Princess Maria Carolina of Bourbon-Two Sicilies (1822–1869)

Last updated
Princess Maria Carolina Augusta
Duchess of Aumale
Maria Carolina Augusta di Borbone, Principessa delle Due Sicilie (1848).jpg
Born(1822-04-26)26 April 1822
Vienna, Austrian Empire [1] [2]
Died6 December 1869(1869-12-06) (aged 47)
Twickenham, London, England [1] [2]
Spouse Prince Henri, Duke of Aumale
Among others...
Louis, Prince of Condé
François Louis, Duke of Guise
House Bourbon-Two Sicilies
Father Leopold, Prince of Salerno
Mother Archduchess Maria Clementina of Austria
Religion Roman Catholic
Signature Signature of Princess (Marie) Caroline Auguste of the Two Sicilies, Duchess of Aumale.png

Princess Maria Carolina Augusta of Bourbon-Two Sicilies [1] [2] (26 April 1822 – 6 December 1869) was a Princess of Bourbon-Two Sicilies by birth and a princess of the House of Orléans through her marriage to Prince Henry of Orléans, Duke of Aumale.



Youth and marriage

Portrait of a young Marie Caroline Auguste 1845 Francois Meuret portrait of Princess Maria Carolina Augusta of Bourbon-Two Sicilies (Musee Conde).jpg
Portrait of a young Marie Caroline Auguste

Maria Carolina was born in Vienna on 26 April 1822, the only surviving child of Prince Leopold of Bourbon-Two Sicilies, Prince of Salerno and his wife (and niece) Archduchess Maria Clementina of Austria, daughter of Francis II, Holy Roman Emperor. [1] [2]

Nicknamed Lina since her birth, the princess spent the first years of her life under the supervision of her mother in the Austrian imperial court at Vienna and was also officially introduced there in society. As a teenager, she returned with her family to Naples.

In the 1830s and 1840s there were not many princesses from European nobility who were in a marriageable age, so Maria Carolina had several suitors for her hand. The choice finally fell on Prince Henry, Duke of Aumale, fifth and second-youngest son of King Louis-Philippe I of France and his wife Maria Amalia of the Two Sicilies, who became impressed with her during a stay at her father's palace in Naples. [3] The marriage negotiations began in late August 1844, and already on 17 September of the same year at the Revue de Paris, their engagement was officially announced. [4] The union was anything but a love match. Henri d'Orléans described his wife in a letter to his teacher Alfred-Auguste de Cuvillier-Fleury as "not nice, but nothing unpleasant about herself". [5] Cuvillier-Fleury agreed with him, adding that she also had an "exquisite appearance" ("[…] n'est pas jolie, mais c'est une miniature exquise."). [6] Henry agreed with the marriage only after intense pressure from his parents after they rejected other candidates and finally opted for the small and graceful Maria Carolina to forestall any other marriage proposals to her from other European princes.

The marriage took place on 25 November 1844 (the date corresponded to the wedding anniversary of the French royal couple) in Naples [1] [2] at the request of the groom, although Maria Carolina's future in-laws would have preferred it that the marriage would be celebrated in Paris. The civil wedding was performed in the royal palace of King Ferdinand II of the Two Sicilies, and on the same day the religious ceremony was celebrated with great pomp. The bride received the large amount of 517,000 gold francs as a dowry. [7] The festivities on the occasion of the wedding, such as balls, receptions, hunting events or theater galas, lasted more than two weeks. [4] However, Maria Carolina traveled already on 2 December 1844 together with her husband by ship to Toulon. From there the newlyweds had a grand reception by the city to Paris, where they settled in a serie of rooms at the Tuileries Palace.

First years of marriage and issue

Princess Maria Carolina Augusta of Bourbon by Franz Xaver Winterhalter Princess Maria Carolina Augusta of the Two Sicilies (later Duchess of Aumale) from the studio of Franz Xaver Winterhalter (Versailles).jpg
Princess Maria Carolina Augusta of Bourbon by Franz Xaver Winterhalter

During the first months of 1845, which for Maria Carolina where filled by ceremonial duties at official occasions such as balls, theatrical performances or meetings with nobles, she and her husband had finally the opportunity to know each other better. They developed a mutual respect, and during all her life the princess was a faithful and devoted wife who never made claims. [8] Her charming ways, gentleness and kindness gained the love of her husband's family. [9] Contemporaries described her as amiable and witty ( "[…] on la dit gentille, spirituelle; […]"). [10] In May 1845 she moved with her husband to the Château de Chantilly, which Henry specially made rebuild and modernize.

Maria Karolina remained at her husband's side after he was appointed in September 1847 Governor General of Algeria and therefore his presence in that country was necessary.

Exile in England. Death

After the February Revolution of 1848 The Orléans family went into exile in England and were, by decree from 16 May 1848, permanently banned from France. Maria Carolina followed her husband, and they temporarily moved to Claremont House. Their strained finances forced the princess to sell parts of their precious jewels to pay for their maintenance.

Orleans House in Twickenham, London: Maria Carolina's final residence while in exile from France. Adolphe Jean-Baptiste Bayot04.jpg
Orléans House in Twickenham, London: Maria Carolina's final residence while in exile from France.

Maria Carolina soon become a close friend of Queen Victoria, [11] who gave her and her family the Orléans House in Twickenham, London as their residence. They moved from Claremont to their new home on 16 April 1852. [12] After a long journey in August 1864 across Europe (including Belgium, Germany, Austria, Hungary, Spain, Switzerland and the Orient), Maria Carolina preferably spent her time in the Wood Norton Hall estate at Worcestershire.

The unexpected death of her eldest son Louis Philippe, Prince of Condé, in 1866 plunged Maria Carolina into a deep depression from which she never fully recovered. [13] After a six-week bout of illness, [13] she died on 6 December 1869 aged 47 at Orleans House from infectious tuberculosis.

Four days after her death, on 10 December 1869, Maria Carolina was buried in the Catholic Chapel of Weybridge until 1876, when her remains were returned to France by her husband to be buried in the Chapelle royale de Dreux. After the death of his wife, Henry preferred to remain a widower until his own death in 1897.


Maria Carolina and Henry had seven children, from only two survived childbirth but both died young: [1] [2]

Titles and styles


Related Research Articles

Ferdinand Philippe, Duke of Orléans Prince Royal of France

Prince Ferdinand Philippe of Orléans was the eldest son of Louis Philippe d'Orléans, Duke of Orléans and Maria Amalia of Naples and Sicily. Born in exile in his mother's native Sicily, he was heir to the House of Orléans from birth. Following his father's succession as King of the French in 1830, he became the Prince Royal and subsequently Duke of Orléans, the title by which he is best known. He died in 1842, never to succeed his father or see the collapse of the July Monarchy and subsequent exile of his family to England.

Louis Philippe I, Duke of Orléans Duke of Orléans

Louis Philippe d'Orléans known as le Gros, was a French prince, a member of a cadet branch of the House of Bourbon, the dynasty then ruling France. The First Prince of the Blood after 1752, he was the most senior male at the French court after the immediate royal family. He was the father of Philippe Égalité. He greatly augmented the already huge wealth of the House of Orléans.

Duchess Sophie Charlotte in Bavaria Bavarian duchess

Duchess Sophie Charlotte Augustine in Bavaria was a granddaughter-in-law of King Louis Philippe of France, the favourite sister of Empress Elisabeth of Austria and fiancée of King Ludwig II of Bavaria.

Maria Amalia of Naples and Sicily Queen consort of the French

Maria Amalia Teresa of Naples and Sicily was a French queen by marriage to Louis Philippe I, King of the French.

Henri dOrléans, Duke of Aumale Duke of Aumale

Henri Eugène Philippe Louis d'Orléans, Duke of Aumale was a leader of the Orleanists, a political faction in 19th-century France associated with constitutional monarchy. He was born in Paris, the fifth son of King Louis-Philippe I of the French and Maria Amalia of Naples and Sicily. He used the title Duke of Aumale. He retired from public life in 1883.

Prince Philippe, Count of Paris Count of Paris

Prince Philippe of Orléans, Count of Paris, was the grandson of Louis Philippe I, King of the French. He was the Count of Paris as Orléanist claimant to the French throne from 1848 until his death.

Mariana Victoria of Spain Queen consort of Portugal

Mariana Victoria of Spain was an Infanta of Spain by birth and was later the Queen of Portugal as wife of King Joseph I. The eldest daughter of Philip V of Spain and Elisabeth Farnese, she was engaged to the young Louis XV of France at the age of seven. Rejected due to her age, the marriage never took place and she was sent back to Spain. In 1729 she was married to Infante José, son of John V of Portugal and successor to his father as Joseph I of Portugal. She also acted as regent of Portugal during the last months of her husband's life and as advisor to her daughter, Maria I of Portugal, in her reign.

Archduchess Clementina of Austria Princess of Salerno

Clementina of Austria was an Archduchess of Austria and Princess of Salerno upon her marriage to Prince Leopold of Bourbon-Two Sicilies, Prince of Salerno.

Prince Alfonso, Count of Caserta Count of Caserta

Prince Alfonso, Count of Caserta was the third son of Ferdinand II of the Two Sicilies and Archduchess Maria Theresa of Austria.

Charlotte Aglaé dOrléans Duchess of Modena

Charlotte Aglaé d'Orléans, was the Duchess of Modena and Reggio by marriage. She was the third daughter of Philippe II, Duke of Orléans, and of his wife, Françoise-Marie de Bourbon. She was born a princesse du sang. When a married woman, she had ten children.

Princess Marie Isabelle of Orléans Countess of Paris

Marie Isabelle d’Orléans was born an infanta of Spain and a Princess of Orléans and became the Countess of Paris by marriage.

Françoise Marie de Bourbon Légitimée de France

Françoise Marie de Bourbon, légitimée de France was the youngest illegitimate daughter of Louis XIV of France and his maîtresse-en-titre, Françoise-Athénaïs de Rochechouart, Marquise de Montespan. At the age of 14, she was wed to her first cousin Philippe d'Orléans, future Regent of France during the minority of Louis XV. Through four of the eight children she bore him in an unhappy marriage she became the ancestress of several of Europe's Roman Catholic monarchs of the 19th and 20th centuries, notably those of Belgium, Italy, Portugal, Spain, and France.

Louise Diane dOrléans Princess of Conti

Louise Diane d'Orléans was the seventh daughter and last child of Philippe d'Orléans, Duke of Orléans and his wife, Françoise Marie de Bourbon, the youngest legitimised daughter of King Louis XIV of France and his mistress, Madame de Montespan. She was born during the Regency of Philippe d'Orléans, the Regent of Louis XV of France. The Princess of Conti by marriage, she died in childbirth at the age of twenty. Some sources refer to her as Louis Diane.

Leopold, Prince of Salerno Prince of Salerno

Leopoldo Giovanni Giuseppe Michele of Bourbon-Two Sicilies, Prince of Salerno was a member of the House of Bourbon-Two Sicilies and a Prince of Bourbon-Two Sicilies.

Chapelle royale de Dreux chapel located in Eure-et-Loir, in France

The Royal Chapel of Dreux situated in Dreux, France, is the traditional burial place of members of the House of Orléans. It is an important early building in the French adoption of Gothic Revival architecture, despite being topped by a dome. Starting in 1828, Alexandre Brogniart, the director of the Sèvres porcelain manufactory, produced fired enamel paintings on large panes of plate glass, for King Louis-Philippe, an important early French commission in Gothic taste, preceded mainly by some Gothic features in a few jardins paysagers.

Princess Maria Carolina of Bourbon-Two Sicilies may refer to:

Maria Vittoria of Savoy Princess of Carignano

Maria Vittoria of Savoy was a legitimated daughter of Victor Amadeus II of Sardinia, first king of the House of Savoy. Married to the head of a cadet branch of the House of Savoy, she is an ancestor of the kings of Sardinia and of the Savoy kings of Italy.

Charles dOrléans, Duke of Penthièvre Duke of Penthièvre

Prince Charles d'Orléans, Duke of Penthièvre was the eighth child of the Duke and Duchess of Orléans, future Louis Philippe I and la Reine Marie Amélie. He was created Duke of Penthièvre, a title previously held by his great grandfather.

Princess Maria Antonietta of Bourbon-Two Sicilies Countess of Caserta

Princess Maria Antonietta of Bourbon-Two Sicilies was a Princess of Bourbon-Two Sicilies by birth and by her marriage to Prince Alfonso, Count of Caserta, claimant to the defunct throne of the Two Sicilies.

Marie-Caroline of Bourbon-Two Sicilies, Duchess of Berry Duchess of Berry

Marie-Caroline de Bourbon-Sicile, duchesse de Berry was an Italian princess of the House of Bourbon who married into the French royal family, and was the mother of Henri, Count of Chambord.


  1. 1 2 3 4 5 6 Darryl Lundy (10 March 2007). "Maria Carolina Auguste di Borbone, Principessa di Borbone delle Due Sicilie". Retrieved 6 October 2008.
  2. 1 2 3 4 5 6 Paul Theroff. "TWO SICILIES". Paul Theroff's Royal Genealogy Site. Retrieved 5 October 2008.
  3. Cazelles, p. 106.
  4. 1 2 Woerth, p. 71.
  5. Woerth, note p. 70.
  6. Cazelles, note p. 111.
  7. Cazelles, p. 157.
  8. Cazelles, p. 114.
  9. Woerth, p. 73.
  10. Cazelles, note p. 102.
  11. Cazelles, p. 282.
  12. Woerth, p. 266.
  13. 1 2 Obituary of HRH The Duchess d'Aumâle, The Times 8 December 1869. [retrieved 12 September 2016].
  14. 1 2 Jirí Louda, Michael MacLagan: Lines of Succession: Heraldry of the Royal Families of Europe, 2nd edition. Little, Brown and Company, London 1999, vol. 70.
  15. 1 2 Hugh Montgomery-Massingberd (ed.): Burke’s Royal Families of the World, vol 1: Europe & Latin America. Burke’s Peerage Ltd., London 1977, p. 92.


Commons-logo.svg Media related to Princess Maria Carolina of Bourbon-Two Sicilies (1822–1869) at Wikimedia Commons