludovika of Saxony (1795) – died in infancy
  • Prince Friedrich August of Saxony (1796) – died at birth
  • Princess Maria Johanna of Saxony (1798) – died in infancy
  • Princess Maria Theresia of Saxony (1799) – died at birth

Anton became King of Saxony on May 5, 1827, upon the death of his elder brother, King Friedrich August I. Despite having been heir to the throne for many years, Anton had little experience in government and was therefore content with continuing the policies and goals of his late brother.

By 1830, following the July Revolution in France, Saxony began to see some small uprisings, usually directed at the Constitution. In order to maintain the peace, several changes took place. In September 1830, Anton appointed his nephew and heir, Friedrich August, as Co-Regent. And the following year, a new Constitution was put into place, establishing Saxony as a true constitutional monarchy.

After a reign of just nine years, King Anton died in Dresden on June 6, 1836. He is buried in the Wettin Crypt at the Dresden Cathedral, formerly known as the Katholische Hofkirche (Catholic Church of the Royal Court of Saxony). As he had no male heirs, he was succeeded by his nephew, King Friedrich August II.

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Amalie of Zweibrücken-Birkenfeld-Bischweiler, Queen of Saxony

by Scott Mehl

source: Wikipedia

Amalie of Zweibrücken-Birkenfeld-Bischweiler, Queen of Saxony

The first Queen of Saxony, Amalie Auguste was the wife of King Friedrich August I. She was born Countess Maria Amalie Auguste of Zweibrücken-Birkenfeld-Bischweiler, in Mannheim on May 10, 1752, the daughter of Count Palatine Friedrich Michael of Zweibrücken-Birkenfeld-Bischweiler and Countess Palatine Maria Francisca of Sulzbach. Amalie had four siblings:

Friedrich August, painted by Johann Heinrich Schmidt. source: Wikipedia

On January 29, 1769, Amalie married Friedrich August III, Elector of Saxony (future King Friedrich August I). At the time of her marriage, she became the Electress of Saxony – the last to hold this title. In addition to three stillborn children, the couple had one daughter:

source: Wikipedia

On December 20, 1806, Amalie became the first Queen of Saxony when the electorate was elevated to a Kingdom, and her husband assumed the throne as King Friedrich August I. She also became Duchess of Warsaw the following year when the newly created Duchy of Warsaw, a protectorate of the French Empire, was placed in personal union with the Kingdom of Saxony by the French Emperor Napoléon. She remained Duchess of Warsaw until 1815 when it was dissolved at the Congress of Vienna.

Her husband died in May 1827 and was succeeded by his younger brother, Anton. Queen Amalie survived her husband by a year and a half, dying in Dresden on November 15, 1828. She is buried in the Wettin Crypt at the Dresden Cathedral, formerly known as the Katholische Hofkirche (Catholic Church of the Royal Court of Saxony).

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Royal News: Thursday 20 July 2017

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Friedrich August I, King of Saxony

by Scott Mehl

source: Wikipedia

Friedrich August I, King of Saxony

Friedrich August I was the first King of Saxony, reigning from 1806 to 1827. He was born Prince Friedrich August Josef Maria Anton Johann Nepomuk Alois Xavier on December 23, 1750, in Dresden, the eldest surviving child of Prince (later Elector) Friedrich Christian of Saxony and Princess Maria Antonia Walpurgis of Bavaria. Friedrich August had six siblings:

Upon his father’s death on December 17, 1763, Friedrich August became Elector of Saxony, reigning as Friedrich August III. As he was just thirteen at the time, his mother served as Regent, and his uncle, Prince Franz Xavier, served as his representative until he reached his eighteenth birthday in 1768. During this time, his uncle relinquished the throne of Poland to Stanisław II Augustus on Friedrich August’s behalf. However, under the terms of the new Polish Constitution, he remained heir to the Polish throne (which he would later refuse upon Stanisław’s death in 1798).

Amalie of Zweibrücken-Birkenfeld, c1769. source: Wikipedia

On January 1769, Friedrich August married Amalie of Zweibrücken-Birkenfeld, the daughter of Count Palatine Friedrich Michael of Zweibrücken-Birkenfeld-Bischweiler and Countess Palatine Maria Francisca of Sulzbach. She was also the sister of the future King Maximilian I Joseph of Bavaria. In addition to three stillborn children, Friedrich August and Amalie had one daughter:

As Elector, Friedrich August was not involved in the establishment of the Confederation of the Rhine, which brought about the end of the Holy Roman Empire. Staying out of the politics, he was drawn in when Napoleon advanced into German territory, siding with Prussia. The Saxon forces suffered significant losses and Friedrich August soon surrendered. He was forced to join the Confederation of the Rhine and had to cede territory to the Kingdom of Westphalia. However, the trade-off was Saxony’s elevation to a kingdom. So on December 20, 1806, Friedrich August became King Friedrich August I of Saxony.

The following year, the French Emperor Napoléon established the Duchy of Warsaw as a protectorate of the French Empire. In the Duchy’s constitution, he joined it with the House of Saxony, creating King Friedrich August I the Duke of Warsaw on June 9, 1807.

Under the watchful and controlling eye of Napoleon, Friedrich August attempted to join the Sixth Coalition in 1813, starting with a clandestine pact with Austria. However, word got back to Napoleon who quickly squashed the King’s efforts. The Emperor demanded the full support of Saxony, including their forces. Despite his misgivings about Napoleon, he trusted the Prussians even less, so the Saxons fought alongside the French in the Battle of Leipzig. The Prussians had no real intent to bring Saxony into the Coalition and had already formed a separate alliance with Russia, with the agreement that Prussia would annex Saxony. Instead of any support for Friedrich August, he was arrested by the Prussians and taken into custody.

After being released from prison in February 1815, the King delayed agreeing to any of the terms set out at the Congress of Vienna. Having no choice, he soon agreed to the peace treaty presented by Prussia and Russia. On May 21, 1815, he signed the treaty which gave more than half of the Saxony territory to Prussia, and the next day abdicated as Duke of Warsaw. Polish territory was divided amongst Russia, Austria and Prussia, with the Russian area becoming the Kingdom of Poland, with the Russian Tsar as King. Upon returning home to Saxony in July 1815, the king received a warm welcome from the people of Saxony. He would remain on the throne for another twelve years.

Dresden Castle, c1896. source: Wikipedia

King Friedrich August I died at Dresden Castle on May 5, 1827. He is buried in the Wettin Crypt at the Dresden Cathedral, formerly known as the Katholische Hofkirche (Catholic Church of the Royal Court of Saxony). As he had no male heirs, he was succeeded by his younger brother, Anton.

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Royal News: Tuesday 18 July 2017

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Royal News: Sunday 16 July 2017

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Royal News: Saturday 15 July 2017

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Royal News: Monday 10 July 2017

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