Maria Anna of Savoy

Maria Anna of Savoy (Italian: Maria Anna Ricciarda Carolina Margherita Pia; 19 September 1803 – 4 May 1884) was Empress of Austria and Queen of Hungary (see Grand title of the Empress of Austria)[1] by marriage to Emperor Ferdinand I of Austria.

Maria Anna of Savoy
Johann Nepomuk Ender 002.jpg
Portrait by Johann Nepomuk
Empress consort of Austria,
Queen consort of Hungary, Bohemia,
Dalmatia, and Croatia
Tenure2 March 1835 – 2 December 1848
Coronation12 September 1836, Prague
Born(1803-09-19)19 September 1803
Palazzo Colonna, Rome, Papal States
Died4 May 1884(1884-05-04) (aged 80)
Prague, Cisleithania, Austria-Hungary
SpouseFerdinand I of Austria
Italian: Maria Anna Carolina Pia di Savoia
FatherVictor Emmanuel I of Sardinia
MotherMaria Theresa of Austria-Este


Coronation of Maria Anna as Queen of Bohemia, 1836

Maria Anna was born in Palazzo Colonna in Rome, the daughter of King Victor Emmanuel I of Sardinia and of his wife, Archduchess Maria Teresa of Austria-Este. She had a twin sister Maria Teresa. The two princesses were baptised by Pope Pius VII. Their godparents were their maternal grandparents, Archduke Ferdinand of Austria-Este and his wife Maria Beatrice Ricciarda d'Este. In the Museo di Roma can be seen a painting of the baptism.[citation needed]

On 12 February 1831 Maria Anna was married by procuration in Turin to King Ferdinand V of Hungary (later Emperor Ferdinand I of Austria). On 27 February the couple were married in person in Vienna in the Hofburg chapel by the Cardinal Archbishop of Olmütz. Maria Anna was selected to marry the future Emperor at the age of 27, which was very late for a princess to marry in this time period. However, her age was seen as a sign that she would be more settled, religious and easier to manage.[2]

Maria Anna and Ferdinand had no children.

Ferdinand succeeded as Emperor of Austria on 2 March 1835; Maria Anna became Empress of Austria. On 12 September 1836 she was crowned as Queen of Bohemia at Prague.

Maria Anna never learned to speak German during her tenure as Empress, but preferred to speak French. She enjoyed some popularity as an Empress, and a festival was celebrated on her name day 26 July each year.[3] Minister Metternich managed the Government during the reign of her spouse. Unlike her sister-in-law Sophie of Bavaria, Maria Anna had no influence upon policy. She supported Emperor Ferdinand, who was unable to manage state affairs because of his health, was respected for this, and referred to herself as his nurse.[4]

During the 1848 Revolution, Maria Anna retracted her support from the Metternich Policy with support from Sophie of Bavaria. However, she did voiced her opinion that stronger meassures should be taken against the revolution. She influenced her spouse's decision to abdicate[5]

On 2 December 1848 Ferdinand abdicated as Emperor of Austria, but retaining his imperial rank; Maria Anna was henceforward titled Empress Maria Anna. They lived in retirement together, spending the winters at Prague Castle and the summers at Reichstadt (now Zákupy) or at Ploschkowitz (now Ploskovice). Maria Anna was popular in Prague, were she was engaged in local charity.

Maria Anna died in Prague. She is buried next to her husband in tomb number 63 in the Imperial Crypt in Vienna.




  1. ^
  2. ^ Martin Mutschlechner: Ferdinand: Ein „Betriebsunfall“ im Hause Habsburg
  3. ^ Maria Anna, In: Brigitte Hamann (Hrsg.): Die Habsburger, 1988
  4. ^ Martin Mutschlechner: Ferdinand: Ein „Betriebsunfall“ im Hause Habsburg
  5. ^ .R. Lorenz: Maria Anna, Kaiserin von Österreich. In: Österreichisches Biographisches Lexikon 1815–1950 (ÖBL). Band 6, Verlag der Österreichischen Akademie der Wissenschaften, Wien 1975, ISBN 3-7001-0128-7
  6. ^ Hof- und Staats-Handbuch des Kaiserthumes Österreich (1868), p 110, Sternkreuz-Orden


External linksEdit

  Media related to Maria Anna of Sardinia at Wikimedia Commons

Maria Anna of Savoy
Born: 19 September 1803 Died: 4 May 1884
Austro-Hungarian royalty
Preceded by
Caroline Augusta of Bavaria
Empress consort of Austria
Queen consort of Hungary and Croatia
Queen consort of Bohemia
Queen consort of Lombardy-Venetia

Title next held by
Elisabeth of Bavaria