The birth of Maria Luisa of Parma: 9 December 1751
Born in Parma, she was christened Luisa María Teresa Ana, after her maternal grandparents and her mother's favourite sister, Anne Henriette of France, but is known to history by the short Spanish form of this name: María Luisa.Her parents had been the Duke and Duchess of Parma since 1749.
Her brother Ferdinand, and her sister Isabella were educated in Parma by Étienne Bonnot de Condillac, a well-known French philosopher. Maria Luisa, was not considered as beautiful as her elder sister, but was still attractive, though she was quite short.
María Luisa's mother tried to engage her to Louis, Duke of Burgundy, heir to the French throne. However, the young duke died in 1761. In 1762, Maria Luisa instead became engaged to her cousin Charles, Prince of Asturias, later King Charles IV of Spain. The wedding took place on 4 September 1765 in La Granja Palace. In 1788, her spouse succeeded his father as Charles IV of Spain, making Maria Luisa queen. On the first meeting between Charles IV and his ministers, Maria Luisa was present, a step which attracted attention and which became the rule during the reign of her spouse. Later in her husband reign
She was unpopular because her poor historical reputation being attributed to her support of pro-French political policies that were not deemed beneficial for Spain in the long term.
In 1808, Charles IV abdicated the throne due to pressure from Napoleon I. Maria Luisa followed him en exile in France and Italy. When Napoleon's army invaded the country, several pamphlets blamed her for the abdication. María Luisa spent some years in France and then in Rome. Both María Luisa and her husband died in Italy in early 1819.
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