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Marie-Valerie, Archduchess of Austria

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Marie-Valerie, Archduchess of Austria (April 22, 1868 - September 6, 1924) was the fourth and last child of Elisabeth of Bavaria ("Sissi") and Franz Josef of Austria. Her given name was Marie-Valerie Mathilde.

Marie-Valerie was born at Ofen (Buda) in Hungary. The Empress Elisabeth was especially attached to Marie-Valerie, who had been born ten years after the imperial couple's third child (Crown Prince Rudolf). This suggested to some minds that Marie-Valerie was not the emperor's daughter. She was Elisabeth's favorite child.

In 1890, Marie-Valerie married her close cousin Franz Salvator, Archduke of Austria-Tuscany. Marie-Valerie was a most reasonable girl and when it came time to marry she chose love over a dynastic marriage. It was hoped that she would marry someone like the Prince of Saxony or the Prince of Braganza. She flatly refused and Elisabeth supported her favorite daughter. This caused a large rift between her and the Crown Prince Rudolf. Marie-Valerie had 10 children:

  • Elisabeth (1892-1930), who married Count Georg von Waldburg-Zeil
  • Franz (1893-1918)
  • Hubert Salvator (1894-1971), who married Princess Rosemary of Salm-Salm
  • Hedwig (1896-1970), who married Count Bernard of Stolberg-Stolberg
  • Theodor Salvator (1899-1978), who married Countess Maria Theresa of Waldburg-Zeil-Trauchburg
  • Gertrud (1900-1942), who married Count Georg of Waldburg-Zeil-Trauchburg
  • Maria Elisabeth (1901-1936)
  • Clemens Salvator (1904-1979), who married Countess Elisabeth Rességuier de Miremont, and who took the title Prince of Altenburg
  • Mathilde (1906-1991), who married Ernst Hefel
  • Agnes, who was born and died on the same day in 1911

Marie-Valerie died in 1924 at Schloss Wallsee.

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