This article needs additional citations for verification. Detail of Marie Thérèse d’Autriche by Nocret. Her marriage in 1660 with King Marie-Thérèse d’Autriche PDF XIV, her cousin, was made with the purpose of ending the long-standing war between France and Spain. 44 from complications from an abscess on her arm.
Marie-Thérèse siège au panthéon de l’Europe monarchique. En accédant au trône en 1740 à la veille de la guerre de Succession d’Autriche, la plupart des souverains européens lui dénient le droit de succéder à son père et doutent de sa longévité. D’une énergie indomptable, la mère de Marie-Antoinette n’en parvient pas moins à s’imposer et règnera plus de 40 ans en conjuguant réforme intérieure avec succès militaires et diplomatiques.
Nourrie des principes du despotisme éclairé, l’œuvre de cette grande réformatrice est impressionnante. Malgré trois guerres et l’opposition farouche de Frédéric II, elle a posé les fondements de l’Autriche moderne et redonné à Vienne sa place dans le concert des monarchies européennes.
Jean-Paul Bled, professeur émérite à l’université Paris IV-Sorbonne, a publié plusieurs ouvrages consacrés à l’Allemagne et à l’Autriche, notamment une Histoire de la Prusse et une Histoire de Vienne, ainsi que des biographies de François-Joseph, Frédéric le Grand et de Bismarck qui font autorité.
Infanta Maria Theresa by Velázquez, 1653. Her hairstyle and dress with wide panniers were popular in Spain. Born an Infanta of Spain at the Royal Monastery of El Escorial, she was the daughter of King Philip IV, and his wife Elisabeth of France, who died when Maria Theresa was six years old. Unlike France, the kingdom of Spain had no Salic Law, so it was possible for a female to assume the throne. In 1658, as war with France began to wind down, a union between the royal families of Spain and France was proposed as a means to secure peace.
The negotiations for the marriage contract were intense. Eager to prevent a union of the two countries or crowns, especially one in which Spain would be subservient to France, the diplomats sought to include a renunciation clause that would deprive Maria Theresa and her children of any rights to the Spanish succession. This was eventually done but, by the skill of Mazarin and his French diplomats, the renunciation and its validity were made conditional upon the payment of a large dowry. A marriage by proxy to the French king was held in Fuenterrabia. On 26 August 1660, the newlyweds made the traditional Joyous Entry into Paris. Louis was faithful to his wife for the first year of their marriage, commanding the Grand Maréchal du Logis that « the Queen and himself were never to be set apart, no matter how small the house in which they might be lodging ». Maria Theresa was very fortunate to have found a friend at court in her mother-in-law, unlike many princesses in foreign lands.
She continued to spend much of her free time playing cards and gambling, as she had no interest in politics or literature. Consequently, she was viewed as not fully playing the part of queen designated to her by her marriage. But more importantly, she became pregnant in early 1661, and a long-awaited son was born on 1 November 1661. The first time Maria Theresa ever saw the Palace of Versailles was on 25 October 1660.
At that time, it was just a small royal residence that had been Louis XIII’s hunting lodge not far from Paris. As time passed, Maria Theresa also came to tolerate her husband’s prolonged infidelity with Françoise-Athénaïs, Marquise de Montespan. The king left her to her own devices, yet reprimanded Madame de Montespan when her behaviour at court too flagrantly disrespected the queen’s position. Later, the governess of Montespan’s illegitimate children by the king, Madame de Maintenon, came to supplant her mistress in the king’s affections. At first she resisted the king’s advances and encouraged him to bestow more attention on his long-neglected wife, a thoughtfulness which Maria Theresa repaid with warmth toward the new favourite. Maria Theresa played little part in political affairs except for the years 1667, 1672, and 1678, during which she acted as regent while her husband was away on campaigns on the frontier.