Born on December 12 1791 in Vienna, the daughter of Austrian emperor Francis I. She was only 19 when she in 1810 married Napoleon Bonaparte, emperor of the same people who had executed her great aunt Marie Antoinette in 1793. The marriage seems to have been a happy one, however, and in 1811 she gave birth to François Charles Joseph Bonaparte. When Napoleon was forced to abdicate in 1814 she moved with young François back to Vienna.

After Napoleon's death in 1821 she married Adam von Neipperg, whom she had met several years earlier. By that time she was already duchess of Parma, Piacenza and Guastalla, and proved to be a competent ruler. After the count's death in 1829 she was driven out of Parma by an uprising. She was later restored to the throne and married Charles-René, Count de Bombelles in 1834. She died on Decemeber 17 1847 in Parma.