Daughter of the Emperor Francis I she got married to Napoleone I in 1810. Regent of France during the Russia campaign she did not show great interest for the goverment business.
After the Napoleon's abdication she went with his son, the young King of Rome, to Vienna at her father's court where she remained up to the Vienna Congress in 1815 which assigned her the Dukedom of Parma, Piacenza e Guastalla.
She arrived in the Dukedom on 19 April 1816 by crossing the border on the Po river to meet with the representatives of the new State.
She spent her first night in Parma at the Colorno Palace, and the recollection of that night should have been so dear to her as to make her assume the title of "Countess of Colorno" whenever she wanted to preserve her incognito. She governed with wisdom and humanity, she was beloved by her subjects. After Napoleon's death she married the Niepperg Count and left a widow a short time later, she spent her last times with the Bombelles Count whom she married in 1834.
The Duchess died on 17 December 1847 and she was buried, on her wish, in Viennain the Capuccini's crypt where even today her "subjects" still bring her the sweet-smelling violets she loved so much and to which she has linked her name.