Here's a new post on Archduchess Mathilde of Austria-Hungary. She was born in Vienna on the 25th of january 1849. Her parents were Archduke Albrecht of Austria-Hungary (1817-1895) and Princess Hildegarde of Wittelsbach, Princess of Bavaria and daughter of King Ludwig I (therefore a sister of Maximilian II Josef of Bavaria and Otto I of Greece. Archduke Albrecht was also Duke (Herzog) of Teschen, and was the uncle of Maria Cristina of Habsburg-Lorraine, who became Queen of Spain in 1879. Little has been written so far about Mathilde. She ahd an elder sister, Maria Theresia (1845-1927) and a deceased elder brother, Karl Albrecht Ludwig (1847-1848) who, had he lived, would have inherited the dukedom of Teschen. Maria Theresia married Duke Philipp of Württemberg in 1865 and had five children between 1865 and 1877. Of her three sons, two married Austrian archduchesses, while the other remained single. Of her two daughters, one never married and the other married Johann Georg of Saxony, but had no children.
Mathilde was unofficially betrothed when she was a teenager to her distant cousin Ludwig Salvator of Tuscanny, son of Leopold II of Tuscanny. Negotiations apparently came to nothing, and she was thus again betrothed to the Hereditary Prince of Italy, the future Umberto I, which would close the secret treaty negotiations performed between Rome and Vienna. On June 6th 1867 she attended a ball Hertzendorf, Austria, and she lit a cigarette. Not long after her father (according to Daniel de Rauglaudre, her governess) surprised her and she hid it between the foldings of her dress or sleeve. The fabric evidently caught fire, and she was unable to put it out. Tragically, she died before the guests, including her old adolescence sweetheart Ludwig Salvator, who from then on led a sad, emotionless life and retired discreetly to his Palace named "Miramar" (not to be confused with that one at Trieste) in Majorca (Spain). He was thought as a good candidate for his widowed niece, the dowager Countess of Girgenti and Princess of Asturias, María Isabel Francisca of Spain, but again, negotiations came to nothing. Archduke Albrecht survived his son, youngest daughter and wife, dying in 1895. He was a brave soldier and a quiet man. He became field marshal in 1888.
Here are a couple of pictures of the people I've just mentioned:
Mathilde before her terrible death at 18.
Her father, Archduke Albrecht:
His eldest daughter Maria Theresia, later Princess of Württemberg:
Prince Philipp of Württemberg, Mathilde's brother-in-law
Any more on her please?