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Duchess Elisabeth of Württemberg

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Title: Duchess Elisabeth of Württemberg  
Author: World Heritage Encyclopedia
Language: English
Subject: Archduchess Dorothea of Austria, Eleonora Gonzaga (1630–1686), Wilhelmine Amalia of Brunswick-Lüneburg, Princess Regina of Saxe-Meiningen, Leopold II, Holy Roman Emperor
Publisher: World Heritage Encyclopedia

Duchess Elisabeth of Württemberg

Elisabeth of Württemberg
Archduchess of Austria
Spouse Archduke Francis of Austria
Issue Archduchess Ludovika Elisabeth
Full name
Elisabeth Wilhelmine Luise
House House of Habsburg-Lorraine
House of Württemberg
Father Frederick II Eugene, Duke of Württemberg
Mother Sophia Dorothea of Brandenburg-Schwedt
Born 21 April 1767
Treptow, Brandenburg
Died 18 February 1790 (aged 22)
Vienna, Austria
Burial Imperial Crypt
Religion Lutheranism then Roman Catholicism

Elisabeth of Württemberg (Elisabeth Wilhelmine Luise; 21 April 1767 – 18 February 1790) was by birth a Duchess of Württemberg and by marriage an Archduchess of Austria.


She was the eighth of the twelve children of Frederick II Eugene, Duke of Württemberg, by his wife, Sophia Dorothea of Brandenburg-Schwedt. She was baptised with the names Elisabeth Wilhelmine Luise.


At the age of 15, she was called by Holy Roman Emperor Joseph II to Vienna and educated in the Salesianerinnenkloster where she also converted to Catholicism. The purpose of this was to make her the future wife of Joseph II's nephew Francis, the future emperor.

In Vienna on 6 January 1788, Elisabeth and Francis were married. At this time, Emperor Joseph was in ill health; the young archduchess was close to the emperor and brightened his last years with her youthful charm. At the end of 1789, Elisabeth became pregnant; however, her condition was very delicate, caused in part by concern for the deteriorating health of the Emperor. Joseph received the Anointing of the Sick on 15 February 1790 and the scene overwhelmed the young Archduchess: she fainted upon seeing the terminally ill emperor. On the night of 18 February, she prematurely gave birth to Archduchess Ludovika Elisabeth of Austria, who lived for only 16 months. Elisabeth didn't survive the childbirth, which lasted more than 24 hours, and died, despite an emergency operation to save her life. Two days later, Emperor Joseph also died.

Elisabeth never became Empress because she predeceased her father-in-law, Holy Roman Emperor Leopold II. She is buried in the Imperial Crypt, in Vienna.


  1. Archduchess Ludovika Elisabeth of Austria (18 Feb 1790 - 24 June 1791) died in infancy.


Titles, styles, honours and arms

Titles and styles

  • 21 April 1767 – 6 January 1788 Her Highness Duchess Elisabeth of Württemberg
  • 6 January 1788 – 18 February 1790 Her Royal Highness Archduchess Elisabeth of Austria


This article incorporates information from the Deutsch WorldHeritage.
  • Brigitte Hamann: Die Habsburger, ein biographisches Lexikon. Verlag Carl Ueberreuter, Vienna, 1988

See also

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