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Archduchess Maria Carolina of Austria (1748)

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Archduchess Maria Carolina
Extract from a portrait by Martin van Meytens, who represented the three daughters of Maria Theresa who died in infancy.
Born(1748-09-17)17 September 1748
Schönbrunn Palace, Austria
Died17 September 1748(1748-09-17) (aged 0)
Schönbrunn Palace, Austria
Imperial Crypt, Vienna
Full name
Maria Carolina
FatherFrancis I, Holy Roman Emperor
MotherMaria Theresa of Austria

Archduchess Maria Carolina of Austria (17 September 1748 – 17 September 1748),[1] was the tenth child of Maria Theresa, Queen of Hungary, Croatia and Bohemia and Francis I, Holy Roman Emperor.


As in the case of her other nine pregnancies, Maria Theresa didn't leave her imperial duties. But this time, she admitted that she found increasingly difficult to fulfill her obligations:[2]

"(...) if the dear God would like to gave me the children I have, I would be quite content with one more; because I feel that it weakens me and makes me grow older and does not make it easy for me to do all my work."[clarification needed]

On 16 September 1748 (one day before giving birth) the Empress went from Schönbrunn Palace to the Hofburg to publicly received the Turkish embassy. She then returned to Schönbrunn with her husband and brother-in-law Prince Charles Alexander of Lorraine, visited her mother the Dowager Empress in her residence Schloss Hetzendorf and went in the early evening of 17 September to the theater to watch an Italian opera. After this, the Empress continue the rest of the day as usually: first a mass in the chapel of Schönbrunn and then conferences with her ministers.[2]

At the end of the day, Maria Theresa went into labour. However, there was horror when it was found that the child was born with her feet first, and since the little girl seemed to be particularly weak, the midwife in charge immediately asked an emergency baptism for her, receiving the name of Maria Carolina in honor of her oldest deceased sister. Maria Theresa was tormented by the thought that her child had not been baptized in time before her death. The Emperor tried to calm his wife and convince her that the emergency baptism was done in time.

The dead child was then laid out in the rooms prepared for her at Schönbrunn. On 18 September the small corpse was taken to the Hofburg. In the evening, the burial of Maria Carolina took place in the Maria Theresa Vault at the Imperial Crypt, Vienna.[2]


  1. Artikel in: Wiener Zeitung, 18 September 1748, p. 7. (online via ANNO)
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 La dernière Reine de France in: marieantoinette.npage.de [retrieved 8 January 2016].


  • Hanne Egghardt: Maria Theresias Kinder. 16 Schicksale zwischen Glanz und Elend. Kremayr & Scheriau, Vienna 2010, ISBN 978-3-218-00813-6 Search this book on Amazon.com Logo.png..
  • Elfriede Iby: "Marie-Thérèse, biographie d'une souveraine".

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