CASTELLO DI MIRAMARE - MUSEO STORICO

web site terms of use

The History - Charlotte of Belgium

1840 - june 7
The princess Marie Charlotte of Sassonia-Coburgo-Gotha was born in Laeken and she was the youngest and sole female child of Leopold I King of Belgium and his second wife Louise Marie of Orléans.

1850
On her mother’s death she was placed in the care of her governess, the Countess Denise of Hulst, of whom she was  deeply fond.

1856
During a ball at the palace of Laeken Charlotte met the Archduke of Austria Ferdinand Maximilian.

1856 - december 23
She was officially engaged to Maximilian.

1857 - july 27
She married Maximilian and they left for a honeymoon through Europe, visiting  Schönbrunn, Trieste and Venezia.

1857 - september 6
She officially entered Milan, capital of the Lombardy-Veneto region,  with Maximilian, its previously appointed Civil Governor.

1859 - july
After having resigned  from the post of Governor of Lombardy – Veneto  Maximilian and Charlotta moved to Trieste, where they came to live first in the Castelletto and then in the Castle itself.
During a voyage started in November with Maximilian, Charlotte stayed for some months in Funchal, on Madeira Island, while Maximilian went to Brazil.

1864 - april 14
Charlotte, with Maximilian, left Miramare for Mexico where, as Empress, she

devoted herself to the needs of the local population.

1866 - july 13
When military and economic aid dried up, Charlotte set off for Europe in search of support from Napoleon III and Pope Pius IX.

1866 - august
She arrived in Paris where, after many vain attempts, she obtained an audience with Napoleon III.

1866 - august 19
Napoleon III communicated to Charlotte that France could do nothing for Mexico.

1866 - september 27
She obtained a Papal audience, but Pius IX went back on his previous promises. Charlotte began to show signs of the mental breakdown from which she never recovered.

1866 - october 9
Back in Miramare, Charlotte was placed in the care of the doctors Riedel and Jilek, who diagnosed her state of madness.

1867
Charlotte was kept in the dark about the tragic death of Maximilian for many months.

1867 - july 27
She was brought back to Belgium: she never returned to Miramare.

1927 - january 19
Charlotte died in Bouchot. Her mortal remains rest in the Church of Nôtre Dame in Laeken.