Maria Antonia Ferdinanda of Spain

Maria Antonia Ferdinanda of Spain

Maria Antonia holding a double image of her daughters at the French Court by Mengs
Queen consort of Sardinia
Consort 20 February 1773 – 19 September 1785
Born (1729-11-17)17 November 1729
Royal Alcázar of Seville, Spain
Died 19 September 1785(1785-09-19) (aged 55)
Castle of Moncalieri, Turin
Burial September 1785
Royal Basilica of Superga, Turin
Spouse Victor Amadeus III of Sardinia
Charles Emmanuel IV, King of Sardinia
Marie Joséphine, Countess of Provence
Maria Teresa, Countess of Artois
Maria Anna, Duchess of Chablais
Victor Emmanuel I, King of Sardinia
Maurizio, Duke of Montferrat
Maria Carolina, Electoral Princess of Saxony
Charles Felix, King of Sardinia
Giuseppe, Count of Asti
Full name
María Antonia Fernanda
House House of Bourbon (by birth)
House of Savoy (by marriage)
Father Philip V of Spain
Mother Elisabeth Farnese

Maria Antonia Ferdinanda of Spain (María Antonia Fernanda; 17 November 1729 19 September 1785) was an Infanta of Spain and the youngest daughter of Philip V of Spain and Elisabeth Farnese.[1] She was the wife of Victor Amadeus III of Sardinia whom she married in 1750. She was the mother of the last three mainline Kings of Sardinia.

Early years

Maria Antonia with her sister the Dauphine of France
Maria Antonia as a Spanish infanta by Amigoni

She was born at the Royal Alcázar of Seville in Seville and was the youngest daughter of Philip V of Spain and of second his wife Elisabeth Farnese. She was born in Seville during the signing of the Treaty of Seville which ended the Anglo-Spanish War.[2] She spent her infancy in the city of her birth before moving to Madrid in 1733.[3] She was baptised with the names María Antonia along with Fernanda in honour of her half brother, then the heir to the throne. Variations in her name range from "Antonia Fernanda" and "Antonietta Ferdinanda".[4] As a daughter of the King of Spain, she held the title of Infanta of Spain and style of Royal Highness.[5]

In a double marriage plan she would marry Louis, Dauphin of France, and her brother, Infante Philip, would marry the Dauphin's sister Louise Élisabeth of France. Her mother consented to the latter union but insisted on waiting for Maria Antonia Ferdinanda to reach a more mature age. The Infanta's hand was also sought by the Electoral Prince of Saxony.[6] The marriage between Infante Philip and Louise Élisabeth occurred in 1739 and eventually her older sister Infanta Maria Teresa Rafaela married the Dauphin in 1745. However, upon the death of Maria Teresa Rafaela in 1746[7] Ferdinand VI tried to engage Maria Antonia Fernandina to the Dauphin but the idea was snubbed by Louis XV as "incest". Instead he chose Maria Josepha of Saxony.

Duchess of Savoy

Having married by proxy in Madrid on 12 April 1750 she was married in person at Oulx on 31 May 1750[8] to Victor Amadeus, "Duke of Savoy", the eldest son of Charles Emmanuel III of Sardinia and his late wife Polyxena of Hesse-Rotenburg. The marriage had been arranged by Maria Antonia Ferdinanda's half brother, Ferdinand VI and was used to strengthen relations between Madrid and Turin as the two courts had fought on opposing sides during the War of the Austrian Succession. The Treaty of Aix-la-Chapelle ended the war.[1] As a wedding gift, the apartments of the new Duchess of Savoy at the Royal Palace of Turin were remodelled by the architect Benedetto Alfieri. Maria Antonia Ferdinanda was given a dowry of 3,500,000 Piedmontese Lires as well as Spanish possessions in Milan.[9] In Italy she was known as Maria Antonietta Ferdinanda. Operas by Baldassare Galuppi were specially composed for her marriage to the Duke of Savoy.

The match was seen as unpopular,[10] but the two remained close until her death. From marriage until her husband's accession she was styled as the Duchess of Savoy.[11] The couple surrounded themselves with modern thinkers and various politicians. The first lady of the land, she brought a rigid etiquette from her native Spain to the court of Savoy.[12] She was very religious and was said to have a cold, shy personality.[12] She was the mother of twelve children, three of whom died in infancy. Two of her children had progeny. Through her son Victor Emmanuel I and daughter Maria Teresa of Savoy, she is a double ancestress of Queen Anne of Romania as well as the pretending Duke of Parma, Emperor of Austria and reigning Grand Duke of Luxembourg.

Queen of Sardinia

At the death of her father-in-law Charles Emmanuel III of Sardinia in 1773, her husband succeeded him as Victor Amadeus III. She was the first queen of Sardinia in over thirty years since the death of Elisabeth Therese of Lorraine in 1741. Her oldest son Charles Emmanuel, Prince of Piedmont married Marie Clotilde of France, sister of Louis XVI in 1775. Marie Clotilde and Maria Antonia Ferdinanda would become very close.[13] Queen Maria Antonia Ferdinanda died in September 1785 at the Castle of Moncalieri.[14] She was buried at the Royal Basilica of Superga.[5] Her husband outlived her by eleven years.


The Family of the Duke of Savoy in 1760, Giuseppe Duprà
  1. Charles Emmanuel IV of Sardinia (24 May 1751 6 October 1819) married Princess Marie Clotilde of France in 1773, no issue.
  2. Maria Elisabetta Carlotta of Savoy (16 July 1752 17 April 1755) died in infancy.
  3. Maria Giuseppina of Savoy (2 September 1753 13 November 1810) married Louis Xavier, Count of Provence in 1771, no issue.
  4. Amedeus Alexander of Savoy (5 October 1754 29 April 1755) died in infancy.
  5. Maria Teresa of Savoy (31 January 1756 2 June 1805) married Charles, Count of Artois in 1773, had issue.
  6. Maria Anna of Savoy (17 December 1757 11 October 1824) married Prince Benedetto of Savoy in 1775, no issue.
  7. Victor Emmanuel I of Sardinia (24 July 1759 10 January 1824) married Archduchess Maria Theresa of Austria-Este in 1789, had issue.
  8. Maria Cristina Ferdinanda of Savoy (21 November 1760 19 May 1768) died in infancy.
  9. Maurizio of Savoy (13 December 1762 1 September 1799) died unmarried of malaria.[15]
  10. Maria Carolina of Savoy (17 January 1764 28 December 1782) married Antony, Electoral Prince of Saxony in 1781, no issue.
  11. Charles Felix of Sardinia (6 April 1765 27 April 1831) married Princess Maria Cristina of Naples and Sicily in 1807, no issue.
  12. Giuseppe of Savoy (5 October 1766 29 October 1802) died unmarried of malaria.[15]


Titles and styles


  1. 1 2 Morselli. Mario: Amedeo Avogadro, a scientific biography, Springer, 1984, p 6
  2. Armstrong. Edward: Elisabeth Farnese: The Termagant of Spain, 1892, p 256
  3. Kamen. Henry:Philip V of Spain. The King who Reigned Twice, Yale University Press, New Haven, 2001, p 191
  4. La temi veneta contenente magistrati, 1770, p 26
  5. 1 2 van de Pas, Leo. "Maria Antonietta of Spain". Genealogics .org. Retrieved 2010-09-10.
  6. Armstrong. Edward: Elisabeth Farnese: The Termagant of Spain, 1892, p 343
  7. Rozoir, Charles du:Le dauphin, fils de Louis XV et père de Louis XVI et de Louis XVIII, 1815, p 56
  8. Beatson. Robert: A political index to the histories of Great Britain and Ireland Volume 2, G. G. J. & J. Robinson, 1788, p 360
  9. Nichols. John: Gentleman's magazine and historical chronicle, Volume 20, E. Cave, 1750, p 236
  10. Coxe, William: Memoirs of the kings of Spain of the House of Bourbon, Longman, Hurst, Rees, Orme, and Brown, 1815, p 72
  11. Campbell. John: The present state of Europe, London, 1761, p 341
  12. 1 2 Artemont. Louis Leopold d' :A sister of Louis XVI, Marie Clotilde of France, Queen of Sardinia (1759–1802), 1911, p 111
  13. Artemont. Louis Leopold d' :A sister of Louis XVI, Marie Clotilde of France, Queen of Sardinia (1759–1802), 1911, p 190
  14. Bertolotti. Davide:Istoria della R. Casa di Savoia, Antonio Fontana, 1830, p 289
  15. 1 2 "Savoia". Retrieved 2010-08-26.

Media related to Maria Antonia of Spain at Wikimedia Commons

See also

Maria Antonia Ferdinanda of Spain
Born: 17 November 1729 Died: 17 September 1785
Italian royalty
Title last held by
Elisabeth Therese of Lorraine
Queen consort of Sardinia
20 February 1773 – 19 September 1785
Title next held by
Marie Clotilde of France
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