Princess Ludovica/Louise andc Duke Maximillian: Children

Figure 1.--This portrait shows seven of the eight children of Princess Ludovica and Duke Maximilian. The children from left to right are: 1) Dss Sophie (fiancee of King Ludwig II, then spouse of Duke Alencon), 2) Duke Max Emanuel, 3) Duke Karl Theodor, 4) Duchess Helene (later Pss of Thurn und Taxis in Regensburg), 5) Duke Ludwig Wilhelm, 6) Duchess Mathilde, and 7) Duchess Maria. I am not sure when the portrait was painted, but would guess about 1855. DSS Elizabeth had just married Emperor Franz Josef, explaining why she is not in the portrait. This is a typical Victorian family studies. We are not sure who the artist was. It looks rather like some of the studies Winterhalter did for the English royal family.

Princess Ludovica and Duke Maximilian had eight children. At this time we have only limited inforation about many of them. We know vurtualy nothing about their oldest son Ludwig. Their oldest daufgter Helene was suposed to marry the Austrian Emperor Franz Josef, but her beautiful and engaging younger sister attracted the young Emperor's attention. Helene eventually married Maximilian Anton Lamoral, Prince of Thurn & Taxis. It was Elizabeth who married Fraz Joseph and became Emperess of Austria. The relationship between Elizabeth and Franz Joseph was one of the great love stories of European royalty and ended tragically. Karl Theodor was known as "Gackel". He married Princess Maria Josepha (de Braganša) of Portugal. Princess Ludovica and Duke Maximilian also has a grandchild that became Queen of Belgium.

Ludwig (1831-1920)

Ludwig lived a long life, but we have no information about him. Ludwig in the painting here wears a military uniform (figure 1). Many European royals wore such uniforms for show, but others were actual soldiers.

Helene (1834- )

Helene was initially chosen to marry the Austrian Emperor Franz Josef, but her beautiful and engaging younger sister attracted the young Emperor's attention. Helene eventually married Maximilian Anton Lamoral, Prince of Thurn & Taxis. The painting here shows Helene just after she had left the family. They had one child, Elizabeth Maria (1860- ). The Thurn & Taxis dynasty was interesting in that they made a fortune deliveing the Austrian imperial mail.

Elizabeth (1837-98)

Princess Elizabeth was by all accounts an especially beautiful and intelligent young woman. She met Emperor Fran Josef by accident in 1853. The Emperor's mother was arranging the marriage with her suister, Princess Helene. Elizabeth accompanied her sister really by accident when she first met the young Emperor. He was dazzled and defied his mother's marriage plans. Elizabeth married Emperor Franz Josef in 1854, becoming Emperess of Austria. This was huge change for a Bavarian princess. The one moderating factor in Francis Joseph's court proved to be his beloved wife, the Emperess Sisi. They were the most beautiful and richest couple in the world. Because of her natural charm, the public adored her like a fairy-tale figure. In her private life, however, she was soon confronted with problems. She was very young when she married. The Empress had exchanged a carefree country life with the strict etiquette of the Imperial Court and could hardly adapt to it. Francis Joseph loved his wife dearly, but he ruled over an empire of 50 million people and had little time to be with "Sisi" who felt lonely. "I wish he were no emperor", she confided her former governess. Elisabeth was also concerned for the poor and sick. Although she disliked official public functions, she often visited hospitals and asylums, and was interested in new treatments and cures for paitents. The normal man on the street saw her as the mother empress comforter of the poor. As a young woman, the Empress Elizabeth had little interest in the "profession" of her husband. She gradually became more poltically active influencing the Emperor. With her liberal and progressive political ideas she supported the Hungarians in their struggle for indepence and contributed considerably to Hungary's equalized status with Austria in 1867. They had one son, Rudolf, and three daughters. Rudolf killed himself as part of one of the great love stories of the 19th century. Elizabeth was assasinated while on a visit to Geneva, Switzerland in 1898. Her attacker was Luccheni, an Italian anarchist. Austria at the time still controlled areas of northern Italy. The Emperess died at her hotel a few minutes after the attack.

Karl Theodor (1839-1909)

Karl Theodor was known as "Gackel". As a young boy we note him wearing a short javket, open collar and striped long pants about 1847. Here we see him wearing a rather elegant black suit and top hat (figure 1). We have no information about him at this time, except that he married Princess Maria Josepha (de Braganša) of Portugal (1874). They had two daughters. The two sisters, Elizabeth and Maria Gabriele, were apparently very close. Notably they dressed their children very similarly. While Karl Theodor is best known for being the Emperess Elizabeth's brother, he has an interesting story in his own right. Karl-Theodor unlike most royals wanted a life if his own beyond the royal family, He studied medicine, a difficult undertaking that most roiyals coukd not be bothered with undertaking. He studied in both Munich and Vienna. He also served as an officer in the Franco-Prussian War (1870ľ71). He was apauled in the cruelties and suffering of the wounded, let alone those actually killed. After the War, he dedicate himself to humane undfertakings and efforts to alleviate disease and pain. After the War, he had earned his medical degree. He decided to practice the specialty of diseases of the eye. He founded three eye hospitals, the largestv of which was set up in the Royal Schloss at Tegernsee. Here the 'Oculist Duke' conducted his work and performed surgeries. He commonly operated free of cost on thec poor. Those with meanhs contribute to the hospital's collection box. The contents were periodically distribution to the poor people of the region. The Duke was also iterested in art and enjoyed paiunting. He cultivated artistic appreciatioin in his children.
Elizabeth (1876- ): The eldest daughter was Elizabeth. She like hger siblings were raised with a profound love ad apprecution of the arts. Anhd from her father's eye clinic, Elisabeth learned to cope with human suffering. She married King Albert I of Belgium and became queen. Despite being a German, Elizabeth became an inspiratuin for the Belgian people during World War I. She and Albert are the two most beloved Belgian royals. Albert and Elizabeth had three children: Leopold (1901- ), Charles (1903- ), and Marie Jose (1906- ).
Maria Gabriele (1878-1912): The second daughter was Maria Gabriele (1878-1912). Maria Gabriele married Crown Prince Rupprecht of Bavaria. They had four children: Luitpold (1901- ), Irmingard (1902- ), Albrecht (1905- ), and Rudolf (1909- ). Maria Gabriele died at the young age of about 36 in Sorrento. This was only a few months after the death of her son Rudolf, but we do not a this time know the circumstances. Tragically her eldest son Luitpod died only 2 years later.

Maria (1841-1925)

Maria married King Francis II (Bourbon) of Sicily in 1859. They had one child, Marie Christine (1869- ).

Mathilde (1843-1925)

Mathilde married Louis of Sicily, Count von Trani, in 1861. They had one child, Maria Theresia (1867- ).

Sophie (1847-97)

Sophie was initially engaged to marry the mercurial King Ludwig of Bavaria. Sophie married Duke Ferdinand d'Alenšon, in 1868. They had two children, Louise d'Orleans (1869) and Emanuel d'Orleans (1872- ), Duke of Vend˘me.

Maximilian (1849-93)

Maximilian was the baby of the family. The image here shows Maximilian wearing a tunic and plain pantalettes similar to his sisters. Note the drum he is playing (figure 1). We note French and Belgian fashion magazines at the time showing very similar outfits. He looks to be about 5 years old. We have no information yet about Maximilian.


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Created: 11:55 AM 12/8/2006
Last updated: 6:56 PM 8/28/2012