|Adelaide of Austria|
|Queen consort of Sardinia|
|Tenure||23 March 1849 – 20 January 1855|
|Born||3 June 1822|
Royal Palace of Milan, Milan
|Died||20 January 1855 (aged 32)|
Royal Palace of Turin, Turin
Basilica of Superga, Turin
|Spouse||Victor Emmanuel II of Sardinia|
|Maria Clotilde, Princess Napoléon|
Umberto I, King of Italy
Amadeo I, King of Spain
Oddone, Duke of Montferrat
Maria Pia, Queen of Portugal
|Father||Archduke Rainer of Austria|
|Mother||Princess Elisabeth of Savoy|
Adelaide of Austria (Adelheid Franziska Marie Rainera Elisabeth Clotilde; 3 June 1822 – 20 January 1855) was the Queen of Sardinia by marriage to Victor Emmanuel II of Sardinia, future King of Italy, from 1849 until 1855 when she died as a result of childbirth. She was the mother of Umberto I of Italy.
She was born at the Royal Palace of Milan to Archduke Rainer of Austria and his wife Princess Elisabeth of Savoy. Named Adelaide, or known as Adele in the family, she held the title of Archduchess of Austria. Her father was the Viceroy of Lombardy-Venetia and was a son of Leopold II, Holy Roman Emperor and Maria Louisa of Spain. Her mother was a member of the House of Savoy and a daughter of the Prince of Carignano, the head of the junior branch of the House of Savoy who ruled the Kingdom of Sardinia. Her younger brother Archduke Rainer Ferdinand later acted as Minister President of Austria. Both of her brothers contracted morganatic marriages.
On 12 April 1842, at the Palazzina di Caccia di Stupinigi, she married Victor Emmanuel of Savoy. The marriage was used to cement relations between the House of Savoy and that of the House of Habsburg but was viewed by many people of the time to increase Austrian power in Italy.
Victor Emmanuel was her first cousin and heir apparent to the King of Sardinia. He was styled the "Duke of Savoy" prior to succession. Adelaide thus took on the style of "Duchess of Savoy". She maintained her style of Imperial and Royal Highness till she became Queen.
Her husband's mother Maria Theresa of Austria retained great influence over her son throughout his life. Her mother-in-law was also her first cousin, both she and Adelaide being grandchildren of Emperor Leopold II. Adelaide and her husband of thirteen years had eight children. Four of these went on to have further progeny. Her husband had various extramarital affairs throughout the marriage. Adelaide was a quiet and pious woman and had had a strict upbringing. She was a loving wife and frequently would give to charity.
In March 1849 her father-in-law King Charles Albert abdicated after the events of the Revolutions of 1848. Her husband succeeded as Victor Emmanuel II of Sardinia. During her tenure as queen consort she had three further children all of which died in infancy. On 8 January 1855 she gave birth to a son who was styled the Count of Genevois. Days later Queen Maria Theresa died on 12 January 1855. Adelaide went to the late queen's funeral on 16 January and on returning to the palace caught a cold. She died four days later at the Royal Palace of Turin having had an acute attack of Gastroenteritis. Another story says that Adelaide died of her burns after stepping on a match that set fire to her clothes. She was buried at the Royal Basilica of Superga. In 1861 her husband would become the first post-unification King of Italy. Her husband wed again to Rosa Vercellana in a morganatic marriage. The present Italian pretender is her direct great-great-grandson.
|Ancestors of Adelaide of Austria|
Media related to Adelaide of Austria at Wikimedia Commons