Maria Leopoldina of Austria


Maria Leopoldina of Austria : biography

22 January 1797 – 11 December 1826



Maria Leopoldina and Pedro had seven children before she died in 1826 following a miscarriage:

  • Maria II of Portugal (1819–1853), following Pedro’s devotion to Our Lady of Glória
  • Miguel, Prince of Beira (1820).
  • João Carlos, Prince of Beira (1821–1822).
  • Januária Maria, Princess Imperial of Brazil (1822–1901), named after the city of Rio de Janeiro, married Prince Louis, Count of Aquila (1824–1897), son of King Francis I of the Two Sicilies.
  • Princess Paula Mariana of Brazil (1823–1833).
  • Princess Francisca of Brazil (1824–1898) married François, Prince of Joinville (1818–1900), son of Louis-Philippe King of the French.
  • Pedro II of Brazil (1825–1891), married Princess Teresa of the Two Sicilies (1822–1889), the youngest daughter of King Francis I of the Two Sicilies.
  • Miscarriage (11 December 1826).

Early life

Her parents’ fourth daughter but second to survive infancy, Archduchess Maria Leopoldina Josefa Carolina () or, as she was simply called, Leopoldina was born at Schönbrunn Palace on Sunday, January 22, 1797. She was one of twelve imperial children.

She was raised in accordance with the educational principles laid down by her grandfather, Emperor Leopold II. Among these was the habit of exercising her handwriting by writing the following text:

In addition, she and her sisters were taught how to speak French and Latin. They were also educated in drawing, piano, riding and hunting. Her mother died when she was ten years old and her father went on to remarry Maria Ludovika of Austria-Este. Her late mother was a soprano and Leopoldina had the chance of meeting Johann Wolfgang von Goethe in 1810 and 1812, when she went to Carlsbad with her stepmother. Her passions included natural sciences, especially botany and mineralogy. She was formed according to the three Habsburg principles: discipline, piety and a sense of duty.

Although Maria Theresa of Naples and Sicily was her birth mother, Leopoldina always considered Maria Ludovika d’Este, her stepmother, to be her mother and she grew up with Ludovika as her "spiritual mother".

Titles and styles

  • 22 January 1797 – 11 August 1804 Her Royal Highness Archduchess Maria Leopoldina of Austria
  • 11 August 1804 – 6 November 1817 Her Imperial & Royal Highness Archduchess Maria Leopoldina of Austria
  • 6 November 1817 – 12 October 1822 Her Imperial & Royal Highness the Princess Royal of the United Kingdom of Portugal, Brazil and the Algarves, Duchess of Braganza
  • 12 October 1822 – 10 March 1826 Her Imperial Majesty the Empress of Brazil
  • 10 March 1826 – 28 May 1826 Her Imperial & Most Faithful Majesty the Empress of Brazil, Queen of Portugal and the Algarves
  • 28 May 1826 – 11 December 1826 Her Imperial Majesty The Empress of Brazil