Useful Notes / Maria Theresa

http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/maria_theresa_2297.jpg

"At any moment I may be called before my Judge. I don't want to be surprised, I want to see death come."
Empress Maria Theresa (supposedly) before her death

Maria Theresa (or, in German and Latin, Maria Theresia) von Habsburg was one of the most remarkable rulers in European history. When her father died in 1740 without male issue, she came to the Habsburg throne. She was young, amiable but over-sheltered, and her father had amazingly neglected to train her properly, though in fairness this was likely because he had to devote most, if not all, of his time fighting tooth and nail for her succession. Despite those crippling disadvantages, she learned on the job. During her forty-year-long reign, she defended her territory from neighboring rulers as well as beginning many social reforms, which her son Joseph would expand, and is admired by many to this day - except children, who usually only remember that she had the bright idea of mandatory basic schools. Speaking of children, she had sixteen; in an era when hygiene was non-existent, surviving sixteen childbirths was little short of miraculous.

One of her children was Marie Antoinette, who became even more famous than her mother, although for very unfortunate reasons.

Most people aren't aware that she never held the title Holy Roman Empress, because it didn't exist. She was archduchess of Austria and King of Hungary and Queen of Bohemia, and had dozens of other titles in her own right, but for the first five years of her reign, the title of Holy Roman Emperor went to her cousin's husband, the duke of Bavaria. When he died, her own husband got it, and so she was the HRE's wife. Additionally, she was the last 'actual' Habsburg. Her children would have belonged to the dynasty of Lorraine, but due to the prominence of the Habsburg dynasty, her children became von Habsburg-Lothringen.

Tropes as portrayed in fiction:

  • Beauty Equals Goodness: She was notably attractive in her youth. She looks better in the Andreas Moeller portrait given in the other wiki. Presumably she was younger or Andreas was a better painter.
  • Military Maverick: According to legend the Order of Maria Theresa medal requires you to win a victory by disobeying orders. There is partial truth to this. It is a medal for "initiative" given out because she was frustrated at having to prod her officers and wanted them to have a motive to look for trouble.
  • No Celebrities Were Harmed: It is said that she was travestied as the Queen of the Night in Mozart's Die Zauberflöte for her anti-progressivism and favoring the Jesuits.

Appearances in Fiction:


http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/UsefulNotes/MariaTheresa