Sunday, 9 February 2014

The Philanthropic Life of Caroline Augusta of Bavaria

Caroline Augusta of Bavaria (Karoline Charlotte Auguste von Bayern; Mannheim, Germany, 8th February 1792 – Vienna, Austria, 9th February 1873)


Caroline Augusta of Bavaria, 1816
Caroline Augusta of Bavaria, 1816

Another noble lady visits the salon today today with the story of Caroline Augusta of Bavaria, a shrewd and charitable sort!

Caroline Augusta was the daughter of Maximilian I Joseph, King of Bavaria and his wife, Augusta Wilhelmine of Hesse-Darmstadt. As a striking and vibrant young woman of an influential house, she was in demand as a dynastic match but was not willing to be a pawn to marriage.


The Imperial Family (l. to r., Caroline Augusta, ; Francis I, Napoleon II, Princess Sophie, Duchess Marie-Louise, Ferdinand I, Archduke Franz Karl) by Leopold Fertbauer, 1826
The Imperial Family (l. to r., Caroline Augusta, ; Francis I, Napoleon II, Princess Sophie, Duchess Marie-Louise, Ferdinand I, Archduke Franz Karl) by Leopold Fertbauer, 1826

On 8th June 1808 she married Crown Prince William of Württemberg; the marriage was not one of love but was an arrangement of convenience to ensure that she could not be subjected to a marriage brokered by Napoleon. The couple lived apart and were never husband and wife in anything but law, eventually divorcing on 31st August 1814. Caroline Augusta ensured that the marriage was dissolved by Pope Pius VII, ensuring that she would be able to marry again should she wish.


Caroline Augusta of Bavaria, 1873
Caroline Augusta of Bavaria photographed in 1873
In fact, Caroline Augusta remarried just two years later, when she became the wife of Francis I, Emperor of Austria, King of Hungary and Bohemia, having had the choice of the Emperor and his brother, Ferdinand. A well-liked and unassuming  woman with a love of philanthropy, she retired to Salzburg when widowed and indulged her charitable interests until her death.

Life in the Georgian Court, true tales of 18th century royalty, is available at the links below.
Pen and Sword
Amazon UK
Amazon US
Book Depository (free worldwide shipping)

6 comments:

Susan Nicola Sheehan said...

Interesting that she died a day after her birthday in 1873... Striking woman. Would have liked to meet her! :)

karen talley said...

Intelligent as well as beautiful! Amazing woman. And, good grief. Can you just imagine the value of the pearls in her portrait......whoo!

Madame Gilflurt said...

She is a favourite of mine!

Madame Gilflurt said...

Oh I know!

Stefan said...

Originally she had been named Charlotte Auguste but changed her name with her second marriage. The marrige nin prokura took place on day before she would have become Queen of Württemberg, as her former-father-inl King Friedrich I. died one day after it.

Madame Gilflurt said...

Thank you!