Lost Kingdoms – Kingdom of Lombardy–Venetia




lombardy venetia
By Samhanin - Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0 via Wikimedia Commons

The Kingdom of Lombardy–Venetia is one of the more short-lived Kingdoms in history. It was created in 1815 in recognition of Austria’s rights to Lombardy and the former Republic of Venice after the collapse of the Napoleonic Kingdom of Italy.

Maria Ludovika of Austria-Este
Maria Ludovika of Austria-Este (public domain)

The first King of the newly created Kingdom was Francis II, Holy Roman Emperor (later Francis I, Emperor of Austria). He was married four times, twice before the creation of the Kingdom. His first wife was Elisabeth of Württemberg who died in childbirth after just two years of marriage. His second wife was his double first cousin Maria Theresa of Naples and Sicily. They had twelve children together before she too died in childbirth. His third wife was his first cousin Maria Ludovika of Austria-Este, but she died eight years later without having had children. She died in 1816, one year after the creation of the Kingdom and was thus its first Queen. Francis’ fourth wife was Caroline Augusta of Bavaria, and the marriage lasted nearly 20 years but also remained childless.

When Francis died in 1835, he was succeeded by his eldest son, Ferdinand I. Ferdinand suffered from several health problems due to his parents’ close relationship. He married Maria Anna of Savoy, but they did not have any children together. Ferdinand abdicated in 1848, but the couple retained their Imperial rank. He was succeeded by his nephew, Emperor Franz Joseph I. He married his first cousin Elisabeth (known as Sisi) in 1854. She would turn out to be the last Queen of Lombardy-Venetia.

After the Second Italian War of Independence, followed by the defeat at the Battle of Solferino, parts of Lombardy had to be ceded to Emperor Napoleon IIII who passed it to the Kingdom of Sardinia. The remaining lands fell to the newly created Kingdom of Italy after the Austro-Prussian War.

 






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