Author Topic: Duke Ferdinand of Parma, his wife Maria Amalia,their family  (Read 158083 times)

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Offline prinzheinelgirl

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Re: Duke Ferdinand of Parma, his wife Maria Amalia,their family
« Reply #90 on: November 13, 2009, 07:37:26 PM »
From what I remember, Amalia went to Venice, Vienna then went to Prague in Bohemia.  She lived at Prague Castle there. She was, after all, a Princess of Bohemia through Maria Theresa. I'm not sure but in Marie Antoinette's marriage contract, she had the option to stay in France or in any of the Habsburg domains upon widowhood. I suppose Amalia had the same provision in her marriage contract.

Re: Amalia's cash flow in the later years and upon widowhood, I've read  it was her son Louis who paid back the dowry she brought in her marriage. Duke Ferdinand died deeply in debt due to the French occupation of Parma. The archduchesses had the same dowry (except Mimi, who was given a much larger one, of coursei) 200,000 crowns and an equal amount worth in jewels from what I remember.  Amalia did sell and pawn her diamonds when France and Spain stopped their pensions in the early 1770s. And the selling and pawning of crown jewels and personal jewels also happened during the French occupation. Duke Ferdinand and Amalia were anxious and did everything they could to alleviate the suffering of the people. For example,  I've read that half of the people in Colorno were dependent in some way to the ducal pair for their survival.  It also explains  the doing away with some of their workers and retinue....Amalia's long-term baker from Vienna found himself unemployed in 1796 (but was allowed to set up his own business -- fortunately a success -- within the premises of the palace in Colorno).      
« Last Edit: November 13, 2009, 08:07:27 PM by prinzheinelgirl »
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Offline prinzheinelgirl

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Re: Duke Ferdinand of Parma, his wife Maria Amalia,their family
« Reply #91 on: December 09, 2009, 08:44:22 PM »
At a French forum, it was said that the Comte de Flavigny, France's long-time minister in Parma, was Amalia's lover....... and Ferdinand himself wrote his cousin Louis XVI not to recall such minister from his post!  Surely if the accusation was true, Ferdinand would not defend the minister to his cousin and insist on him remaining on his post?  Parma's court (and indeed the country itself) was pretty small, I imagine nothing was kept private for long....Ferdinand would have known and even a simple-minded person (as he was reported to be) would not have defended a lover of his wife.  Upon receipt of the request for de Flavigny to remain on his post, Louis XVI remarked to his minister (either Maurepas or Vergennes) how 'inept' his cousin was......  

If Amalia indeed had lovers, I believe such affairs happened after 1772. And she was thought of having lovers (the guards?) within months of her arrival. But as Umigon pointed out in part I of this thread, there was never any proof of such. Suspicious reports about Amalia were likely to have been taken as truth by her mother as Maria Theresa herself had a very suspicious nature.
« Last Edit: December 09, 2009, 08:58:31 PM by prinzheinelgirl »
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Offline prinzheinelgirl

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Re: Duke Ferdinand of Parma, his wife Maria Amalia,their family
« Reply #92 on: December 15, 2009, 07:50:11 AM »
Miniature of Maria Amalia, anonymous, from the Museo Lombardi......click on the image to enlarge.

http://www.museolombardi.it/sitolombardi/museolombardi/right.asp?IDTipologia=3&Tipologia=Oggettistica%20Varia&IDOpera=112
« Last Edit: December 15, 2009, 07:52:13 AM by prinzheinelgirl »
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Offline prinzheinelgirl

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Re: Duke Ferdinand of Parma, his wife Maria Amalia,their family
« Reply #93 on: January 05, 2010, 09:53:15 PM »
Unfortunately, I think there is not much written about Amalia and her relationship with her siblings or at least I have not read much of it yet. Like I said, Amalia visited Caroline in 1783, the same year she visited her sisters Maria Anna and Maria Elisabeth at their convents. I'm thinking those trips were sort of a reward for producing a child after 6 years and a second son at that (Prince Philip Maria)?

Many of Marie Antoinette's early letters (1772-73) to Maria Theresa indicated her 'disapproval' or as someone put it 'sanctimonous expressions of displeasure' (because MA wasn't also being obedient to MT regarding the Du Barry, etc.) of Amalia's actions in Parma. It was pointed out in part I of this thread that MA seemed to have done so because she wanted to show her mother than she was better behaved than her sister. MA's immaturity at that point may have played a part in that as well.  But she did express great happiness at the complete reconciliation between Parma and France (but at the same breath expressed how sorry she was Amalia didn't inform her mother about it and that her sister might not have been sufficiently informed about it or it was due to the shame she thought her sister felt?).   That said, it is possible that MA's early displeasure over her sister's actions/decisions in Parma may have faded in time......
« Last Edit: January 05, 2010, 10:08:09 PM by prinzheinelgirl »
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Offline CountessKate

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Re: Duke Ferdinand of Parma, his wife Maria Amalia,their family
« Reply #94 on: January 06, 2010, 04:30:44 AM »
I'm afraid it was I who thought Marie Antoinette was sanctimonious on this issue - I just felt that since she regularly lied to Maria Theresa about her activities which she knew her mother disapproved of (riding, etc - although Maria Theresa knew perfectly well what was going on), the tone of shock in her letters about her sister's misbehaviour was rather insincere! 

Maria Amalia did not share the close childhood friendship of Marie Antoinette and Maria Caroline, but she was married to the Dauphin's first cousin, it was important that her mother and grandfather-in-law were pleased with Parma (and uncomfortable when they were not), and she wasn't her mother's spy or personal critic like Marie Christine, so once the official ban was lifted, I can't think of a reason why Marie Antoinette wouldn't have felt mildly friendly towards Maria Amalia - not only a blood relation but part of the extended French Bourbon family into which she had married.  She may even have felt a secret fellow-feeling of sympathy at another who had suffered the weight of her mother's displeasure!  I am also sure that Maria Amalia would also have thought it a good idea to keep on amicable terms with a younger sister who might eventually have children who would be top marriage prospects for her own family, or at any rate would be in a position to help out by obtaining commissions in the French army for penniless younger sons, etc. 

Offline prinzheinelgirl

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Re: Duke Ferdinand of Parma, his wife Maria Amalia,their family
« Reply #95 on: January 18, 2010, 08:56:49 AM »
Link to the official website of the Ducal Gardens and Palace in the city of Parma.  Restoration work is said to be on-going......the website has an English version as well.

http://www.servizi.comune.parma.it/giardinoducale/index.html
« Last Edit: January 18, 2010, 09:00:43 AM by prinzheinelgirl »
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Offline prinzheinelgirl

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Re: Duke Ferdinand of Parma, his wife Maria Amalia,their family
« Reply #96 on: January 25, 2010, 06:16:13 AM »
In another thread, it was mentioned that Maria Amalia was suspected of having affairs with the soldiers/guards but no proof whatsoever of her (alledged) affairs. Does anyone know of any specific incidents that may have pointed out to such.....from another forum, it was mentioned that Du Tillot complained that she was very fond of them and that she wasted a lot of money on them.  Anything more specific than this?  From my own 'research', all I came up was that she danced with the lieutenant guards, etc.;  one of them was a trumpeter and also sang at court events and at church. When his son was born, there was lavish fanfare (presumably paid for by Amalia) and she was the godmother to the child (the future musician Ferdinando Paer).  Amalia named the child after her husband. So she was fond of the guards, spent freely on them, anything more conclusive as to having affairs?  For me, Maria Theresa's suspicious do not count for she had a suspicious nature and was even suspicious of her children even when they were mere children/adolescents in Vienna and were under her control.....
« Last Edit: January 25, 2010, 06:20:53 AM by prinzheinelgirl »
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Offline CountessKate

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Re: Duke Ferdinand of Parma, his wife Maria Amalia,their family
« Reply #97 on: January 25, 2010, 11:31:00 AM »
I think I've written elsewhere that it was standard in the eighteenth century to accuse powerful royal women of affairs with those they patronised, whether they were actual 'favourites' - the recipients of the most substantial patronage, who often (but not invariably) took both a sexual and political role with the ruler - or just friends or servants.  Du Tillot's nose was thoroughly out of joint due to Maria Amalia's assumption of power and he naturally resented it and was basically indulging in the normal aggressive tactic of denigrating her morals.  I believe that if he could have provided evidence of actual misconduct by citing witnesses, he would undoubtedly have done so - but all he could do is accuse her by inference and at least suggest she was behaving in an undignified manner.  Maria Theresa may have had her suspicions, but I don't think any spies she may have had in Parma would have been any better than a hostile du Tillot, in ferreting out genuine evidence of wrongdoing, so it very likely was not there to be found - though Maria Amalia's defiance of her mother and grandfather-in-law were probably almost as bad as adultery in their eyes!

Offline prinzheinelgirl

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Re: Duke Ferdinand of Parma, his wife Maria Amalia,their family
« Reply #98 on: January 25, 2010, 06:10:52 PM »
Thanks for your replies!   :)

I forgot to add in the earlier post that Du Tillot complained of Amalia's fondness for the guards and spending money on them so he had one regiment replaced.  I've also read that she played blind man's bluff with them.  But didn't she also play with the beggars she allowed to live in the palace? So playing with the guards do not amount to outright affairs. Later on, she was also accused of having affairs with the grooms/stable boys, who were 'hunks'.  ;) Well, Du Tillot's successor de Llano was also said to have 'entreated' her to end her 'immoral' lifestyle.  I don't know where I read this, I think in Wikipedia much earlier. But how could de Llano do or say such a thing to her when both did not have confidence in each other? And he himself had a mistress. Amalia replied to Maria Theresa that she didn't want to give her confidence to anyone she did not know (and de Llano should be the first to earn her confidence, not her) and even alluded to de Llano's private life in stating her reasons for not trusting him (Maria Theresa demanded this).  

At the forum I mentioned earlier (a French one), it was said that she tried to 'forget' her marriage with said affairs.  A charge highly unlikely since we see her declaring in 1772 that she loved her husband very much (in spite of Ferdinand's infidelities).  In the same forum, I've read that Maria Theresa in 1772 thought Amalia continued to misbehave on 3 counts:  1) she continued to dominate her husband; 2) she continued to meddle in political affairs (despite her denials); and 3) there were entertainments at Sala Baganza (where she had her country house/hunting lodge) and at the palace in Colorno that Maria Theresa thought were unsuitable or inappropriate.  We know the replies of Amalia to her mother's accusations based on replies #18 and 19 of this thread, when MT sent her that list of prescribed rules on her behavior through Count Rosenberg.  But I don't think anyone can classify any of the accusations MT made against her as evil or 'mortal sins'.  
        
« Last Edit: January 25, 2010, 06:38:53 PM by prinzheinelgirl »
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Offline prinzheinelgirl

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Re: Duke Ferdinand of Parma, his wife Maria Amalia,their family
« Reply #99 on: January 28, 2010, 01:45:24 AM »
Some information/video on another of Amalia's country houses in Parma........

Castello di Rosenna became Amalia's private property in June 1772 (earlier bought by the Farnese family).  Originally a defensive military structure, the castle has been transformed into a summer mansion in the 18th century although it retained a predominantly military architectural character.  The surrounding landscape looks very nice, though......Empress Marie Louise later on also owned the castle.  

A video link (in Italian) to the castle.....

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VwaNYqGtsdc


The castle's official website (in Italian only)........

http://www.castellorossena.it/  

and its own YouTube channel...... http://www.youtube.com/user/CastelloRossena
« Last Edit: January 28, 2010, 02:09:55 AM by prinzheinelgirl »
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Offline Eric_Lowe

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Re: Duke Ferdinand of Parma, his wife Maria Amalia,their family
« Reply #100 on: January 28, 2010, 11:11:55 AM »
Hard to think Maria Amalia who loved the comforts of Schonbrunn would love a fortress like that. so devoid of luxury land resemble a medivel castle.

Offline prinzheinelgirl

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Re: Duke Ferdinand of Parma, his wife Maria Amalia,their family
« Reply #101 on: January 29, 2010, 01:21:13 AM »
Yes, it looks like a fortress, not a royal residence. However, it was said to be used in the summers. So perhaps its elevation was the main attraction, and the surrounding landscape looks quite lovely.
« Last Edit: January 29, 2010, 01:24:46 AM by prinzheinelgirl »
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Offline Eric_Lowe

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Re: Duke Ferdinand of Parma, his wife Maria Amalia,their family
« Reply #102 on: January 29, 2010, 11:42:14 AM »
I think most likely Amalia took furniture with her when she moved up there. The place is too bare even for 18th Century standards. I suspect that was her version of the Petite Trianon, and way from the court gossip and drama.

Offline prinzheinelgirl

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Re: Duke Ferdinand of Parma, his wife Maria Amalia,their family
« Reply #103 on: January 31, 2010, 02:57:43 AM »
Not sure but I think Amalia's other estate in Sala Baganza was like her equivalent of the Petit Trianon; that one she had completely rebuilt. Although it would never qualify as a palace but rather a large villa, the interiors looked lovely and quite luxurious, even judging from the ruins. Nevertheless, both the estate in Sala Baganza and the Castello di Rossena are both in the hill country, afforded plenty of opportunities for riding and hunting, and had fine views - which I think would be the main attractions for her.    
« Last Edit: January 31, 2010, 03:01:56 AM by prinzheinelgirl »
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Offline CountessKate

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Re: Duke Ferdinand of Parma, his wife Maria Amalia,their family
« Reply #104 on: February 02, 2010, 06:38:29 AM »
Riding must have represented real freedom to the archduchesses and was essentially a pursuit which could be undertaken only by an individual - even with courtiers alongside, you could occupy yourself with the horse and be unable to sustain a prolonged conversation without discourtesy.  Similarly older (and duller) persons could be left behind under the appearance of concern for their well-being, if they didn't excuse themselves.  Of course it could be criticised in a young wife, as it was considered to inhibit conception, and it involved Marie Antoinette in a fair bit of lying to her mother, who highly disapproved, especially since no children came along for such a long time.  That criticism couldn't be sustained for Maria Amalia in the same way, of course.