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Messages - CountessKate

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The Imperial Family / Re: The Imperial children "sad,sheltered" life?
« on: July 17, 2020, 06:33:14 PM »
But, it's not an excuse, because they were in the wrong. Their family members were pawns used to prop up the image of the Romanov dynasty, and thus, advance Russian imperialism. And I do feel that they are excused today. A major view of them in both the West (example: historians like Robert Massie) and the East (Russian orthodoxy, especially those in the extremely far political right) is the perfectly united, loving patriarchal family, which is 100% excusing that N&A were manipulating their children and confining them to highly restrictive roles for an Imperialist agenda.......the sanitized image of the Romanovs really kills me.

I understand the argument you are making, and I agree that the soft focus can be really irritating, but it seems to me that just because an image of a "perfectly united, loving" family is projected by some, does not mean that N&A should be especially attacked for "manipulating their children and confining them to highly restrictive roles for an Imperialist agenda" when frankly, all the royal and imperial families of the period were doing the same.  Where were the personal friends for the children of George V and Queen Mary?  Nowhere.  They may not have had the same constrictions as N&A's family but they were bullied by their father, and not protected by their mother.  And they were certainly used in "highly restrictive roles for an Imperialist agenda" - their marriages were subject to control by the sovereign via the Royal Marriages Act of 1772 and limited in choice.  You might say that N&A, for all that, were genuinely involved with their children in a way that George and Mary weren't.  Yes, N&A's family situation wasn't perfect and Helen Rappaport in her 'Four sisters' is highly critical of some of Alexandra's maternal manipulations and control.  Yes, the dynastic constraints to imperial marriages had difficult or unpleasant implications for all the imperial family.  But to expect N&A to rise above the limitations of their upbringing and go against the views of the majority of their culture and do away with the imperial restrictions on marriage, and loose their daughters into Russian society to find an appropriate group of friends and eventual mate was something just not within their mental grasp - and they would have considered such a notion actually immoral, not just in letting their daughters find their own friends or partners, but in not supporting the dynastic aims of the imperial family - that was their duty.  I'm not making this argument because I like or support N&A - I think Nicholas was a incompetent ruler, and Alexandra incredibly stupid over Rasputin and the whole shutting down of public representation aspect of their lives - but I do feel that it is going a bit far to blame them for the glossy and sanitized view of others.  They were the product of their time and their environment and neither were sufficiently bright or radical to make imaginative leaps beyond them.

Nicholas wasn't as strict with family who married non-royals or even royals 'lesser then them' if they asked for permission.

Absolutely.  Though both Tatiana Konstantinova's and Irina Alexandrovna's marriages were initially was opposed by their families (though I think the first was on dynastic grounds - an unequal marriage - and the second due to Felix Yussupov's rather unsavoury reputation, as the idea had been established).  But the daughters of the Tsar would probably have to go with (1) a Russian Grand Ducal or at least Princely cousin (2) a foreign royal. 

The Imperial Family / Re: The Imperial children "sad,sheltered" life?
« on: July 16, 2020, 08:37:07 PM »
Again, my opinion: this is more of a systematic issue of royalty - which I find inherently immoral - butvboth OTMA and Alix worried about them marrying for political considerations; however, Alix (and Nicholas) were the ones with the power to change this. The modern view of N&A is the beautiful loving middle-class inclined family persecuted by the evil aristocracy - but are they not playing directly into the oppressions of the aristocratic class by carrying on the tradition of marrying only in one's class, even though it constrained their daughters.....I really wonder if anyone else feels like I do about this?

I think the problem is that you are applying modern arguments to people who would have had simply no idea of what you are talking about.  It may be a modern view - I don't think it is 'the' modern view which applies across the board - to see the idea of marrying only in one's class as an aristocratic tradition, but it applied quite as much to a 'beautiful loving middle-class family' of the period who would have been just as horrified at the idea of their sons and daughters marrying out of their class as would N&A or a contemporary aristocratic family have been.  The son of a professional lawyer, for example, marrying the daughter of a tenant farmer, or a prosperous farmer's daughter marrying a labourer would have made quite as many waves within their respective families although there was at least the possibility of such a marriage actually taking place, and even of the families coming around, though far less so the further up the classes you went. Nicholas's refusal to accept non-dynastic marriages within the imperial family meant that this became an issue which affected the entire imperil family, and was of concern to many of them, who were similarly placed with Nicholas's daughters - as Tatiana Konstantinova's situation demonstrated.  She had to renounce her dynastic rights to marry what one would have thought was a perfectly suitable marriage partner for an imperial princess (not even a grand duchess!) not very close to the throne.  So yes, Nicholas and Alexandra could have changed this situation - but why on earth would they, given the limitations of their entire upbringing and culture?  If Princess Marina could sneer at the aristocratic Lady Elizabeth Bowes-Lyon and Lady Alice Montagu-Douglas-Scott in the 1930s, as "common little Scottish girls", whose families were "not even mediatised", how much more would N&A have sadly regarded morganatic marriages as unsuitable for the daughters of the Tsar, and that they should have to marry in their rank either in or out of Russia.  Even Edward VIII said, whether truthfully or not, that he did not realise until quite a long time after WWI that his parents would have accepted his marrying a non-royal spouse. 

So while I absolutely agree N&A were short-sighted and just plain wrong with regard to their marital policy for their children - of course it applied absolutely to Alexei as well - I don't see that it in any way distinguishes them in any special way from not only the majority of their own royal rank, but from pretty much all the other classes of their time.  And the middle classes were upholding these views just as much as the aristocracy.  The only leveller was money - and that did not apply to royalty at this time, and did not necessarily apply consistently to every other level.  The impoverished duke of X was perfectly capable of refusing his daughter's hand to the millionaire Mr Y of New York Consolidated Railroads, parents unknown. 

The Habsburgs / Re: Empress Maria Theresa and her large family
« on: June 24, 2019, 07:04:12 AM »
I solved a little archduchess portrait problem which has been nagging at me for years, recently - to my own satisfaction, at any rate.

Neumeister auctions has a very grand portrait of Maria Elisabeth by Johann Carl Auerbach for sale, dated 1763, at this link:
It reminds me very strongly of the portrait of Maria Amalia, stated to be by Johann Carl's father, Johann Gottfried Auerbach, sold by Bonhams in 2009:
Bonhams included a notice stating it could not be Maria Amalia (as Johann Gottfried died in 1753, Maria Amalia would only have been eight), and I concluded it could be Maria Anna, who might just have made the grade at age 15 in 1753, the last point at which  the painter could have created a portrait, and whose facial characteristics seemed somewhat similar.  I had some reservations though as the hair looked a little too high to be much before 1760 (the suggestion that it could have been of one her aunts, the daughters of Joseph I, I dismissed on stylistic and costume grounds).
The Neumeister portrait, however, suggests quite strongly that the Auerbach who painted the Bonhams portrait, was actually Johann Carl, and the date close in time to that of the portrait of Maria Elisabeth, and therefore the subject of the portrait might indeed be Maria Amalia, aged around 17, rather than Maria Anna, aged around 25.  I have to say, though, the face still resembles Maria Anna more to me but confusing painters with similar names rather than the subject of the painting seems more likely.  I suppose the owners of the painting would have known it as "the portrait of Archduchess Maria Amalia by Auerbach", and since the only Auerbach of note was Johann Gottfried, Bonhams made a natural error.  The two paintings look rather nice together as a pair.

Alexandra Feodorovna / Re: The "suitability" of royal wives
« on: February 19, 2018, 11:22:04 PM »
I agree with this. While of royal blood, Alix came from a small duchy and lived a rather sheltered, bourgeois existence prior to her marriage. This upbringing, while perhaps suitable for the British or German courts, would have left her overwhelmed and unprepared for the lavishness, grandeur, and exuberance of the Russian court. I wonder if Maria's own modest upbringing also led her to desire someone of higher 'status' for her son.

Moreover, Alix was not just demure; she was socially awkward and serious. These characteristics would have collectively made her appear standoffish, if not downright haughty. A Russian empress needed to be able to employ charm and wit and recognize--if not embrace--the vivacity of the court. I think Maria knew that Alix could not deliver in these areas and therefore discouraged the match.

I'm not aware of any evidence which suggests that Alexandra had any more sheltered upbringing than her contemporaries among royal spouses such as Marie of Edinburgh, Mary of Teck, Victoria Eugenia of Battenberg, or Margaret of Connaught, or Margaret of Prussia.  Indeed, she had a lot of exposure to the highly sophisticated British court and the Russian Imperial court, at the level any unmarried princess in that environment would have had, and more than many (the former Princess Dagmar of Denmark included).   Any social awkwardness was completely of the kind expected of a sheltered young woman and was not the subject of any remark prior to her marriage that I have discovered, and indeed not really called into question for some time after her marriage, when her pregnancies made it quite appropriate for her not to interact more in society.  Royal suitors and their parents were not looking in the first instance for consorts who could employ charm and wit and recognise the vivacity of the court, whether in Russia or elsewhere.  The parents at least wanted royal bloodlines, as Phoenix first suggested, virginity (which meant that absolutely they should not have been running around in compromising sophisticated court circles, modesty, and the ability to bear healthy heirs, preferably male.  Both Mary of Teck and Augusta Victoria of Schleswig Holstein had little social wit, or charm, and pretty well zero tolerance for any 'vivacity of the court', but both made very good consorts and quite popular ones, if not with the more sophisticated members of their respective courts, or the more raffish high society.  Criticism of Alexandra seems to come from contemporary writers after her marriage, and after her first few pregnancies when it would have appeared quite normal for her not to go about very much for fear of failing to become pregnant or miscarriages.  Her real problems came when she withdrew so much from all society that nobody knew what she was up to and could imagine any terrible thing, especially once Rasputin came on the scene.  If she had been going about like Queen Mary or the Empress Augusta Victoria to open bazaars, churches or foundries, with decorous visits to concerts or operas or stately court balls, high society would just have had to put up with the fact that they had an Empress who was not into them.  Instead, however, she withdrew from both society of all kinds and from the wider imperial family which was certainly not appropriate for her position. But I don't see how either Maria Feodorovna or Alexander III would have been able to predict that from Alexandra's behaviour before her marriage or find it in other princesses many of who would hmave appeared just as shy and demure.

Alexandra Feodorovna / Re: The "suitability" of royal wives
« on: February 16, 2018, 09:38:43 PM »
Actually, the more I look at it, the odder Maria Feodorovna's nudging Nicholas towards Hélène becomes, at least at that date. She would have been fully informed by her sister Alexandra of the debacle of the Hélène and Albert Victor romance four years before, and have known perfectly well from her own experience the requirement of the wife of the Tsarevich to be, or convert to, the orthodox faith.  It hardly seems likely that the comte de Paris, or the pope, would have permitted to the Russian heir to the throne something they had refused to the British.  Additionally, the French government would hardly have been pleased at a Russian alliance with the deposed and exiled house of Orléans; it might even have imperiled the Franco-Russian alliance.  Edward W. Hanson, in 'The Wandering Princess: Princess Helene of France, Duchess of Aosta 1871-1951', suggests that Maria Feodorovna was interested in Hélène because of Alexandra of Wales's friendship for her, rather a strange way to identify a prospective bride for an imperial heir.  One wonders what Alexander III thought of it, though he may have just considered the religious problems would ensure the project came to nothing, especially since Nicholas himself seemed uninterested.

Alexandra Feodorovna / Re: The "suitability" of royal wives
« on: February 14, 2018, 03:02:44 AM »
The only direct information about other parental intentions that I have been able to find comes from an entry in Nicholas's diary of 29 January 1894 where he wrote "While I was talking to Mama this morning she made several hints about Hélène, the daughter of the Comte de Paris, which puts me in an awkward position.  I am at the crossing of two paths; I myself want to go in the other direction, while Mama obviously wants me to take this one!  What will happen?"  His father is not mentioned, nor indeed is Alexandra.  Margaret of Prussia of course had been off the scene since 1892 when she got engaged to Friedrich of Hesse-Cassel, and in any case she had a crush on Max of Baden before that so would herself not have been particularly keen.  I can well see that Nicholas's imperial parents would have liked to review a few other candidates, but the impression of Alexandra being perceived at the time as having an unsuitable personality for an Empress seems to be entirely derived from hindsight.  I think a princess of 17 would be unlikely to be considered unsuitable for an Imperial position simply because she was shy and reserved; this was thoroughly in keeping with the proper behaviour of young ladies of 1889 and she seemed to enjoy sledding and tea dances with Nicholas in a perfectly normal way, and I hardly think he would have been so keen as to start a correspondence if she had gone about in a glum and gloomy manner.  I wouldn't have thought, either, that at her age she would have been going about in Russian high society in the way the married royal and imperial women did, and was far more likely to have been kept within a highly chaperoned and much quieter social scene.  I do think her background, so highly influenced by Queen Victoria, would certainly have made her suspicious of the 'immoral' Russian high society, but it would hardly have been proper for her, an unmarried princess of 17, to have shone there in 1889.  So I can't see why Maria Feodorovna would have taken against her for being an entirely proper princess in 1889 even if she didn't have much enthusiasm for her.

Alexandra Feodorovna / Re: The "suitability" of royal wives
« on: February 12, 2018, 11:04:45 PM »
While Alexandra was 'suitable' in terms of lineage, Nicholas's parents were clearly concerned about her character and ability to carry out the role of an Empress, perhaps also about the risk of haemophilia. They sought other brides for Nicholas - Margaret of Prussia and Helene of Bourbon-Orleans, and only accepted Alexandra very shortly before Alexander's death.

I'm not entirely sure that is correct.  While these do seem factors from our perspective in time, neither of these reasons were articulated by anyone then.  After all, nobody questioned Alexandra's suitability to be Queen of Great Britain and Empress of India before Nicholas was allowed to propose and it was entirely her own decision not to accept the proposals of the Duke of Clarence.  No one seemed to worry about haemophilia - Alexandra had a nephew with the condition well before she married Nicholas but not a word seems to have been said about it in either the British or the Russian context.  Indeed, Alfonso of Spain was warned and married Victoria Eugenie of Battenburg regardless (rather meanly blaming her for it afterwards).  The Prussian marriage had a good political European connections and useful links with Great Britain as well, while the Orleans connected with France (sort of) and with other European monarchies, although the religion was to prove too big an obstacle in the British case and presumably would have done so if it had reached that stage with the Russians also, and I think these were bigger factors.  What might have resonated a little more with regard to a Hesse-Darmstadt marriage was the fact that at the time, Alexandra's older sister Elizabeth had no children with Sergei, Irene had only one 'sickly' (i.e. haemophiliac) son after several years of marriage, Ernst Ludwig only had one daughter, and only Victoria of Battenburg had three healthy children, including a son.  Not, comparatively speaking, a very good haul dynastically.

Lord Stamfordham, in transmitting the views of George V to the politicians, wrote that “from all he [George V] hears and reads in the press, the residence in this country of the ex-Emperor and Empress would be strongly resented by the public, and would undoubtedly compromise the position of the King and Queen..."  It seems very unlikely that George V wouldn't have read any newspapers, it was just the sort of thing a person of his class and views would have done, and moreover, the King received "letters from people in all classes of life, known or unknown to him, saying how much that matter is being discussed, not only in clubs, but by working men, and that the Labour Members in the House of Commons are expressing adverse opinions to the proposal [to offer asylum to the Imperial family]."  George V may have discussed the matter with Queen Mary, but it hardly needed her instigating a change of mind - he was obviously getting it from all sides.

The Windsors / Re: Queen Alexandra (1844-1925), Part V
« on: July 19, 2016, 12:52:06 PM »
You seldom find the surviving clothes of Victorian royalty with them actually photographed (or painted) in them.  So I was rather surprised that the Royal Ceremonial Dress Collection owns the bodice of the dress worn by Queen Alexandra, when Princess of Wales, to the christening of her grandson (Albert) Edward, on the 16th July 1894 at White Lodge, but does not seem to have put it together with the photograph which shows Alexandra wearing it.

The bodice (by Madame Froment, of Paris)

And Alexandra wearing it:

A closer look at Alexandra:

One wonders if the lace part of the bodice has discoloured over time as the colour doesn't appear really fit in with the sleeves and the skirt (the latter appears to be missing but clearly from the photograph was a match for the sleeves).  However, the sepia tones of the photos often lead one to assume colours and textures were much softer and more muted than they actually were.  But it's fascinating to see the costume part which has survived, actually being worn in a photograph.

It looks like a take on the classical story of Butades' daughter Kora/Callirhoe (or just The Maid of Corinth) who was said (by Pliny the Elder) to have invented painting by tracing the shadow of her beloved on a wall (from which her father then invented the modelling of clay portraits).  Apparently this myth had a revival of popularity during the eighteenth century.  Rousseau, in his 'Essai sur l'origine des langues' commented that "Love, it is said, was the inventor of drawing" so perhaps this is a comment on how madly in love the young grand ducal couple were meant to be. The poet William Hayley in 'An Essay on painting' suggested (in verse) that the Maid of Corinth was moved to make the painting because of her lover's impending departure and her need to keep a reminder of his face with her and there is some hint of this in that a soldier appears to be leading away the grand duke's horse - possibly a sign of his impending departure on some military duty - while a statue of cupid (love again, of course) is possibly throwing his shadow on the wall via the torches he is holding. 

The Habsburgs / Re: Empress Maria Theresa and her large family
« on: February 28, 2015, 06:56:21 AM »
What about the others? I see Maria Amalia and Maximilian as "neutral", Marie Antoinette was most likely on Joseph's side (although she obviously still liked her brother Ferdinand) and Maria Carolina with Leopold (and it most likely didn't help that Joseph opposed her ambition to match her daughters with Leopold's two heirs) but she didn't go against him...?  Maria Anna and Maria Elisabeth?

It's hard to tell how these particular siblings felt about one another, in the absence of personal correspondence or other evidence.  In Leopold's memorandum on his family which was written in 1778-79, he felt that Maria Theresa treated his "sisters Maria Anna and Elizabeth....very badly", which does imply a certain sympathy, but in writing of why the empress did this, Leopold also suggested he agreed with the reasons: "Maria Anna because she always intrigues in everything and...Elizabeth because she gossips and passes everything on as soon as she hears it.....[the empress] repeats that she cannot trust either daughter and is quite unhappy with them." In other words, he did not agree with the apparent harshness with which the empress treated these sisters, but he didn't appear to deny he thought Maria Anna intrigued and Maria Elisabeth gossiped and was indiscreet. 
In the same memorandum, Leopold wrote of Max Franz that the "empress loves Maximilian very much, but she believes he is completely on the emperor's side and is thus totally lost and ruined by the fickleness of life-none of which is true.....She values him not at all."  He therefore distinguished Max Franz from his two sisters by defending him, suggesting he himself put a value on this brother if his mother did not.  Leopold and Max Franz corresponded on affairs of the empire at the end of Joseph's life, when Leopold was essentially intriguing with his brothers and sisters to ensure he was in a strong position to establish himself as emperor and to recoup what Joseph had lost.  He was also in correspondence with Maria Carolina at that stage for the same reasons.  Of course this doesn't add much in personal terms, though it does establish the real worry the siblings had about the fate of the empire and their determination to provide support for the next emperor. 

The Habsburgs / Re: Empress Maria Theresa and her large family
« on: February 27, 2015, 06:06:36 AM »
If I recall it right, Archduke Ferdinand also joined in the anti-Joseph circle... what were his issues? He already shown his displeasure even when Maria Theresa was alive. Speaking of Ferdinand,  Leopold wrote scathingly of him at least once.

During Maria Theresa's lifetime, Leopold disliked and distrusted Marie Christine and Ferdinand because of the favoritism the Empress showed to both.  All three bonded however in anger over their treatment by Joseph, who in the 1780s made it absolutely clear to Marie Christine and Ferdinand that they were to have no say in the decision-making as governors of Belgium and Lombardy respectively and that their roles would be purely representational.  They were not opposed to the reforms he wished to institute, but wanted to discuss them and have their say, as Belgium in particular was proving troublesome.  Leopold was not in the same situation, but was similarly dismayed at the pace and inflexibility of Joseph's approach and his lack of consultation with Leopold who would have to pick up the pieces when he himself came to rule.  While Leopold may not have particularly liked his sister and brother, they were all united in wishing to ensure the smooth continuation of the dynasty's rule and did not have confidence (which was entirely justified) in Joseph's proceedings.

I never read any significant or numerous achievements of Mimi in Hungary or the Austrian Netherlands so this is interesting. For one touted to be so talented and intelligent, there doesn't seem much to show- been wondering on that matter.

Marie Christine and Albert as governors pursued a steady course of improving Hungarian agriculture and the Hungarian army, setting aside their art patronage which was considerable.  It was not brilliant, but one has to question how effective the far more radical pace of change Joseph instituted in Hungary was in supporting the Habsburg rule - which was, after all, what all Maria Theresa's children were seeking to do.  In Belgium Marie Christine had no political say until the damage was done, so much was catch-up.  If Joseph had taken advice from his siblings with experience, he might have tempered his reforms to produce a more stable result for his dynasty.

The Habsburgs / Re: Empress Maria Theresa and her large family
« on: February 25, 2015, 06:26:25 AM »
Sorry to hear that Maria Christina wanted more -  she already got an 'obscene' dowry as well as a duchy. MT also continued to be very generous to her and her husband. I remember reading that Mimi didn't even have the funds to move to Brussels and it was Leopold who lent her the money (200,000 florins, if I recall it right). Unconceiveable - no money with her dowry, revenues from Teschen, her compensation as Governor of Hungary and other gifts from her mother? Joseph did the right thing in trying to balance this matter.  I see more clearly now - aside from not having the "autonomy" in the Austrian Netherlands -  why she  harshly criticised Joseph to Leopold (whereas earlier, she even spied for him).

I agree that Maria Christina showed herself to be very grasping over Maria Theresa's will.  I'm not saying it in mitigation, but she and Albert ran their court in Hungary along generous lines and wanted to do the same in the Austrian Netherlands and this cost serious money (it wasn't a matter of just moving to Brussels, it was a matter of making a splash as incoming governors, something which had clear political targets).  Joseph wished to reduce all court expenditure over which he had control as a matter of principle, and while in certain respects it was a good idea and better for the general welfare of his subjects to reduce what was effectively subsidies to the nobility, he went too far the other way and by cutting himself off from court life he also cut himself off from advice on the ground within the empire.  Whatever one may think of Maria Christina's personal characteristics, she was a clear-minded politician and Joseph's severe limitations on her and Albert's powers as governors certainly helped to lose the Austrian Netherlands for the Habsburgs.  While Maria Christina appeared greedy over Maria Theresa's will, there was something vindictive about Joseph's behaviour as well - he did appear to be revelling in trampling over his family which he'd not been able to do when his mother was alive.  Maria Christina may have needed a bit of a knock back, but in indulging in his well-known dislike of his sisters (with the exception of Marie Antoinette and Maria Josepha - and to some extent, though not much, Maria Carolina), he basically   knocked down an effective political operator who could have introduced his desired reforms in a much more tactful way.  It was this which brought Maria Christina and Leopold together, although Leopold had not liked Maria Christina's hold on Maria Theresa, in working behind Joseph's back to try and find ways to hold on to the Austrian Netherlands which was - as Derek Beales pointed out in his biography of Joseph - effectively treason towards the emperor, though not to the dynasty.

The Habsburgs / Re: Empress Maria Theresa and her large family
« on: February 24, 2015, 08:21:22 AM »
I read that he was the favourite nephew of his uncle Charles of Lorraine so he likely also inherited from him (Charles of Lorraine left a fortune to an illegitimate son).

Since Charles of Lorraine died in debt (he does not seem to have had the financial acumen of his brother Franz Stefan), Joseph decided that he would not be bound by the detailed provisions of the will since all members of the imperial family had to obtain his consent as head of the family before making their wills, and Charles had not done so.  Joseph decided to sell off Charles' property to pay his debts.  I don't know what may have happened to his illegitimate family; they may have been provided for already, since as I understand it, Charles kept them very much under wraps in order not to offend Maria Theresa, and a public naming in a will would have done just that.  Max Franz would have been provided for by Charles' death anyway because he would succeed to the Grand Mastership of the Teutonic Order (and the income) in Charles' place.  Leopold was infuriated by Joseph's decision which he considered "unjust, despotic, absurd and outrageous'.  I don't know if that was due to any bequest he or others in whom he was interested would have been deprived of, or whether - as usual - he was infuriated by Joseph's lack of consultation with his heir.

Why the annoyance of Mimi and Leopold and do you know who else in the family got money, estates and personal possessions from Maria Theresa?.....It was mentioned either here or at another thread that Louis XVIII later on asked about any inheritance due to Marie Antoinette from her mother and/or father but it appeared there was none?

I don't know about personal possessions - I assume all members of the family received mementos and there does not appear to be any contention about this. 
Following Franz Stefan's death in 1765, Joseph and Maria Theresa set up a fund of 8 million florins to provide for Joseph's brothers and sisters.  Although this fund was not in itself in Maria Theresa's will it's provisions are essential to explain her intentions in relation to her family after her death.  Half of the fund was allocated in 1766 to Albert of Saxony as the husband of Marie Christine, in order for the couple to maintain a court in Pressburg.  Marianne's appointment as Abbess in Prague, agreed before Franz Stefan's death I believe, was endowed with an annual income of 80,000 florins, a very handsome settlement.  Each of the others were to receive 50,000 florins per annum until they were 'established'.  In the case of the girls, by the time of Maria Theresa's death Maria Amalia was Duchess of Parma, Maria Caroline Queen of Naples, and Marie Antoinette Queen of France, so were due no further sums (it was not, strictly speaking, an inheritance and Louis XVIII's enquiry was ignorant, greedy and impertinent though of course a measure of his desperation at the time).  Leopold was Grand Duke of Tuscany, Ferdinand was due to succeed as Duke of Modena, and Max Franz as Elector of Cologne.  Ferdinand would continue to receive 50,000 florins until his father-in-law died.  Although Max Franz would not become Archbishop of Cologne and Bishop of Münster until 1784, he was already Grand Master of the Teutonic Order by the time of Maria Theresa's death although her will might not have taken that into account since Charles died in July 1780 and Maria Theresa only 4 months later, hence possibly her bequest of the four estates mentioned earlier; although presumably, like Ferdinand, Max Franz would have been entitled to the 50,000 florins anyway until he entered into his establishment.  Maria Theresa's will provided for Marianne to exchange her Prague convent for that of Klagenfurt as this was less expensive than Prague and more salubrious; her 50,000 florins would therefore go further.  The will also provided for Maria Elisabeth to go to Innsbruck with 50,000 florins.  Maria Theresa did not wish either Marianne or Maria Elisabeth to be forced to go to their convents but the money certainly helped Joseph to 'persuade' them to leave Vienna.  The only parts of Maria Theresa's will relating to the imperial family which Joseph altered were the provision for Max Franz and as I indicated before, these did not seem to create any ill-will in themselves.
However, Maria Theresa had made very ample provision for the continuation of court pensions and other provisions for aristocratic imperial supporters which annoyed Joseph who was looking to recoup funds expended on Bavarian War and in general to reduce funds for the nobility.  It seems it was chiefly in the ways he chose to take forward his court reforms which reduced or disregarded Maria Theresa's bequests which alienated Leopold, who was not consulted and who felt again Joseph was being high-handed and tactless. 
Marie Christine was aggrieved at not receiving more under Maria Theresa's will - although she had already received half of the fund established for all the imperial brothers and sisters - and Joseph took the opportunity to challenge some property arrangements Maria Theresa had made before her death in Marie Christine's favour, forcing Marie Christine to borrow some funds from Leopold to recompense Joseph.  Leopold felt he had to lend Marie Christine the money, as she had made his son Charles her heir.  However, it probably added to Leopold's irritation with Joseph.

The Habsburgs / Re: Empress Maria Theresa and her large family
« on: February 21, 2015, 12:15:27 PM »
re: Maximilian Franz's establishment, Maria Theresa also wanted to transfer Franz's Stephan's estates in Holitsch, Sassin, Göding and Eckartsau to him - provided that Joseph agreed. But I don't know if he did.

Under Maria Theresa's will, Max Franz was allowed the use and the income of Franz Stephan's 4 estates in addition to his generous income as Coadjutor and later grand master of the Teutonic Order, until he received the revenues of the Archbishopric of Cologne and the Bishopric of Münster (he did not take up these positions until 1784).  However, Joseph made him renounce his claim to these estates and sent him off to the headquarters of the Teutonic Order apparently in order to have funds to meet other provisions of Maria Theresa's will and to recoup some of the 1 million florins spent on the elections for Cologne and Münster.  Later however, it appears Max Franz sometimes joined him at the much reduced court in Vienna which was now very masculine and mean, even more than that of Prussia apparently.  Max Franz does not appear to have borne Joseph any ill-will for this behaviour - he certainly didn't hurt for money - but Joseph's other actions relating to the terms of the will annoyed other beneficiaries, particularly Leopold and Maria Christina.  In fairness to Joseph, he appeared to feel that he and Maria Theresa had jointly arranged the disposition of the imperial private fortune in 1765 on the death of Franz Stefan, and Maria Theresa's own will was a variation of a contract to which he had not agreed.

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