Archduchess Gregoria Maximiliana of Austria

Portrait of Archduchess Gregoria Maximiliana, by Jakob de Monte, ca. 1592/93.

Archduchess Gregoria Maximiliana of Austria (22 May 1581 – 20 September 1597) was a member of the House of Habsburg.

She was the daughter of Archduke Charles II of Austria, the son of Emperor Ferdinand I, and Maria Anna of Bavaria. Her elder brother Archduke Ferdinand, succeeded as Holy Roman Emperor in 1619.


Born in Graz, her godparents were Pope Gregory XIII and her maternal aunt, Maximiliana Maria of Bavaria.[1] Named after both, Gregoria Maximiliana was described as extremely pious and had the closest relationship to her mother among her siblings.

In addition to the Habsburg inferior lip,[2] Gregoria Maximiliana suffered from a deformed shoulder and a scarred face.[3]

In 1596 the Admiral of Aragon arrived to Graz and had deliver to the Spanish court portraits of Gregoria Maximiliana and her two younger sisters in marriageable age, Eleanor and Margaret. Shortly after, Gregoria Maximiliana was betrothed to the Prince of Asturias, future King Philip III.[4] Although the Prince, after seeing the portraits he preferred Margaret, was his father King Philip II who chose Gregoria Maximiliana as his bride, mainly because she was the older.[5]

On 17 September 1597 the Prince of Asturias made a visit to the Imperial court in Graz. At this time, Gregoria Maximiliana was seriously ill and she compared her suffering to the prisoners of the Turkish sultan.[6] Three days later, she died aged sixteen, and was in buried in Seckau Abbey.[7] Gregoria Maximiliana's fiancé married her sister Margaret in 1599.



  1. Georg Haubenreich, Genealogia, 1598, p. 80. On-line
  2. German Society for Racial Hygiene, Archiv für Rassen- und Gesellschafts-Biologie, einschliesslich Rassen- und Gesellschafts-Hygiene, vol. VIII, p. 779. On-line
  3. Brigitte Hamann, Die Habsburger: ein biographisches Lexikon, Piper, 1988, p. 278.
  4. Societatea Academică Română, Acta historica, vol. III, Societatea Academică Română, 1959, p. 162.
  5. Karl Acham, Kunst und Geisteswissenschaften aus Graz, vol. II, Böhlau Verlag Wien, 2009, p. 88.
  6. Alexander Randa, Pro Republica Christiana, vol. III, Rumänische Akademische Gesellschaft, 1964, p. 166.
  7. Quirin Ritter von Leitner, Die Schatzkammer des Allerhöchsten kaiserhauses, presentation by A. Holzhausen, 1882, p. 145.
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