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Marie Louise
L'impératriceMarie-Louise.jpg
Portrait by François Gérard
Duchess of Parma, Piacenza and Guastalla
Reign 11 April 1814 – 17 December 1847
Predecessors
  • Jean-Jacques-Régis (Parma)
  • Charles-François (Piacenza)
  • Pauline (Guastalla)
Successors
  • Charles II (Parma and Piacenza)
  • Francis V (Guastalla)
Empress consort of the French
Queen consort of Italy
Tenure 1 April 1810 – 6 April 1814
Born (1791-12-12)12 December 1791
Hofburg, Vienna, Austria, Holy Roman Empire
Died 17 December 1847(1847-12-17) (aged 56)
Parma, Duchy of Parma
Burial Imperial Crypt
Spouse
  • Napoleon I
    (m. 1810; died 1821)
  • Adam Albert von Neipperg
    (m. 1821; died 1829)
  • Charles-René de Bombelles
    (m. 1834)
Issue
  • Napoleon II
  • Albertine von Neipperg
  • William Albert, 1st Prince of Montenuovo
  • Mathilde von Neipperg
Full name
German: Maria Ludovica Leopoldina Franziska Therese Josepha Lucia
French: Marie-Louise-Léopoldine-Françoise-Thérèse-Joséphine-Lucie
Italian: Maria Luigia Leopoldina Francesca Teresa Giuseppa Lucia
House Habsburg-Lorraine
Father Francis II, Holy Roman Emperor
Mother Maria Theresa of Naples and Sicily
Religion Roman Catholicism
Signature Marie Louise's signature

Marie Louise (Maria Ludovica Leopoldina Franziska Therese Josepha Lucia; Italian: Maria Luigia Leopoldina Francesca Teresa Giuseppa Lucia; 12 December 1791 – 17 December 1847) was an Austrian archduchess who reigned as Duchess of Parma from 1814 until her death. She was Napoleon's second wife and, as such, Empress of the French from 1810 to 1814.

As the eldest child of the Habsburg Emperor Francis II of Austria and his second wife, Maria Theresa of Naples and Sicily, Marie Louise grew up during a period of continuous conflict between Austria and revolutionary France. A series of military defeats at the hands of Napoleon Bonaparte had inflicted a heavy human toll on Austria and led Francis to dissolve the Holy Roman Empire. The end of the War of the Fifth Coalition resulted in the marriage of Napoleon and Marie Louise in 1810, which ushered in a brief period of peace and friendship between Austria and the French Empire. Marie Louise agreed to the marriage despite being raised to despise France. She was adored by Napoleon, who had been eager to marry a member of one of Europe's leading royal houses to cement his relatively young Empire. With Napoleon, she bore a son, styled the King of Rome at birth, later Duke of Reichstadt, who briefly succeeded him as Napoleon II.

Napoleon's fortunes changed dramatically in 1812 after his failed invasion of Russia. The European powers, including Austria, resumed hostilities towards France in the War of the Sixth Coalition, which ended with the abdication of Napoleon and his exile to Elba. The 1814 Treaty of Fontainebleau handed over the Duchies of Parma, Piacenza and Guastalla to Empress Marie Louise. She ruled the duchies until her death.

Marie Louise married morganatically twice after Napoleon's death in 1821. Her second husband was Count Adam Albert von Neipperg (married 1821), an equerry she met in 1814. She and Neipperg had three children. After Neipperg's death in 1829, she married Count Charles-René de Bombelles, her chamberlain, in 1834. Marie Louise died in Parma in 1847.

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