Emperor Franz I’s offspring

Johann Passini after Peter Fendi: Family portrait of Empress Karoline Auguste, print after a watercolour, 1834

The imperial family in front of the portrait of Franz II (I), lithograph

Despite being married four times, Emperor Franz only had children with his second wife, Maria Teresa of Bourbon-Naples, who was very closely related to him.

Johann Passini after Peter Fendi: Family portrait of Empress Karoline Auguste, print after a watercolour, 1834

The imperial family in front of the portrait of Franz II (I), lithograph

His firstborn child was Marie Louise (1791–1847), who was to marry Napoleon.

Two years later the long-awaited heir was born. Ferdinand (1793–1875) was a sickly child whose development gave cause for concern. Nevertheless, as the eldest son he followed his father on the throne, in accordance with the principles of legitimism.

Two further daughters, Karoline Leopoldine (1794–1795) and Karolina Ludovica (1795–1799), died in infancy.

They were followed by Leopoldine (1797–1826), later to become empress of Brazil, and Maria Klementina (1798–1881), who married her uncle, Prince Leopoldo Giovanni of Sicily, one of her mother’s brothers.

After another son named Josef Franz (1799–1807), who died in infancy, came Karolina Ferdinanda (1801–1832), later to marry Crown Prince Friedrich August of Saxony. She was followed by another son, Franz Karl (1802–1878), father of the future emperor Franz Joseph. Maria Anna (1804–1858), a lifelong invalid, was followed by another son, Johann Nepomuk (1805–1809), who did not survive infancy. Their last child, a daughter named Amalie Theresia, did not survive her difficult birth in 1807, and was followed shortly afterwards by her mother, who died of complications arising from the birth.

Martin Mutschlechner