Princess Maria Antonia of the Two Sicilies

Princess Maria Antonia of the Two Sicilies (Maria Antonietta Giuseppa Anna; 19 December 1814 – 7 November 1898) was the Grand Duchess of Tuscany from 1833 to 1859 as the consort of Leopold II. In her signature, she used Maria Antonietta, the Italian form of her name.[citation needed]

Maria Antonia of the Two Sicilies
Maria Antonia of the Two Sicilies by Morelli 1840.jpg
Maria Antonia in the early 1840s, painted by Carlo Morelli
Grand Duchess consort of Tuscany
Tenure7 June 1833 – 21 July 1859
Born(1814-12-19)19 December 1814
Royal Palace of Palermo, Kingdom of Sicily, Italy
Died7 November 1898(1898-11-07) (aged 83)
Gmunden, Austria
SpouseLeopold II, Grand Duke of Tuscany
(m. 1833 – 1870; his death)
IssueArchduchess Maria Isabella, Countess of Trapani
Ferdinand IV, Grand Duke of Tuscany
Archduke Karl Salvator
Maria Luisa, Princess of Isenburg-Büdingen
Archduke Ludwig Salvator
Archduke John Salvator
German: Maria Antonia Josepha Anna
Italian: Maria Antonietta Giuseppa Anna
HouseBourbon-Two Sicilies
FatherFrancis I of the Two Sicilies
MotherMaria Isabella of Spain
ReligionRoman Catholicism


Maria Antonia was born at the Royal Palace of Palermo on 19 December 1814, the daughter of Francis I of the Two Sicilies and his wife Maria Isabella of Spain. The girl was given the German baptismal name Maria Antonia in honor of her great-aunt Marie Antoinette, the deceased sister of her paternal grandmother, Maria Carolina of Austria.

When she was born, the Neapolitan court had already moved to Sicily because Napoleonic troops had invaded the continental part of the realm. After a few months, the royal family returned to Naples, thanks to the Congress of Vienna.

Maria Antonia was particularly close to her brother, the future Ferdinand II of the Two Sicilies, who affectionately dubbed her Totò.[citation needed]

Marriage and issueEdit

In 1833, when she was eighteen, Maria Antonia married her first cousin Leopold II, Grand Duke of Tuscany, who was seventeen years older than her. Maria Antonia and Leopold had ten children, only six of whom lived to adulthood:


The Piazza Maria Antonia – today Piazza dell'Indipendeza, the railway line Maria Antonia and the Maria Antonia train station, now called Firenze Santa Maria Novella, were named in her honour.


On April 27, 1859, before the Franco-Austrian War, Leopold II proclaimed neutrality. On the afternoon of 27 April, Leopold II chose to leave Florence with his family in four carriages heading toward Bologna, rather than provoke any violence against what appeared to be a well orchestrated coup directed by the Piedmontese government. Shortly beforehand, Leopold II had refused to abdicate in favour of his son, Ferdinand IV, who then became the nominal Grand Duke of Tuscany after his father was forced to abdicate by the Austrian emperor Francis Joseph in July of the same year.

Later lifeEdit

The grand ducal family then settled in Austria. In 1860, Leopold II bought the Bohemian chamber rule of Brandeis. After the political situation in Italy had calmed down to some extent, Leopold II and his wife traveled to Rome in November 1869, where he died in her arms on the night of January 29, 1870. After the death of her husband, Maria Antonia withdrew to Lake Traun and mostly stayed in Gmunden. Once a year, she went to the Eternal City, where she prayed at the place where her husband died and paid her respects to the Pope. As a widow, she by no means led a lonely life, and the sprightly lady went to visit her son Ludwig Salvator, who lived on Mallorca, when she was very old. The fact that her favorite son Johann Orth had been missing since 1890 shocked her and overshadowed her twilight years.

Maria Antonia died on November 7, 1898 at the age of 83 at Ort Castle in Gmunden. She was buried in the Capuchin Crypt in Vienna.




  1. ^ Hof- und Staats-Handbuch des Kaiserthumes Österreich (1868), p. 110, Sternkreuz-Orden
  2. ^ a b Chisholm, Hugh, ed. (1911). "Francis I. of the Two Sicilies" . Encyclopædia Britannica. Vol. 10 (11th ed.). Cambridge University Press.
  3. ^ a b Navarrete Martínez, Esperanza Navarrete Martínez. "María de la O Isabel de Borbón". Diccionario biográfico España (in Spanish). Real Academia de la Historia.
  4. ^ a b c d Genealogie ascendante jusqu'au quatrieme degre inclusivement de tous les Rois et Princes de maisons souveraines de l'Europe actuellement vivans [Genealogy up to the fourth degree inclusive of all the Kings and Princes of sovereign houses of Europe currently living] (in French). Bourdeaux: Frederic Guillaume Birnstiel. 1768. p. 9.
  5. ^ a b Genealogie ascendate, p. 1
  6. ^ a b Genealogie ascendate, p. 96

External linksEdit

Princess Maria Antonia of the Two Sicilies
Cadet branch of the House of Bourbon
Born: 19 December 1814 Died: 3 January 1865
Italian royalty
Title last held by
Maria Anna of Saxony
Grand Duchess consort of Tuscany
7 June 1833 – 21 July 1859
Monarchy abolished
Titles in pretence
Loss of title
Republic declared
Grand Duchess consort of Tuscany
21 July 1859 – 3 January 1865
Title next held by
Alice of Parma