Marie-Christine, aka The Lucky One - a tale from the Habsbourgs!
What could be one of the most unusual privileges of the 18th century?
A free marriage. Being able to choose your husband / wife.
But Marie-Christine did. And who is this lucky one, you ask? She was the sister of Marie-Antoinette, daughter of the Austrian Empress Marie-Thérèse. She was, then, from the Habsbourg-Lorrène. She was the favourite daughter of her mother, and all that favoritism made her brothers and sisters jealous, including Marie-Antoinette.
She was said to be the prettiest, to be the one with the most talents... She did in fact draw and paint most beautifully. Some of her paintings had scenes of a familiar life in holidays such as St. Nicholas (which corresponds to our Christmas).
The fact that she was her mother's favourite enabled her to plead for several things that her brothers and sisters could not obtain, such as the freedom to marry whom she liked. She wanted to marry Albert de Saxe, but her mother thought that union was not good, thought of Albert as not very important, and at first rejected it.
However, Francis I, Marie-Thérèse husband, the Emperor, died, and Marie-Thérèse entered a great depression. Taking advantage of that state of sadness, Marie-Christine convinced her mother to give her permission for her marriage with Albert.
What happened next? Happily ever after! Well, almost. Marie-Christine and Albert loved each other very much. When she died, he made a monument to her with the inscription: "To the best of wives". One unhappiness of the marriage? They only had a daughter, that died the next day. They had then to adopt Marie-Christine's nephew, Charles-Louis.
Also, Marie-Antoinette never liked her very much; when Marie-Christine visited Marie-Antoinette, she was received in a very cold way.
I think she lead, in the whole, a pretty happy life - for the time!