Empress Elisabeth of Austria was Queen of Hungary and Empress of Austria from 1854 to 1898, making her the longest-reigning Austrian empress. Often visiting Hungary for its relaxed environment, Elisabeth developed a deep kinship with Hungary, which in turn helped her influence the rise of the dual monarchy of Austria–Hungary in 1867.
The mother of 16 children, Maria Theresa was the only female monarch of the Habsburg empire which she ruled with absolute power. She was known for industrial and educational reforms which led to the development of Austria during her 40-year reign. The devout Roman Catholic, who overtly disliked Jews and the Protestants, was sometimes criticized for her religious intolerance.
Marie Louise was an Austrian archduchess who reigned as Duchess of Parma from 1814 until her death. The eldest child of Emperor Francis II of Austria and his second wife, Maria Theresa, she grew up during a tumultuous period in the history of Austria. She was married to Napoleon I from 1810 to 1821. She died of pleurisy in 1847.
Maria Carolina of Austria, the wife of King Ferdinand IV of Naples, was also the de facto queen of Naples and Sicily. It is believed, she came under the influence of French-born English Sir John Acton and imposed many pro-British and anti-French reforms. She revoked the ban on Freemasonry and enlarged the navy, too.
Princess Stéphanie of Belgium became the Crown Princess of Austria, Hungary, and Bohemia after her marriage to Crown Prince Rudolf, the son of Austrian emperor Franz Joseph I. Following the death of her husband and his mistress in a suicide-murder pact, she married a Hungarian nobleman.
Brunhilda was queen of Austrasia, which was part of Francia. The daughter of Visigothic king Athanagild, she was also one of the most powerful fighters of Merovingian age. Her conflict with Fredegund, the queen consort of Chilperic I, ended in her death by being torn apart by four horses.
María Cristina De Habsburgo-Lorena is better known as the Spanish king Alfonso XII’s queen consort, who acted as the queen regent after her husband’s death and before her son came of age to rule on his own. Her regency was the longest in the history of Spanish royalty.
Born the Archduchess of Austria, Maria Leopoldina was a great painter and also grew up studying subjects such as botany and mineralogy. By virtue of her marriage to Pedro I of Brazil and IV of Portugal, she became the queen of Portugal and the empress of Brazil.
Maria Theresa of Naples and Sicily lost 8 of her 16 siblings to smallpox in infancy. The eldest child of King Ferdinand IV & III of Naples and Sicily, Maria was also the niece of the infamous French queen Marie Antoinette. A patron of Viennese music, she loved masquerades and balls.
Holy Roman Empress Maria Amalia was the queen of the Germans and Bohemia. The wife of Emperor Charles VII, Maria established the first modern hospital of Munich, run by the nuns of Elisabetinerinnen. She also advised her son, Maximilian III Joseph, to make peace with Maria Theresa, her cousin.
The daughter of Emperor Joseph I of the Austrian Habsburg Monarchy, Maria Josepha of Austria got married to the son of Augustus the Strong, Frederick Augustus II, in a Turkish-style wedding. Augustus II even converted to Catholicism for the marriage, as Maria wasn’t supposed to marry a Catholic.
Elisabeth of Austria, Queen of France, is considered by many as the most attractive member of the Habsburg dynasty. The second daughter of Maria of Spain and Maximilian II of the Holy Roman Empire, she became the queen consort of France by virtue of her marriage to King Charles IX.
The daughter of King Maximilian I Joseph, Caroline Augusta became the Empress of Austria by virtue of her marriage to Emperor Francis I of Austria. She had lifelong scars on her face due to a bout of smallpox at age 2. Due to lack of consummation, her first marriage was eventually dissolved.
Maria Theresa of Austria was the Queen of the Two Sicilies by virtue of her marriage to King Ferdinand II. The daughter of Archduke Charles and Princess Henrietta, she wasn’t liked by the Sicilian court and spent most of her time inside her room with her children, absorbed in needlework.
The daughter of Leopold I of the Holy Roman Empire, Maria Anna of Austria had also been the queen consort of Portugal by virtue of her marriage to King John V. Following her husband’s stroke and partial paralysis, she also served as a regent. Following her death, her heart was buried in Vienna.
The third of the four wives of Austrian emperor Franz I, Maria Ludovika of Austria-Este was also the youngest child of Archduke Ferdinand. She received an elite education under strict supervision of her grandmother, Maria Theresa. Though Goethe admired her a lot, he had sworn to never make his admiration public.
Archduchess Elisabeth Franziska of Austria was the eldest daughter of Franz Salvator and Marie Valerie of Austria. She married Georg von Waldburg, a person with no royal lineage and one who had been a tutor to her brothers. She was also a talented painter but died of pneumonia at age 38.
Known as the Working Empress, Anna of Tyrol was a Holy Roman Princess and the queen consort of Germany, Hungary, and Bohemia, by virtue of her marriage to Holy Roman Emperor Matthias. Her contributions include the formation of the Imperial Crypt and the transfer of the Imperial court from Prague to Vienna.
Elizabeth of Austria was the Queen consort of Poland through her marriage to King Casimir IV of Poland. Elizabeth's marriage to Casimir proved to be one of Poland's most successful royal marriages. Four of Elizabeth's sons went on to be crowned as kings. As Queen Mother, Elizabeth played an important role in securing the Polish throne to John I Albert.
Part of the Piast dynasty, Cymburgis of Masovia was a Polish princess who became the duchess of Austria by virtue of her marriage to Ernest the Iron of the Habsburg dynasty. Though the marriage was initially not approved by the Habsburg House, it was a happy one.
Maria Leopoldine of Austria was born Archduchess of Austria and belonged to the House of Habsburg. Through her marriage to Holy Roman Emperor Ferdinand III, Maria Leopoldine became the Empress of the Holy Roman Empire, Queen consort of Bohemia as well as Hungary, and German Queen. Maria Leopoldine died in childbirth when she was just 17 years old.
Elizabeth of Austria was the Queen consort of Poland and Grand Duchess of Lithuania through her marriage to the King of Poland, Sigismund II Augustus. Plagued by ill health and Sigismund Augustus' extramarital affairs, Elizabeth's marriage was unhappy and brief. Elizabeth suffered from epileptic seizures throughout her life and died at the age of 18.
Princess Henrietta of Nassau-Weilburg was the Duchess of Teschen from 1822 to 1829 through her marriage to Archduke Charles, Duke of Teschen. The marriage, which was considered a happy one, produced seven children. Henrietta is credited with popularizing the Christmas tree in Vienna. She died at the age of 32 after contracting scarlet fever.
Margaret of Austria, Queen of Bohemia was one of the most important members of the House of Babenberg. She served as the Queen consort of Germany through her marriage to King Henry VII from 1225 to 1235. From 1253 to 1260, she served as the Queen of Bohemia through her second marriage to King Ottokar II.