Maria Beatrice d'Este, Duchess of Massa

Maria Beatrice d'Este
Archduchess of Austria
Duchess of Modena
Spouse Archduke Ferdinand of Austria
Maria Teresa, Queen of Sardinia
Maria Leopoldina, Electress of Bavaria
Francis IV, Duke of Modena
Archduke Maximilian Joseph
Archduke Karl, Archbishop of Esztergom
Maria Ludovika, Empress of Austria
Full name
Maria Beatrice Ricciarda d'Este
House House of Habsburg-Lorraine
House of Este
Father Ercole III d'Este, Duke of Modena
Mother Maria Teresa Cybo-Malaspina
Born 7 April 1750(1750-04-07)
Died 14 November 1829(1829-11-14) (aged 79)

Maria Beatrice d’Este (Maria Beatrice Ricciarda; 7 April 1750 – 14 November 1829) was heiress of Modena and Reggio and Duchess of Massa and Carrara from 1790 until 1797 and from 1816 until her death in 1829.



Maria Beatrice of Modena and her husband Ferdinand

Maria Beatrice was born in Modena, the only daughter of two monarchs, Duke Ercole III, Duke of Modena and Maria Teresa Cybo-Malaspina, ruling Duchess of Carrara and Massa.

Her parents were not expected to produce more children, as their marriage was unhappy and they lived separated from each other, and Maria was therefore early acknowledged as an heiress.

Her paternal ancestors included Louis XIII of France and Philippe d'Orléans, Regent of France for Louis XV. Her maternal ancestors were members of the House of Cybo-Malaspina, members of the Italian nobility.

As heiress to four Duchies (Modena and Reggio from her father, and Massa and Carrara from her mother), she was a very attractive wedding partner. Empress Maria Theresa sought to arrange a marriage between Maria Beatrice and the Archduke Leopold (future Holy Roman Emperor) but this never materialised; she instead married Leopold's brother, Archduke Ferdinand of Austria, in a union through which the Austrians aimed to expand their influence in Italy.

The couple was engaged in 1754, at a very young age, and the marriage was celebrated in Milan on 15 October 1771. Festivities arranged for this occasion included the operas Ascanio in Alba by Mozart and Il Ruggiero by Johann Adolph Hasse.

The couple settled in Modena. As the Duchy of Modena did not allow female succession, Maria Beatrice's rights to the throne of Modena and Reggio passed to her son when her father died. When her mother died in 1790, however, she succeeded her as Duchess of Massa and Carrara. After the French conquest of Northern Italy, she spent her life mostly in Austria and left the rule to administrators.

By her marriage, the House of Austria-Este was created, a cadet branch of the House of Habsburg-Lorraine, which ruled Modena between 1814 and 1859. After Maria Beatrice d'Este's death at Vienna in 1829, Massa and Carrara were added to the Duchy of Modena.



External links

Media related to Maria Beatrice Ricciarda d'Este at Wikimedia Commons

Regnal titles
Preceded by
Maria Teresa Cybo-Malaspina
Duchess of Massa and Princess of Carrara
Cisalpine Republic
Cisalpine Republic Duchess of Massa and Princess of Carrara
Succeeded by

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