Princess Maria Carolina of Bourbon-Two Sicilies
by Thomas LawrencePrincess Maria Carolina Ferdinanda Louisa of Bourbon-Two Sicilies was born on 5 November 1798, in Naples, Kingdom of Naples. She was the daughter of Maria Clementina, Archduchess of Austria (24 April 1777 - 15 November 1801) and Francis I, King of the Two Sicilies (14 August 1777 - 8 November 1830). Her maternal grandparents were Maria Louisa of Spain (24 November 1745 - 15 May 1792) and Leopold II, Holy Roman Emperor (5 May 1747 - 1 March 1792). Her paternal grandparents were Maria Carolina of Austria (13 August 1752 - 7 September 1814) and Ferdinand IV, King of Naples and Sicily (12 January 1751 - 4 January 1825). Her grandmother Maria Carolina of Austria was the daughter of Maria Theresia, Holy Roman Empress (13 May 1717 - 29 November 1780) and Franz I, Holy Roman Emperor (8 December 1708 - 18 August 1765). The sister of Marie Antoinette, Queen Consort of France and Navarre (1755-1793). Maria Clementina and Francis I were married on 26 June 1797, in Foggia. They had two children, Princess Maria Carolina and a younger brother, Ferdinando of Bourbon-Two Sicilies (27 August 1800 - 1 July 1801). Her mother, Maria Clementina of Austria died on 11 March 1801, in Naples. Her father, Francis I married Maria Isabella of Spain (6 July 1789 - 13 September 1848) on 6 July 1802. She was the daughter of Maria Luisa of Parma, Queen Consort of Spain (9 December 1751 - 2 January 1819) and Carlos IV, King of Spain (11 November 1748 - 20 January 1819). Francis I and Maria Isabella had twelve children: Luisa Carlotta (1804-1844), Maria Christina (1806-1878), Ferdinand II (1810-1859) Carlo Ferdinando (1811-1862), Leopoldo (1813-1860), Marie Antoinette (1814-1898), Antonio (1816-1843), Maria Amalia (1818-1857), Maria Carolina (1820-1861), Teresa (1822-1889), Luigi (1824-1897) and Francesco (1827-1892). Princess Maria Carolina married Charles Ferdinand, Duc de Berry (24 January 1778 - 14 February 1820) on 24 April 1816 in Naples. He was the son of Marie-Thérèse of Savoy, Princess of Sardinia and of Piedmont (31 January 1756 - 2 June 1805) and Charles X, King of France and Navarre (9 October 1757 - 6 November 1836). According to the Memoirs of Madame Vigée Le Brun by Marie-Élisabeth-Louise Vigée-Le Brun (1755-1842), "The Duchess de Berri was fond of encouraging young artists; she would buy their pictures and often order more. Her liberality in paying never made her forget the duty of politeness incumbent upon rank. She showed model civility in all her dealings with men of talent." Her husband, Charles Ferdinand was stabbed and mortally wounded on 13 February 1820, when leaving the Opera House in Rue de Richelieu, in Paris by Louis Pierre Louvel. Charles Ferdinand, Duc de Berry died the day after, on 14 February 1820. Maria Carolina gave birth to their son, Henri, Comte de Chambord on 29 September 1820.
The Children of Maria Carolina of Bourbon-Two Sicilies and Charles Ferdinand, Duc de Berry:
Princess Louise Élisabeth de France (13 July 1817 - 14 July 1817)
Prince Louis de France (13 September 1818 - 13 September 1818)
Princess Louise Marie Thérèse de Bourbon (21 September 1819 - 1 February 1864)
Prince Henri, Duke of Bordeaux and Count of Chambord (29 September 1820 - 24 August 1883)
In 1824, King Louis XVIII died and was succeeded by her father-in-law, as King Charles X. Madame Vigée Le Brun wrote, "I painted Her Highness the Duchess de Berri, who gave me sittings at the Tuileries with the politest punctuality, and besides showed me a friendliness than which none could have been greater. I shall never forget how, while I was painting her one day, she said, "Wait a moment." Then, getting up, she went to her library for a book containing an article in my praise, which she was obliging enough to read aloud from beginning to end. During one of these sittings the Duke de Bordeaux brought his mother a copybook in which his master had written "Very good." The Duchess gave the boy two louis. The little Prince, who might have been about six, began to jump for joy, shouting, "This will do for my poor - and for my old woman first of all!" When he was gone the Duchess told me that her son referred to a poor soul he often met when he went out and of whom he was particularly fond. While the Duchess sat for me I would become irritated at the number of people who came to make calls. She took note of this and was so considerate as to say, "Why did you not ask me to pose at your house?" Which she did for the two final sittings. I confess that I never could think of such affecting warmth of heart without comparing the time I devoted to this genial Princess with the melancholy hours Mme. Murat had made me spend. I painted two portraits of the Duchess de Berri. In the first she is wearing a red velvet dress, and in the other one of blue velvet. I have no idea what has become of these pictures." In 1830, Charles X was overthrown during the July Revolution. Forced to flee France, she returned to her family in Naples. Maria Carolina of Bourbon-Two Sicilies married in secret Ettore Carlo Lucchesi-Palli, 8th Duke della Grazia in 1830s.
The Children of Maria Carolina of Bourbon-Two Sicilies and Ettore Carlo Lucchesi-Palli, 8th Duke della Grazia:
Clementina Lucchesi-Palli (19 November 1835 - 22 March 1925)
Francesca di Paola Lucchesi-Palli (12 October 1836 - 10 May 1923)
Maria Isabella Lucchesi-Palli (18 March 1838 - 1 April 1873)
Adinolfo Lucchesi-Palli, 9th Duke della Grazia (10 March 1840 - 4 February 1911)
In 1844, Maria Carolina and her husband purchased the Palazzo Ca' Vendramin Calergi, on the Grand Canal, in Venice. Her daughter, Louise Marie Thérèse married Ferdinando Carlo, Hereditary Prince of Lucca (14 January 1823 - 27 March 1854) on 10 November 1845, at Schloss Frohsdorf. He was the son of Princess Maria Teresa of Savoy (19 September 1803 - 16 July 1879) and Charles Louis, Prince of Lucca. Her daughter, Louise Marie Thérèse died on 1 February 1864, in the Palazzo Giustinian, in Venice. She was interred at the Franciscan monastery Castagnavizza, in Goritz, Austria. Maria Carolina of Bourbon-Two Sicilies died aged 71, on 17 April 1870, near Graz, Brünsee, Styria, in Austria-Hungary. She was buried at Mureck Cemetery, Mureck.
Excerpt and Source: Memoirs of Madame Vigée Le Brun by Marie-Élisabeth-Louise Vigée-Le Brun.