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Maria Amalia: Dresden to Naples

Maria Amalia

On 9 May 1738 Maria Amalia, Princess of Saxony and Poland (1724-1760), married by proxy Carlo, King of the Two Sicilies. She was then thirteen years of age.

Maria Amalia started her bridal journey at the Palace of Pillnitz a short distance from Dresden on the River Elbe. She was accompanied on the forty-one day trip by her brother Electoral Prince Friedrich Christian (1722-63). We are uniquely well informed about this journey because of a wealth of manuscript sources, most of them in the Hauptstaatsarchiv in Dresden. Friedrich Christian kept a diary of the journey in French:

Journal du Voyage de son Altesse Royale Monseigneur le Prince Royal de Pologne &c. Electoral de Saxe &c. Ecrit de sa Propre Main, Tome I. Depuis son Depart de Dresde, jusqu’a son depart de Rome

There is also an official court diary in German:

Reise Ihro Majt. Der neu vermählten Königin von beyden Sicilien Amalia Gebohrner Königl. Pohlnischen und Chur Sächß. Prinzeßin und Sr: Königl. Hoheit Herrn Fridrichs Königl. Pohlnischen, und Chur Fürst. Sächß. Chur Prinzens von Dreßden nach Palmanova und von dar weiter nach Neapolis Mense Majo 1738.

These have been transcribed by Maureen Cassidy-Geiger, who recreated the journey twice by car. With her permission we reproduce here her transcriptions and her photographs. The heading ‘Unpublished Court Diary’ indicates an extract from ‘Reise Ihro Majt. Der neu vermählten Königin von beyden Sicilien’. Where the heading is ‘Comte de Lusace’, Friedrich Christian’s diary is meant: Comte de Lusace was the name he used as an incognito on the trip.

For more information is available on Maureen Cassidy-Geiger’s website:

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