History - OnThisDay - 12 July 1651 - Margaret Theresa of Spain

On 12 July 1651, Margaret Theresa of Spain was born at the Royal Alcazar
in Madrid.



Family

Margaret Theresa was a daughter of King Philip IV of Spain and
Mariana of Austria. Margaret's mother was nearly thirty years younger than
her father.

Margaret's paternal grandparents were King Philip III of Spain and
his wife Archduchess Margaret of Austria.

Her maternal grandparents were Ferdinand III, Holy Roman Emperor
and Infanta Maria Anna of Spain, the daughter of her paternal grandparents.

Margaret was the sister of King Charles II of Spain.

Margaret and her family belonged to the royal house of Habsburg.



Youth

Margaret hadn't serious health problems. She had an attractive appearance and
a lively character. Her parents and close friends called her the "little angel".

She grew up in the Queen's chambers in the Royal Alcazar of Madrid,
surrounded by many maids and servants.

In his private letters, King Philip IV of Spain called her "my joy". At the
same time Margaret was brought up in accordance with the strict etiquette of
the Madrid court, and she received a good education.



Love and marriage

In the 1650 's the imperial court in Vienna developed the wish for another
dynastic marriage between the Spanish and Austrian branches of the
House of Habsburg.

However in 1660, Margaret Theresa of Spain was betrothed to the King of
France in the terms of the Treaty of the Pyrenees. She was forced to renounce
her claims to the Spanish throne in return for a monetery settlement which
was never paid!

Later a discussion started about a marriage between Margaret and the
Holy Roman Emperor Leopold I, who was her maternal uncle and cousin.
On 6 April 1663 the betrothal between Margaret and Leopold I was finally
announced. The marriage contract was signed on 8 December 1663.

On 25 April 1666 the marriage by proxy was finally celebrated in Madrid.
The groom was represented by Antonio de la Cerda, 7th duke of Medinaceli.

On 28 April 1666, Margaret traveled from Madrid to Vienna, accompanied
by her personal retinue. The Infanta arrived at Denia, where she stayed
for some days.

On 5 December 1666 the entry of Margaret Theresa took place in Vienna
and the official wedding ceremony was celebrated on 12 December.

This marriage would become a happy one. The couple had many common
interests, especially in art and music.

They would have 4 children, only one survived childhood.



Duty

Margaret Theresa was anti-Semitic and inspired her husband to expel the
Jews from Vienna, because she believed that they were to blame for her
children's deaths.

During the Corpus Christi celebration of 1670, the Emperor ordered the
destruction of the Vienna synagogue and a church was built on the site on
his orders.

Margaret Theresa kept her Spanish customs and ways after her marriage.
She did not speak German and the arrogance of her native retinue led to
a strong anti-Spanish sentiment among the imperial court.



Death

During her last pregnancy Margaret fell ill with bronchitis. This together
with her weakened health due to four living childbirths and at least two
miscarriages, caused her early death on 12 March 1673 at the age of
21. She was buried in the imperial crypt of Vienna. Four months later
her widower entered into a second marriage.


What do you think about her Spanish-styled dresses? I like them very 
much!


Source pictures: Wikipedia
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