Princess Maria Josepha of Saxony (1867–1944)

This article is about Emperor Karl I of Austria's mother. For other people of the same name, see Maria Josepha of Saxony.
Princess Maria Josepha of Saxony
Archduchess and Princess Maria Josepha of Austria; Princess Maria Josepha of Hungary, Bohemia, and Tuscany
Born (1867-05-31)31 May 1867
Dresden, Kingdom of Saxony
Died 28 May 1944(1944-05-28) (aged 76)
Erlangen, Bavaria, Germany
Burial Imperial Crypt
Spouse Archduke Otto Francis of Austria
Issue Charles I of Austria
Archduke Maximilian Eugen
Full name
German: Maria Josepha Luise Philippine Elisabeth Pia Angelika Margarete
House Wettin
Father George of Saxony
Mother Maria Anna of Portugal
Religion Roman Catholic

Princess Maria Josepha of Saxony (31 May 1867 – 28 May 1944) was the mother of Emperor Charles I of Austria and the fifth child of George of Saxony and Infanta Maria Anna of Portugal.

Early life

Maria Josepha Louise Philippina Elisabeth Pia Angelica Margaret was the daughter of the future King George of Saxony (1832–1904) and Infanta Maria Anna of Portugal (1843–1884).


On 2 October 1886 at age nineteen, she married Archduke Otto Franz of Austria, "der Schöne" (the handsome), younger brother of the Archduke Franz Ferdinand who was killed in Sarajevo.

A pious woman, only her strength of religion enabled her to bear the burdens of marriage to the notoriously womanizing "gorgeous Archduke". His frequent absences from his family helped her goal of keeping her children away from his bad influence succeed. Eventually, however, she herself entered into a relationship with the actor Otto Tressler, who had been presented to her by the emperor Franz Joseph, who felt sorry for her because of the adultery of her spouse. Maria Josepha often invited Tressler to her home; he sometimes met her husband and his friends in the doorway. When her husband died, her ability to avoid extravagant displays of grief was much admired. As a widow, she ended her relationship with Tressler, probably because of her sense of what was appropriate behaviour for a widow.

During World War I she nursed the wounded in the Augarten Palace of Vienna, which had been converted into a hospital.

In 1919 she left Austria with her son Emperor Charles I of Austria and his wife, Zita of Bourbon-Parma, and went into exile with them. She lived first in Switzerland and from 1921 in Germany.

She died at Schloss Wildenwart, Upper Bavaria, a property owned by some members of the Royal Family of Bavaria. She is buried in the New Vault of the Imperial Crypt in Vienna, beside her husband.


Princess Maria Josepha with her two sons, 1910.

With Archduke Otto Franz she had issue:

Titles, styles, honours and arms

Titles and styles




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