05.04.

1472: Bianca Maria Sforza: The Empress who was Married at the Age of Two and Widowed at Ten

1472: Bianca Maria Sforza: The Empress who was Married at the Age of Two and Widowed at Ten
Photo Credit To Wikipedia Commons

Story Highlights

  • Historical event:
  • 5 April 1472
  • Bianca Maria Sforza married when she was about two years old, and she married her first cousin - Philibert of Savoy. He was 8 years old and was the son of her uncle (mother's brother).

The wealthy Italian aristocrat Bianca Maria Sforza was born on this day. Her father was the powerful Duke of Milan named Galeazzo Maria Sforza.

The Sforza family had a big role in Renaissance Italy. Namely, as the Dukes of Milan, they ruled rich Lombardy, which was one of the most developed and culturally important areas in the world at the time.

Bianca’s father was allegedly very cruel. There are claims that he liked to torture the enemies he defeated, and allegedly raped the wives and daughters of Milanese nobles.

Bianca Maria Sforza married when she was not even two years old, to her first cousin – Philibert of Savoy. He was 8 years old at that time and was the son of her uncle (mother’s brother).

It is interesting that Bianca Maria Sforza was left a widow at the age of 10, since her husband died when he was only 17.

Bianca Maria was married for the second time when she was 21 years old, to the famous Maximilian of Habsburg. He was also a widower, and already a German king. At her wedding, she wore a dress with 80 ornaments made of precious stones. She brought her husband a rich dowry of 400,000 ducats.

In the year 1508, Maximilian became Holy Roman Emperor, and Bianca Maria, as his wife, became Empress. She died in the alpine city of Innsbruck when she was only 38 years old. She had no children with the Emperor.

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