zaterdag 25 februari 2012

Marie Louise of Austria

Marie Louise of Austria (Maria Ludovica Leopoldina Franziska Therese Josepha Lucia von Habsburg-Lothringen; 12 December 1791 – 17 December 1847) was the second wife ofNapoleon I, Emperor of the French and later Duchess of Parma. As such, she was Empress of the French from 1810 to 1814, and subsequently ruler of Parma, Piacenza and Guastalla from 1814 until her death. She was an obedient wife and was adored by Napoleon, who had been eager to marry a member of one of Europe's leading royal houses to cement his relatively young Empire. She bore Napoleon a son, styled the King of Rome at birth, later Duke of Reichstadt, who briefly succeeded him as Napoleon IIMarie Louise was married by proxy to Napoleon on 11 March 1810 at the Augustinian Church, Vienna.[18] Napoleon was represented by Archduke Charles, the bride's uncle.[19]According to the French ambassador, the marriage "was celebrated with a magnificence that it would be hard to surpass, by the side of which even the brilliant festivities that have preceded it are not to be mentioned."[20] She became Empress of the French and Queen of Italy.
Marie Louise departed Vienna on March 13,[21] probably expecting never to return.[22] She met Napoleon for the first time on March 27 in Compiègne,[23] remarking to him: "You are much better-looking than your portrait."[23]
This diamond and Persian turquoise studded crown or "diadem" was part of the "parure" (pah-rur), or suite of royal jewelry that was a wedding gift from Napoleon to his bride Empress Marie-Louise. The crown originally contained emeralds instead of Persian turquoise. The crown was taken to Austria by Marie-Louise after the fall of the empire, and the abdication of Napoleon in 1814, and remained in her collection through her rule as the Duchess of Pharma. Empress+Marie-Louise
The civil wedding was held at the Château de Saint-Cloud on 1 April 1810.[24] The next day, Napoleon and Marie Louise made the journey to Paris in the coronation coach.[25] TheImperial Guard cavalry led the procession, followed by the herald-at-arms and then the carriages.[25] The Marshals of France rode on each side, near the doors of the carriages.[25]The procession arrived at the Tuileries Palace,[26] and the Imperial couple made their way to the Salon Carré chapel (in the Louvre) for the religious wedding ceremony.[26] The ceremony was conducted by the Cardinal Grand Almoner of France.[27]

Napoleon was totally attentive to Marie-Louise, barely leaving her side for the first month of the marriage. Within a year of the wedding, she was delivered of a boy, titled the King of Rome. The famous portrait of Marie-Louise holding the child.

Cradle of Napoleon II, Duke of Reichstadt: a gift of the City of Paris to Napoleon I and Empress Marie Louise.
“Duke of Reichstadt” Louis Léopold Boilly, after Daffinger - c. 1830After Napoléon’s downfall, his son was taken back to the court of his grandfather, Francis II, in Vienna. There he was renamed Duke of Reichstadt and carefully tutored in Hapsburg history and culture. Although he hoped to someday have a realm of his own, he was to die of tuberculosis in July 1832 at the age of 21.Historical Provenance - Monstesquiou collection.Indian ink on paper
But love, real though it was, was short-lived. It would not survive Napoléon’s defeat and abdication. For a while the idea of a regency, with Marie-Louise herself as regent during the minority of her son, seemed the most likely outcome. This was the solution favored by Alexander I, Tsar of Russia. But other forces were at work. England preferred to see the Bourbons restored. Fouché, Bonaparte’s minister of Police and most implacable enemy, saw to it that Marie-Louise returned to her native Vienna with her son, and the King of Rome never stepped onto any throne. Napoléon and Marie-Louise would never see each other again.
 Back in Austria, still married to Napoléon, Marie-Louise would bear more children and, once widowed, she would marry again twice. And a dying Napoléon would call out Joséphine’s name. What politics had joined together, politics put asunder.  catherine delors
The Palace of Colorno was given to Napoleon’s second wife Empress Marie Louise, who thought of it as her favorite home away from home (see Napoleon's Fontainebleau Palace) and lived there until her death as the Grand Duchess of Austria (see Habsburgs Kaisers Tomb Vienna) after Napoleon met his Waterloo. Marie Louise reshaped the garden in the English style park it is today.

After the end of Napoleon I’ s rule of France and the collapse of empire, the remaining Bonapartes fled from Paris. The Empress Marie Louise departed to Italy (see Palace Colorno). Napoleon’s adopted daughter of Josephine, Hortense de Beauharnais was offered refuge with her son Louis in Switzerland on the shores of Lake Constance opposite the Isle of Reichenau at a villa built in the 16th Century by the previous mayor of Constanz, above the lakeside town of Ermatigen. They moved in to the mansion (called a castle, though hardly) in 1818, where Madame de Beauharnais pursued extensive renovations, including a garden designed in accordance with the philosophical romantic concepts of Jean-Jacques Rousseau (seeChateau Chillon).


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