Carlota of Mexico

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Carlota of Mexico
Drawing of the royal family of Belgium, The little girl in the middle is Charlotte.
Empress Charlotte in mourning clothes. Photography by Eugène Disdéri, 1867.
The funeral of Empress Charlotte in Laeken, on 22 January 1927.

Charlotte of Belgium (Marie Charlotte Amélie Augustine Victoire Clémentine Léopoldine); 7 June 1840 – 19 January 1927), known by the Spanish version of her name, Carlota, was by birth a Princess of Belgium and member of the House of Wettin in the branch of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha (as such she was also styled Princess of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha and Duchess in Saxony). As the wife of Archduke Maximilian of Austria, Viceroy of Lombardy–Venetia and later Emperor of Mexico, she became Archduchess of Austria (in 1857) and Empress consort of the Second Mexican Empire (in 1864).

Quotes about Carlota of Mexico[edit]

  • Certainly, in such conditions there is enough to seduce those of our young officers whom Belgian neutrality condemns to a rest of which they are somewhat impatient. The honor of carrying with dignity abroad the name of the fatherland and that of defending the august daughter of a beloved sovereign will soon, we have no doubt, fill the ranks of the Belgian-Mexican legion.
  • Whatever opinion one forms of the enterprise to which Archduke Maximilian has just devoted his life, it is not possible for us Belgians to forget that the princess who shares the destinies of the new emperor is also the beloved daughter of our king, that she grew up among us, that our homeland is her own, and that she has the right to count on the sympathies and the wishes of her compatriots .
  • It is understandable that a colonial establishment organized under such conditions cannot fail to prosper. We are also convinced that the example of the Empress' s guards will be followed by a large number of our compatriots who, trusting with reason in the new situation in Mexico, will take advantage of all this set of circumstances so exceptionally advantageous, to to go bring the contribution of their arms and their intelligence to the beautiful work of civilization undertaken by the emperor Maximilian and the empress Charlotte, his august companion.
  • It would even appear that this prince wanted to lay down his crown a month ago and return to Europe after having explained his conduct in a proclamation to his people, but the Empress Charlotte would have thrown herself at his neck, begging him to still maintain the situation and wait until she was able to see the Emperor of the French. Maximilian’s determination is therefore only suspended, and many people continue to believe that the current ruler of Mexico will return to Europe before our soldiers.
  • Will she succeed? We ignore it, but the truth does not allow us to conceal that, under the current conditions of Europe, with the commitments made by the French government, with the state of minds and things in the North of America. , the difficulties are enormous, not to say insurmountable.
    • The Mexican adventure of Maximilian and Charlotte through Belgian eyes. The Mexican Empire in the Newspaper Press (1864-1867). (Wim Bouw), Charlotte and Napoleon Charlotte arrived in Paris on August 9, where she was received rather coolly. Nevertheless, Charlotte negotiated with several political figures, including the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Drouyn De Lhuys. She thought she had convinced him, not knowing that he had already been fired. On 11 August she met Napoleon, but the talks were not very successful. Two days later she negotiated again with Napoleon, but the following day the French Council of Ministers advised the emperor against all further involvement in Mexico. On August 19, Charlotte obtained the definitive “nun” from Napoleon. Discouraged, she went to Miramar's castle. She sent Maximilian a 3-word telegram “Todo es inutil!”. She, too, was clearly beginning to lose heart. Le Bien Public, 13 augustus 1866.

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