Franz Joseph I of Austria reigned as the Emperor of Austria from 1848 until his death in 1916. He also served as the King of Hungary, Bohemia, and Croatia and monarch of other states of Austria-Hungary. During his reign, Austria-Hungary decided to wage war against the Kingdom of Serbia, which eventually resulted in the First World War.
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.
Maximilian I was Holy Roman Emperor from 1508 until his death in 1519. The son of Frederick III, Holy Roman Emperor, and Eleanor of Portugal, he ruled jointly with his father for the last years of the latter’s reign. During his reign, he expanded the influence of the House of Habsburg and established the Habsburg dynasty in Spain.
Crown Prince Rudolf of Austria was heir apparent to the throne of the Austro-Hungarian Empire. The only son of Elisabeth in Bavaria and Emperor Franz Joseph I, Rudolf died at the age of 30 at the Mayerling hunting lodge in an assumed suicide pact with his lover Mary Vetsera. The incident has inspired several works of art, such as cinema.
Leopold II, Holy Roman Emperor reigned as king of Archduke of Austria, emperor of the Romans, and king of Hungary and Bohemia from 1790 until his death in 1792. From 1765 to 1790, he served as Grand Duke of Tuscany, during which he abolished capital punishment in Tuscany, making it the first nation to abolish capital punishment in modern history.
Much before his daughter Maria Theresa’s birth, Emperor Charles VI’s Pragmatic Sanction enabled his future daughter to succeed him, due to the lack of male heirs. Though he was always busy fighting, he apparently did it all to bring about peace. He had also unsuccessfully attempted to conquer Spain.
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.
Ferdinand I of Austria reigned as the Austrian emperor from 1835 until his retirement in 1848. As the emperor of Austria, Ferdinand also ruled as the king of Croatia, Hungary, and Bohemia. He also served as the king of Lombardy–Venetia and held several other lesser titles, which any emperor of Austria is entitled to hold.
Rudolf II, Holy Roman Emperor reigned as the King of the Romans and as the King in Germany between 1576 and 1612. Best remembered as an intellectual aficionado of occult arts, Rudolf is often seen as the founding father of the Scientific Revolution. He devoted his time to astrology and alchemy in an attempt to find the Philosopher's Stone.
Ferdinand II was the Holy Roman Emperor from 1619 to1637. He was a member of the House of Habsburg and the son of Archduke Charles II of Inner Austria and Maria of Bavaria. A zealous Catholic, he wanted to restore the Catholic Church as the only religion in the empire, a move that earned him the ire of Protestant groups.
Apart from serving as the Holy Roman Emperor, Matthias, Holy Roman Emperor also served as the Archduke of Austria, King of Croatia and Hungary, and King of Bohemia between 1612 and 1619. His reign resulted in the Bohemian Revolt, which was the initial theatre of the famous Thirty Years War.
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.
Emperor Leopold I’s eldest son, Joseph I became the king of Hungary at the tender age of 9 and the king of Romans at 11. Though he strengthened Austria’s financial situation, bringing the Viennese city bank under the state, he failed to retain the Spanish crown for the Habsburg Monarchy.
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.
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.
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.
The daughter of Austria’s Archduke Charles II and Mary Anna of Bavaria, Margaret of Austria Queen of Spain, later became the queen of Spain and Portugal by virtue of her marriage to King Philip III of Spain, who was also Philip II of Portugal, Naples, Sicily, and Sardinia.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 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.
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.