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Marie Caroline

Marie Caroline, 1752–1814, queen of Naples, consort of Ferdinand IV (later Ferdinand I of the Two Sicilies), daughter of Holy Roman Emperor Francis I and Maria Theresa, and sister of Queen Marie Antoinette of France. She was married to Ferdinand, son of Charles III of Spain, in 1768. Strongly influenced by her favorites, Sir John Acton and Emma, Lady Hamilton, she sought to eliminate Spanish influence in the kingdom and to establish close ties with Austria and England. Her court was a center of scandal and intrigue. Late in 1798 she and Ferdinand were forced to flee Naples with the advent of the short-lived Parthenopean Republic set up by the French Revolutionary army. The couple was again expelled from Naples in 1806 by Napoleon; they took up residence in Sicily. Marie was subsequently banished because of her intrigues, and she died at Vienna.

The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.

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