Princess Maria Luisa of Bourbon-Parma (17 January 1870 – 31 January 1899) was the eldest daughter of Robert I, the last reigning Duke of Parma. She became Princess-consort of Bulgaria upon her marriage to Ferdinand of Bulgaria, the then prince-regnant (who became Tsar after her death). She was the mother of Tsar Boris III of Bulgaria.

Marie Louise was born in Rome in 1870 as Maria Luisa Pia Teresa Anna Ferdinanda Francesca Antonietta Margherita Giuseppina Carolina Bianca Lucia Apollonia di Borbone-Parma, the eldest daughter of Robert I, Duke of Parma and his first wife, Princess Maria Pia of Bourbon-Two Sicilies. The couple produced eleven more children before Maria Pia died in childbirth in 1882. Several of these twelve were born with severe mental retardation. Later, Duke Roberto re-married and had twelve more children. Marie Louise, who was twelve at the time of her mother's death, was brought up in Biarritz and Switzerland under the care of English governesses. Fluent in five languages, she liked painting and music. Her talents playing the guitar and the piano were judged to be well above the average. She was also well read and knew a lot of Dante and Leopardi by heart.

In 1892, her father arranged her marriage to the then reigning Prince of Bulgaria, Ferdinand of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha. The negotiations were conducted between Duke Robert and Ferdinand's mother, Princess Clémentine of Orléans.

The engagement was celebrated at the Castle of Schwartzau, the residence of the Bourbon-Parma family in Austria. Marie-Louise and Ferdinand had never met prior to that day. Princess Clémentine, who was present on that occasion, described her future daughter-in-law in a letter to Queen Victoria as "Unhappily not very pretty, it is the only thing which is lacking, since she is charming, good, very witty, intelligent and very likable". The wedding took place on 20 April 1893 at the Villa Pianore in Lucca, Italy, the residence of Duke Roberto in Italy. Marie Louise was twenty three, nine years younger than Ferdinand. The couple wasted no time producing an heir, with son Boris born nine months and ten days later.
Princess of Bulgaria

Marie Louise was not loved by her husband. However, he made sure that in order to secure his lineage on the Bulgarian throne, she would bear him children. Under pressure from his subjects and looking to be recognized as Bulgaria's sovereign by the Russian emperor, Ferdinand wanted to have their eldest son, Boris, converted to the Bulgarian Orthodox Church in the summer of 1895. Marie Louise, pregnant, argued bitterly against her husband's actions, with the support of her father and her mother-in-law.[citation needed] The second child received baptism with Roman Catholic rites. However, unable to avoid Boris's conversion, Marie Louise, who had threatened to leave the country, left Sofia for Beaulieu in the south of France, the same day.

In May 1896 Marie Louise returned to Bulgaria. In the summer, she went to London with her husband for Queen Victoria's Diamond Jubilee, giving birth the following January to Princess Eudoxia. In July 1898 with her husband and their four year old, Boris, they visited St Petersburg at the invitation of Nicholas II of Russia, and Marie Louise made a success of the visit.

Disillusionment in her private life and bearing four children in five years affected her frail health. Suffering from pneumonia, Marie Louise died in Sofia, twenty four hours after giving birth to her fourth child. Aged just 29, she was buried in the Roman Catholic Cathedral of St Louis of France in Plovdiv.

 Boris III, Tsar of Bulgaria (1894–1943)
 Prince Kiril of Bulgaria (1895–1945)
 Princess Eudoxia of Bulgaria (1898–1985)
 Princess Nadezhda of Bulgaria (1899–1958), married Duke Albert of Württemberg
Show all items in this set…

Similar Styles

  • Olfactive Studio Autoportrait Candle
    Olfactive Studio's Autoportrait candle is set in a lacquered glass vessel with a metal lid reminiscent of a camera lens. Inspired by the intimacy of a self-portrait, as imagined by perfumer Nathalie Lorson, the warm, addictive scent features a heart of woody notes accented by crisp elemi and vetiver. All Olfactive Studio fragrances are inspired by a picture, and photographer Luc Lapotre’s captivating image of a small figure and a dreamy sky reflected in rippling water provided the concept for this soothing scent. Top notes: elemi. . Middle notes: Siamese benzoin. . Base notes: cedarwood, vetiver. . Burn time: 80 hours (approximately). . 10.6 oz/300g single-wick candle. . 4"/10cm height, 4"/10cm diameter (approximately). . Wax. Vessel: lacquered glass/metal. . Made in France. .
  • House of Habsburg 3
  • Pre-Owned Isabel Marant Ankle Boots Sz 41
    More info
    Taupe suede isabel marant round-toe ankle boots with tonal stitching, creme leather panel at vamps, silver-tone grommets, wooden heels and lace closures at uppers.3* light wear throughout, there was a stitch repair that was hand sewn at one corner (see last photo). Amazing shoes nonetheless and price reduced drastically - final sale!measurements: heels 4""size: 41material: suede, leather made in italy
  • Italian Royalty & Nobility 2
  • S'well Neptune Bottle, 17 oz.
    S'Well's stylish double-walled water bottle is vacuum-sealed to keep drinks hot or cold for hours.
  • Slavic Royalty & Nobility
  • Edgar Degas 'Dancer Tilting' Hand Painted Framed Canvas Art
    Hand painted oil reproduction of a famous Degas painting, Dancer Tilting. The original masterpiece was created in 1883. Today it has been carefully recreated detail-by-detail, color-by-color to near perfection. Edgar Degas was born in Paris in 1834 and studied art from a young age. His most popular paintings were and still are his ballerina paintings like The Dance Class, Star Dancer (On Stage), and Dance Studio at the Opera. Asymmetrical compositions like Two Dancers on Stage show the influence of the Japanese prints in which Degas became interested. His painting career was prematurely ended by failing eyesight, and he died in Paris in 1917. This work of art has the same emotions and beauty as the original. Why not grace your home with this reproduced masterpiece? It is sure to bring many admirers! Frame Description: Veine D' Or Bronze Scoop - Bronze and Rich Brown Finish. Painting arrives ready to hang and with a Certificate of Authenticity. Artist: Edgar Degas Title: Dancer Tilting Product type: Canvas Art Style: Traditional Format: Vertical Size: Large Subject: People Image dimensions: 36 inches x 24 inches Outside dimensions: 41.5 inches high x 29.5 inches wide x 2 inches deep Orientation: Rectangle, Vertical, Portrait Subject: People, Portrait Type: Hand-Painted Art, Fine Art, Framed Art Material: Canvas, Wood, Oils Style: Traditional, Museum Masters Framed: Framed Size: Large Factory sealed boxes cannot be returned if opened. Size: Large. Color: Bronze.
  • Jimmy Choo Women 110mm Marina Leather Ankle Boots
    More info
    110mm Wooden heel . Self tie closure . Side cutouts. Leather sole
  • ''Gilded Hydrangea I'' Framed Wall Art
    Bring your love of flowers inside with this framed wall art. 21.63''H x 21.63''W Landscape or portrait display Wood, acrylic glaze, paper Attached hanging wire Hanging hardware included Wipe clean Model no. DSW1418470 Size: Medium. Color: Brown. Gender: Unisex. Age Group: Adult. Material: Acrylic/Wood/Paper.
  • Le Creuset Marseille Signature 3.5-Qt. Round French Oven
    Le Creuset Signature 3.5-qt. Round French Oven. The conveniently sized round French oven guarantees frequent use in any kitchen. Filled with macaroni and cheese, it's the perfect dish to carry to a potluck dinner, and the contents will still be warm when you arrive. Or make a one-pot meal for two with leftovers for another day.This updated kitchen classic enhances the cooking process by evenly distributing heat and locking in the optimal amount of moisture. With ergonomic handles and an advanced enamel interior tha
  • NOVICA Woman with Cat Original Signed Painting
    Staring straight into the artist's eyes a beautiful woman poses with her loyal cat in her arm. Uninhibited by her nudity she smiles. Ney Cardoso paints her portrait with acrylics each stroke of color a testimony to his unique artistry. In Cardoso's painting a confident sense of serenity emanates from the inspired canvas. Titled Desinibida in Portuguese.
  • Lucky Pabla Peeptoe Bootie
    More info
    Similar item
    Lucky Pabla Peeptoe bootie. Leather shoe. Wooden heel. Padded footbed. Side zipper. Heel height: 3.5 inches.
  • Big Canvas Co. San Diego Zoo 'African Lion Male Portrait' Stretched Canvas Art
    This hand-crafted stretched canvas of San Diego Zoo 'African Lion male portrait' is a museum-quality reproduction of the original work. Shipped to you finished and ready-to-hang, it is a welcome addition to any type of decor. Artist: San Diego Zoo Title: African Lion male portrait Product type: Stretched canvas Style: Contemporary Format: Vertical Size: Large Subject: Photography Image dimensions: 36 inches high x 24 inches wide x 1.5 inches deep Outer dimensions: 36 inches high x 24 inches wide x 1.5 inches deep This custom-made item will ship within 1-10 business days. Size: Large.
  • Le Creuset Caribbean Signature 5-Qt. Oval French Oven
    Le Creuset Signature 5-qt. Oval French Oven. The perfect size and shape for roasting a ham or small turkey, the 5-qt. oval French oven is an ideal piece to have at holiday time. But it's useful at any time of year for preparing classics like coq au vin or arroz con pollo.This updated kitchen classic enhances the cooking process by evenly distributing heat and locking in the optimal amount of moisture. With ergonomic handles and an advanced interior enamel that resists chipping and cleans easily, Le Creuset's Fre

Love this look? Get more styling ideas