|Date of birth||Turin, Province of Turin, Piedmont, Italy|
|Date of death||Dec 28, 1782 Dresden, Dresden Directorate District, Saxony, Germany|
|Authority||VIAF id ISNI id Library of congress id|
Maria Carolina of Savoy (Maria Carolina Antonietta Adelaide; 17 January 1764 – 28 December 1782) was a Princess of Savoy from her birth. She was the youngest daughter of the future Victor Amadeus III of Sardinia and married in 1781 to the Electoral Prince of Saxony. She died of Smallpox aged eighteen.
Born to the Duke and Duchess of Savoy at the Royal Palace of Turin, she was the couples tenth child and sixth daughter.
Her sisters included the future "grand daughters in law" of Louis XV of France, Princess Maria Giuseppina, who married the future Louis XVIII of France in 1771 and Princess Maria Teresa, wife of the future Charles X of France, married in 1773. Her sisters brother in law was the unfortunate Louis XVI of France.
Her brothers included the last three kings of Sardinia from the mainline; the future Charles Emmanuel IV, Victor Emmanuel I and Charles Felix of Sardinia. Her father became king of Sardinia in 1773 at the death of her grandfather Charles Emmanuel III of Sardinia who had ruled Sardinia for 43 years.
Her father decided that Maria Carolina would marry Prince Anthony of Saxony, who at the time was the Electoral Prince of Saxony. He was the fifth but third surviving son of Frederick Christian, Elector of Saxony, and Maria Antonia of Bavaria. Anthony's first cousins, included the future Louis XVIII of France and Charles X of France, Maria Carolina's brothers in law. The couple also were joint first cousins of Charles IV of Spain and Ferdinand I of the Two Sicilies, Maria Carolina through her Spanish mother and Anthony through his father. Another first cousin of Maria Carolina was the famous princesse de Lamballe
Despite the pleas of Maria Carolina, she was married by proxy at the Palazzina di caccia of Stupinigi on 29 September 1781 followed by another ceremony in Dresden on 24 October 1781 with her actual groom. The celebrations in Savoy were lavish with parties at the Royal Palace of her birth and at the Palazzo Gontieri.
Maria Carolina left her home reluctantly in September 1781. Her family accompanied her as far as Vercelli when she had to be pushed out of the carriage to depart. She arrived at Augsburg, modern day Germany on 14 October. Upon her arrival, she ranked as one of the highest females at the Saxon court, Anthony's mother Maria Antonia of Bavaria died in 1780. The highest ranking female was Amalie of Zweibrücken-Birkenfeld, wife of Frederick Augustus III, then the ruler Elector of Saxony.
Not happy with her adopted home, she caught Smallpox and died in Dresden 28 December 1782. Popular with her native land, she was remembered in an old folk song composed in her honour after her early death:
"Principessa Maria Carolina Antonietta
di Savoia! Lo sposo da me scelto v'aspetta:
il Duca di Sassonia: Marcantonio Clemente."
...Così parlava il padre, il Re, solennemente— Guido Gozzano, Poesie Sparse, Carolina di Savoia.
After her death, Anthony married Maria Theresa of Austria and had four children all of which died in infancy. Her husband succeeded as King of Saxony in 1827 at the age of 71. She is buried at crypt number 30 at the Katholische Hofkirche, Dresden.
Titles and styles
- 17 January 1764 – 29 September 1781 Her Royal Highness Princess Maria Carolina of Savoy
- 29 September 1781 – 28 December 1782 Her Royal Highness the Electoral Princess of Saxony