Maria Sophie of Bavaria was born on 4 October 1842 as the daughter of Maximilian Joseph, Duke in Bavaria and Princess Ludovika of Bavaria. She was the younger sister of the famous Sisi or Elisabeth of Bavaria.
In 1857 Maria Sophie was sought after by the Crown Prince of Naples. He sought to ally himself with the Emperor of Austria, and Maria Sophie happened to be his sister-in-law. However, Maria Sophie had not yet had her first period, and she underwent treatment to induce it. They were married by proxy, and she was married in person on 3 February 1859. However, if her husband was seeking assistance, it would soon prove worthless. He succeeded his father as Francis II of the Two Sicilies the same year, but in 1860 they were forced to flee due to Italian forces. Maria Sophie gained distinction as the ‘warrior queen’ while caring for injured soldiers. It would prove useless, and the couple went into exile in Rome.
Personal relations were also at a low. Francis suffered from phimosis, which is why their marriage went unconsummated. While in Rome Maria Sophie had an affair with an officer named Armand de Lawayss and she became pregnant by him. She left for her parents’ home to keep it a secret and later gave birth in a convent. Sources differ on what happened to the child or children. Some say she had a daughter; others say that she had twins. Either way, the child or children were given to Armand de Lawayss’ family and disappeared from history.
The Italian Wikipedia page mentioned the births of Daisy and Violet de Lawayss. The children were separated. Violet was sent to live with Ludwig of Bavaria, Maria Sophie’s brother, and Daisy was recognised as Armand’s daughter, and she lived with him in Brussels. Armand died in 1870 and Daisy followed shortly, both probably died of tuberculosis. However, as this is a Wikipedia page it can be edited by anyone, and we must take this information with a grain of salt. The secret was well guarded either way.
After five months Maria Sophie returned to her husband and for some reason confessed to what had happened. However, the confession seemed to turn their marriage for the better. Francis underwent a circumcision, and they were finally able to consummate the marriage.
Maria Sophie became pregnant and gave birth to a daughter on 24 December 1869. She was named Maria Christina Pia. Maria Sophie’s sister Elisabeth was godmother. However, the happiness was short lived. Maria Christina Pia died on 28 March 1870, and they never had another child.
By 1870 the couple was on the run again. Rome was overrun by Italian forces, and the two fled to Bavaria. Francis II died in 1894. Maria Sophie would outlive him for 31 years, dying in 1925. She died in Munich, and it would be until 1984 before she, her husband and their daughter were reunited in the Church of Santa Chiara in Naples.