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Elisabeth of Savoy (April 13, 1800 – December 25, 1856) was the Vicereine of the Kingdom of Lombardy–Venetia by marriage to Archduke Rainer Joseph of Austria. She was the aunt and mother-in-law of Vittorio Emanuele II, the first king of a united Italy. By birth, she was a member of the House of Savoy-Carignano.

Early life

Maria Francesca Elisabetta Carlotta Giuseppina was born in Paris to Carlo Emmanuel, Prince of Carignano (1770–1800), and Princess Maria Cristina of Saxony (1770–1851).

Her mother, Maria Christina of Saxony, was the only surviving child of Prince Charles of Saxony, Duke of Courland, himself son of King Augustus III of Poland and his wife, Countess Franciszka Krasińska. Her parents married secretly in Warsaw in 1760. The marriage was considered morganatic in Saxony. Her mother was created Princess Franziska Krasińska Wettin in her own right due to her marriage, only after the intervention of Emperor Joseph II.

King Augustus III of Poland was also known as Elector Friedrich August II of Saxony in the Holy Roman Empire.

Princess Elisabeth of Savoy also had an elder brother, Carlo Alberto, future King of Sardinia.


On May 28, 1820 she was married in Prague to Archduke Rainer Joseph of Austria, a son of Emperor Leopold II and Infanta Maria Luisa of Spain.

His mother, Infanta Maria Luisa of Spain, was born the fifth daughter, and second surviving child, of Carlos, King of Naples and Sicily, and Maria Amalia of Saxony.

Her father, the future Carlos III of Spain, had become King of Naples and Sicily in 1735 after its occupation by the Spanish in the War of Polish Succession. After her father became King of Spain at the death of her half-uncle, Fernando VI of Spain, in 1759, she became known as Infanta Maria Luisa of Spain, and she moved with her family to Spain.

Archduke Rainer Joseph and was a younger brother of Franz II, Holy Roman Emperor, first Emperor of Austria.

Although Rainer Joseph suffered from a mild form of epilepsy, this did not visibly interfere with his military career.

Archduke Rainer Joseph served as Viceroy of the Kingdom of Lombardy–Venetia from 1818 to 1848.

The Kingdom of Lombardy–Venetia was a constituent land (crown land) of the Austrian Empire from 1815 to 1866. It was created in 1815 by resolution of the Congress of Vienna in recognition of the Austrian House of Habsburg-Lorraine’s rights to the former Duchy of Milan and the former Republic of Venice after the Napoleonic Kingdom of Italy, proclaimed in 1805, had collapsed.

The position as Viceroy for the Emperor made Rainer Joseph and his wife the head of the Austrian court at Milan. Rainer Joseph’s politics were increasingly unpopular, the Italians resented him for their lack of political freedom and for collecting revenues with so little benefit to them.


With Archduke Rainer Joseph she had eight children, among them,

Archduchess Adelaide (June 3, 1822 – January 20, 1855), who became the wife of her first cousin Vittorio Emanuele II, King of Sardinia, from 1849 to 1861 and subsequently King of a united Italy.

Vittorio Emanuele II, King of Sardinia was born as the eldest son of King Carlo Alberto of Sardinia, and Archduchess Maria Theresa of Austria, daughter of Ferdinand III, Grand Duke of Tuscany and Luisa of Naples and Sicily.

As mentioned above King Carlo Alberto of Sardinia was the elder brother of Princess (Archduchess) Elisabeth of Savoy.


Archduchess Elisabeth died of tuberculosis in Bolzano on Christmas Day, 1856.