|Duchess Maria Anna Josepha of Bavaria by Georg Desmarées, 1750|
Maria Anna Josepha was born a Duchess of Bavaria in the Nymphenburg Palace, Munich, Her father was the man who would later become Charles VII, Holy Roman Emperor and her mother Maria Amalia of Austria.
When Maria Anna was twenty years old she became the second wife of the newly-widowed Louis George, Margrave of Baden-Baden and a man more than three decades her senior. Their lavish marriage ceremony took place at Schloss Ettlingen on 20th July 1755 and though Maria Anna was to become stepmother to his only child, they were destined never to have children of their own.
Maria Anna was a shrewd and tactful politician, noted for her diplomatic skills and when she was widowed in 1761, she returned to Bavaria and put her skills into action. Here she found her brother, Maximilian III Joseph, worried for the future of his throne as he had no heir and feared that Frederick II of Prussia would soon engulf Bavaria. He need have no such worry as Maria Anna forged strong diplomatic links with Frederick and protected the throne at least until her own death in 1776.
She was buried at the Theatine Church in Munich, much mourned by the people of the land and awarded the sobriquet, the Savior of Bavaria.
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