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Princess Isabella of Croÿ


Princess Isabella of Croÿ

Princess Isabella
Duchess of Teschen

Spouse Archduke Friedrich, Duke of Teschen
Maria Christina, Hereditary Princess of Salm-Salm
Maria Anna, Princess Elias of Bourbon-Parma
Maria Henrietta, Princess Gottfried of Hohenlohe-Waldenburg-Schillingfurst
Archduchess Natalie Maria
Archduchess Stephanie Maria Isabelle
Archduchess Gabriele Maria Theresia
Isabella, Princess Georg of Bavaria
Maria Alice, Baroness von Bassenheim
Archduke Albrecht Franz, Duke of Teschen
Full name
German: Isabella Hedwig Franziska Natalie
House House of Croÿ (by birth)
House of Habsburg-Lorraine
(by marriage)
Father Rudolf, Duke of Croÿ
Mother Princess Natalie of Ligne
Born (1856-02-27)27 February 1856
Died 5 September 1931(1931-09-05) (aged 75)
Burial Imperial Crypt, Capuchin Church, Vienna
Religion Roman Catholicism

Princess Isabella Hedwig Franziska Natalie of Croÿ (27 February 1856 – 5 September 1931) was the daughter of Rudolf, Duke of Croÿ, and his wife, Princess Natalie of Ligne.


Marriage and issue

She married Archduke Friedrich, Duke of Teschen on 8 October 1878. They had eight daughters and one son:

Archduke Franz Ferdinand

In the mid-1890s, the heir to the Austro-Hungarian throne, Archduke Franz Ferdinand of Austria began visiting Isabella and Friedrich's home. At first, it was assumed that he was there to court one of their many daughters. Eventually, it was discovered that in fact he was courting Countess Sophie Chotek, a lady-in-waiting to Archduchess Isabella.

Isabella became infuriated that Franz Ferdinand had not singled out one of her eight daughters as his bride and future empress; as a result she engaged in a crusade to thwart the marriage of Franz Ferdinand and Sophie. Sophie was dismissed from service, thus beginning an ongoing conflict between Friedrich and Franz Ferdinand, who married Sophie in 1900. The marriage was morganatic; Sophie was subjected to the indignities of a much lower rank at court than that of her husband, and none of their children could succeed to their father's dynastic honours—all chiefly as a result of Isabella's machinations.

A decade later, Archduchess Isabella created a similar furor when her nephew, Karl, 13th Prince von Croÿ, of the House of Croÿ, sought to marry Nancy Leishman, the charming young daughter of United States Ambassador to Germany John George Alexander Leishman, the former president of Carnegie Steel. As with Sophie Chotek, the Archduchess felt Nancy was not sufficiently aristocratic. Karl and Nancy were wed, nonetheless; today their grandson is the present Duke of Croÿ.



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