As Queen of Hungary and Bohemia, Archduchess of Austria, etc., ruler of the Habsburg Monarchy (1740–1780)
Born in Vienna on 13 May 1717
Died in Vienna on 29 November 1780
Motto: ‘Iustitia et Clementia – By justice and clemency’
Maria Theresa was the most important ruler of the age of Enlightened Absolutism and one of the most famous Habsburgs. She took over the reins of government on the death of her father Charles VI and implemented numerous enduring reforms. A strict Catholic, she showed little tolerance towards members of other confessions. She bore her husband Franz Stephan sixteen children and was subsequently idealized as a model of maternal devotion.