Princess Isabella of Bavaria

Princess Isabella of Bavaria (Marie Elisabeth Luise Amalie Elvire Blanche Eleonore; 31 August 1863 26 February 1924) was the third child and eldest daughter of Prince Adalbert of Bavaria and his wife Infanta Amalia of Spain. By her marriage to Prince Thomas, Duke of Genoa, she became referred to as the Duchess of Genoa.

Isabella of Bavaria
Duchess of Genoa
Born(1863-08-31)31 August 1863
Nymphenburg Palace, Munich, Bavaria
Died26 February 1924(1924-02-26) (aged 60)
Rome, Italy
IssueFerdinando, 3rd Duke of Genoa
Filiberto, 4th Duke of Genoa
Bona Margherita, Princess Konrad of Bavaria
Adalberto, Duke of Bergamo
Adelaide, Princess of Arsoli
Eugenio, 5th Duke of Genoa
Full name
German: Marie Elisabeth Luise Amalie Elvire Blanche Eleonore
Italian: Maria Isabella Luisa Amalia Elvira Bianca Eleonora
FatherPrince Adalbert of Bavaria
MotherInfanta Amalia of Spain


Isabella was one of five children born to Prince Adalbert of Bavaria and his wife Infanta Amalia of Spain.

Isabella's father Adalbert was the fourth son of Ludwig I of Bavaria and Therese of Saxe-Hildburghausen. Her mother Amalia was a daughter of Infante Francisco de Paula of Spain, a younger brother of Ferdinand VII of Spain. Her mother was also a sister of Francis, Duke of Cádiz, the consort of Ferdinand VII's daughter Isabella II of Spain.

Marriage and children

On April 14, 1883 at Nymphenburg, Bavaria, Isabella married Prince Thomas, Duke of Genoa.[1] He was the only son of Prince Ferdinand, Duke of Genoa and his wife Princess Elisabeth of Saxony. He was also a brother-in-law through his sister Margherita of Savoy of Umberto I of Italy, and thus was an uncle of the future King Victor Emmanuel III of Italy. Their union was the fourth time the houses of Wittelsbach and Savoy had been united in marriage.[1]

The wedding was regarded by one spectator as "remarkable for good taste and simplicity".[1] Ludwig II of Bavaria (Isabella's cousin) did not attend, as he rarely went to public events. His absence, observed one attendee, meant that the wedding guests "could enjoy themselves in an atmosphere of conviviality which is rarely found in Court festivities".[1]

Isabella and Thomas had the following children:

Ferdinando, 3rd Duke of Genoa and Prince of Udine18841963Married Maria Luisa Alliaga Gandolfi dei conti di Ricaldone; no issue
Filiberto, 4th Duke of Genoa and Duke of Pistoia18951990Married Princess Lydia von Arenberg; no issue
Princess Maria Bona of Savoy-Genoa18961971Married Prince Konrad of Bavaria; had issue
Adalberto, Duke of Bergamo18981982General during WWII, no issue
Princess Maria Adelaide of Savoy-Genoa25 April 19048 February 1979Married Leone Massimo, Prince of Arsoli (great-grandson of Princess Marie Caroline of Naples and Sicily); no issue
Eugenio, 5th Duke of Genoa and Duke of Ancona13 March 19068 December 1996Married Princess Lucia of Bourbon-Two Sicilies; had issue

Later life

In 1905, Isabella and her husband, as well as other members of the House of Savoy attended a ceremony in honor of the beatification of a French priest.[2] It was attended by Pope Pius X, along with 1,000 French pilgrims and several thousand worshipers of other nationalities, as well as twenty-two Cardinals and the Papal Court.[2] The event was notable as it was the first time members of the House of Savoy had assisted at a religious function in the presence of the Pope.[2]

As Duke and Duchess of Genoa, Isabella and her husband often attended other royal functions as representatives of the House of Savoy. For instance, in 1911 they attended the unveiling of a large monument of Victor Emmanuel II of Italy in Rome.[3] The event had nearly one million witnesses, and was also attended by dowager queens Maria Pia of Portugal and Margherita of Italy and the Duke and Duchess of Aosta.[3]

In 1913, Isabella had a near escape from death. While anointing her arms and neck with a preparation for rheumatism, she became too close to a lamp, causing the preparation to ignite.[4] She only survived because her maid quickly smothered the flames.[4]


On 26 February 1924, Isabella died of bronchial pneumonia in Rome.[5] She had been ill for several days beforehand.[5] Thomas would die seven years later, in 1931.

Titles, styles, and honours

Titles and styles

  • 31 August 1863 – 21 May 1883: Her Royal Highness Princess Isabella of Bavaria
  • 21 May 1883 – 26 February 1924: Her Royal Highness The Duchess of Genoa




  1. "Princess Isabella's Wedding" (PDF), The New York Times, 21 May 1883
  2. "Quirinal and the Pope", The New York Times, Rome, 9 January 1905
  3. "Italy's Tribute to Victor Emmanuel", The New York Times, Rome, 5 June 1911
  4. "Flames Imperil Duchess of Genoa", The New York Times, Rome, 23 March 1913
  5. "Duchess of Genoa Dies in Rome", The New York Times, Rome, 27 February 1924
Princess Isabella of Bavaria
Born: 31 August 1863 Died: 26 February 1924
Italian royalty
Preceded by
Elisabeth of Saxony
Duchess consort of Genoa
Succeeded by
Maria Luisa Alliaga Gandolfi dei conti di Ricaldone
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