Portrait of Elisabeth Christine of Brunswick-Wolfenbüttel (1691-1750), Holy Roman Empress, Queen consort of Bohemia and Hungary, Archduchess of Austria (1711-1740), 1735
Elisabeth Christine of Brunswick-Wolfenbüttel (28 August 1691 – 21 December 1750) was Princess of Brunswick-Wolfenbüttel, Holy Roman Empress, German Queen, Queen of Bohemia and Hungary; and Archduchess of Austria by her marriage to Emperor Charles VI. She was renowned for her delicate beauty and also for being the mother of Empress Maria Theresa. She was the longest serving Holy Roman Empress. Elisabeth Christine was the eldest daughter of Louis Rudolph, Duke of Brunswick-Lüneburg and his wife Princess Christine Louise of Oettingen-Oettingen. At the time of the wedding, Charles was fighting for his claim to the Spanish throne against the French candidate Philip, so he was living in Barcelona. In 1711, Charles left for Vienna to succeed as Emperor. He left Elisabeth Christine behind in Spain, appointing her as General Governor of Catalonia in his absence. She ruled Catalonia alone until 1713, when the war ended with Philip recognized by all of Austria's allies. Her official role as regent had been to sustain the morale of Charles' Catalan subjects, but Martino claimed that she actually governed more effectively than Charles had during his Spanish reign. She then joined her husband in Austria.
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