Maria Theresa was the first and only female ruler of the Habsburg patrimonial lands, from 1740–80. The reign of a woman meant a necessary adaptation of the ruling ceremonies and consequently a change in the use of room sequences. The ceremonies at the Viennese Hofburg Palace, as well as the Schönbrunn, Laxenburg, Holitsch and Hof palaces, are comparatively examined against this backdrop, and their functions as residences, hunting palaces or summer pleasure palaces are defined for the first time. As a result, we have gained the monarch’s statements about her building intentions, which allow us to relativize the frequently sworn topos that she had a preferential, favorite palace. Thus, the present study provides an important basis for further research on these and other royal residences.