What a pity that the marshal Belle-Isle had been reached Prague before it was released by Ludwig Andreas Khevenhüller! Marie-Thérèse of Austria would have been a pleasure to have the insolent French! As well as the cardinal of Fleury! But in this January 2, the archduchess did not intend to hide his pleasure. To celebrate the return of Bohemia to the bosom of the austrian, she is preparing for the quadrille equestrian will be held in the grand arena of the Spanish school. His father had constructed.

Since the death of Charles VI in 1740, his daughter has had setbacks. The european courts have started to challenge his rights of succession. Fortunately, Charles VI proclaimed the Pragmatic Sanction of 1713 the full legitimacy of its progeny is female, in case it would not have a son. Prussians and Bavarians, supported by France, then worked together to dismember the new sovereign. She lost Silesia. And Then Prague. Vienna itself was threatened.

City the brightest

The boxes were empty. The army is exhausted by the ottoman wars. His advisors are too old and especially the pusillanimity! Conscious of his inexperience, but confident that she would be able to replace, Marie-Thérèse fought on all fronts. With passion and enthusiasm. Courage. Tenacity. And she managed to loosen the vise. With the help of God, of the troops of marshal Khevenhüller – he had been trained by the prince Eugene of Savoy – and of the Hungarian hussars rode.

Oh, she well knows, there is still much to do. In particular, to recover Silesia. And especially to oust Charles Albert of Bavaria, who was crowned emperor while she was using the throne of the king of the Romans, to the grand duke Francis Stephen of Lorraine, her husband. It-even as a woman could not claim it. The Wittelsbach loses nothing by waiting!

The Empress Marie-Theresa, queen of Hungary, by Franz Xaver Messerschmidt, 1764-1766 (Vienna, Belvedere palace). MDJ

Marie-Thérèse began to turn, spin, preventing its caméristes of the hair. When she has finished with the vultures that guignent States hereditary Habsburg, it promises to mimic Charles VI, who so embellished the capital.

starting With the Hofburg. Archduchess wants to make Vienna the city with the brightest, the most cheerful of all of Europe, and more musical too. Because Vienna is a melody. It will be his concerto habsburg!

Finally ready for some square dancing, Marie-Thérèse looks in the mirror. She has already given birth to five children including a son. But at twenty-five years old, her waist remained supple, her slender figure well as majestic. Archduchess knows how to play his charm. She loves to seduce and if necessary soften it by pouring a few tears. But Marie-Thérèse may also be stinging. She would like to be able to be a day with Frederick II of Prussia!

Marie-Thérèse wants to think about anything otherwise to carry out the first quadrille on his horse, lipizzan. Around her the riders compete with their ability to take their sword, the simulacrum of a head of a Turk. A custom established in memory of the two sieges conducted against Vienna by the Ottomans. In the stands of the grand arena, the spectators admire the stature of the amazons and the dexterity of the drivers of phaetons armed with a spear.


When the quadrille is finished, the whole Court, to the suite of his sovereign, joined the palace of the Hofburg palace to attend a ball that lasts until the early morning. Marie-Thérèse has not stopped dancing. At dawn, reaching her room, she threw herself on her bed, refusing to accept that her maids undressed. The archduchess did not sleep. She wants to think about the day she will make her solemn entry into Prague, and promises to be magnanimous, but not too much, with the tricksters who have welcomed the French.

For his coronation in Hungary, Marie-Thérèse was wearing a national costume lifting the enthusiasm of the population. She had conquered the best horsemen the magyars on the way up the gallop a hill of sand to hold the top of the mont royal symbolic, his sword, and swearing an oath. Subsequently, she was presented in front of the diet Hungarian to conjure up an army so that it can repel their common enemies. Marie-Thérèse was able to find the words that go straight to the hearts of men. She will be able to give back to the Habsburg Lorraine the imperial throne.


imperial Vienna , Le Figaro Hors-série, 12,90 €, on newsstands and on www.figarostore.fr