Cecilia Renata of Austria

Cecilia Renata of Austria

Archduchess Cecilia Renata of Austria (de: "Cäcilia Renata von Habsburg, Erzherzogin von Österreich"; pl: "Cecylia Renata Habsburżanka") (July 16, 1611March 24, 1644) was a daughter of Ferdinand II, Holy Roman Emperor, of the House of Habsburg, and Maria Anna of Bavaria.


Cecilia Renata was Queen of Poland and consort to the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth's King Władysław IV Waza. In Poland, she is also known as "Cecylia Renata Rakuszanka" and "Cecylia Renata Austriaczka", both names meaning "Cecilia Renata of Austria", or "Cecylia Renata Habsburżanka", meaning "Cecilia Renata of Habsburg".

Born in 1611 in Graz, she married Władysław on 13 September 1637, and the same day was crowned at St. John's Cathedral in Warsaw. Young and energetic, she soon began organizing the royal court to her liking. She was popular, especially for her politeness — one nobleman wrote in his memoires that she insisted other women sit with her, even though she was queen. She advocated the Habsburg and pro-Catholic point of view and allied herself with the pro-Habsburg faction of chancellor Jerzy Ossoliński and pro-Catholic Albrycht Stanisław Radziwiłł. Her political opponents at the court was the faction of Adam Kazanowski, whose influence over king Władysław, his childhood friend, diminished after her marriage. Kazanowski was allied with Chancellor Piotr Gembicki, who thus became one of her opponents.

Her influence was strong for the first 2–3 years of marriage, and she had much to say about the royal nominations for important official positions. However after 1638/39 when Władysław realised that Habsburgs were prepared to give him little assistance, her power waned, as he started to disregard her advice.

Her two children died in childhood (Zygmund Kazimierz: 1 April 16409 August 1647; Maria Anna Izabella: 8 January 1642 – 1643). Cecilia Renata died in 1644 [A few sources give her date of death as 1643.] in Vilnius.


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1= Cecilia Renata of Austria
2= Ferdinand II, Holy Roman Emperor
3= Maria Anna of Bavaria
4= Charles II of Austria
5= Maria Anna of Bavaria (1551-1608)
6= William V, Duke of Bavaria
7= Renata of Lorraine
8= Ferdinand I, Holy Roman Emperor
9= Anna of Bohemia and Hungary
10=Albert V, Duke of Bavaria
11=Anna of Austria (1528-1590)
12=Albert V, Duke of Bavaria
13=Anna of Austria (1528-1590)
14=Francis I, Duke of Lorraine
15=Christina of Denmark



ee also

* Kazimierzowski Palace

External links

* [http://www.jarema.art.pl/Gk.htm Discussion of the portrait, in Polish] It is unknown whether this picture presents Cecylia Renata or Gryzelda Konstancja z Zamoyskich Wiśniowiecka, as the historical sources are indecisive.
* [http://www.angelfire.com/mi4/polcrt/Crowns.html The Significance of the Crown] Portrait of King Sigismund II Augustus by Peeter Danckers de Rij


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