Emperor Leopold II

Peter Leopold Joseph Anton Joachim Pius Gotthard was born on the 5th May 1747 and died on the 1st March 1792.

Leopold was Grand Duke of Tuscany from 1765 to 1790 and Holy Roman Emperor and King of Hungary and Bohemia from 1790 to 1792.


Maria Luisa (Maria Ludovica)


Princess Maria Luisa of Spain, Princess of Sicily and Naples was born on the 24th November 1745 and died on the 15th May 1792.

She was married (by proxy) to Archduke Peter Leopold on the 16th February 1764 and they then later married in person at Innsbruck on the 5th August 1765.
A few days after the wedding in Innsbruck, the Archduke’s father and Holy Roman Emperor, Franz I, died and the young Archduke became the new Grand Duke of Tuscany.


Leopold, Grand Duke of Tuscany with his wife Maria Ludovica and their children

In 1790, the Archduke’s brother Emperor Joseph II died and Peter Leopold was elected Holy Roman Emperor and took the name Leopold II.
The new Emperor and his family moved to Vienna.
Leopold II had to reverse many of the reforms and offer new concessions to restore law and order. He gave back the church and the regional governing bodies many of their old powers.
He negotiated with the Hungarian nobility to put an end to the rebellion and confirm Hungary’s right to, henceforth, not be subject to the centralisation of the empire and rule of Vienna, but instead to be ruled by him as King of Hungary in accordance with Hungary’s own administration and laws.

The outbreak of the French Revolution and political changes taking place during the time of Napoleon I were to change the map of Europe. Between 1792 and 1815 the Habsburg Empire was involved in wars and events following the French Revolution and the Napoleonic Wars. French democratic and nationalist ideas were a threat to the Habsburgs. Austria was drawn into the conflict more and more after his son, Francis II, succeeded Leopold II in 1792.

Austrian military involvement began with the successful Austro-Prussian invasion of France.
On the 1st March 1792, the Emperor suddenly died and Maria Ludovica followed him to the grave less than three months later and did not live to see her eldest son Franz being elected as Holy Roman Emperor.


Maria Ludovica with her children pointing to a bust of Maria Theresia.