On 1 February 1745, Maria Theresa gave birth to a second son with the full name: Charles Joseph Emanuel Johann Nepomuk Anton Prokop. He soon became his mother’s favourite son, and he was known to have hated his elder brother, Joseph. The rivalry was strengthened by the fact that Charles had been born to a reigning Emperor while Joseph had been born while Francis had not yet been elected emperor. He was, in fact, mistaken, as Francis was not elected Holy Roman Emperor until September 1745.
If he really meant to fight his brother for the Imperial crown, we’ll never know. Charles died of smallpox just two weeks before his 16th birthday. He told his mother on his deathbed:
“You should not weep for me, dear mother, for had I lived, I would have brought you many more tears!“
During his short life, he was betrothed twice, to Maria Luisa of Spain and Isabella of Parma. He would not be the only victim of smallpox in Maria Theresa’s large family.
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