Maria Isabel of Braganza

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Maria Isabel
Maria Isabel of Portugal in front of the Prado in 1829 by Bernardo López y piquer.jpg
Portrait by Bernardo López y Pique, depicting Maria Isabel in front of Prado (1829)
Queen consort of Spain
Tenure29 September 1816 – 26 December 1818
Born19 May 1797
Palace of Queluz, Portugal
Died26 December 1818(1818-12-26) (aged 21)
Royal Palace of Aranjuez, Aranjuez, Spain
Burial
Spouse
(m. 1816)
Issue
Detail
Infanta María Luisa Isabel
Infanta María Luisa Isabel
Names
Maria Isabel Francisca de Assis Antónia Carlota Joana Josefa Xavier de Paula Micaela Rafaela Isabel Gonzaga de Bragança
HouseBraganza
FatherJohn VI of Portugal and Brazil
MotherCarlota Joaquina of Spain
ReligionRoman Catholicism

Maria Isabel of Braganza (Maria Isabel Francisca de Assis Antónia Carlota Joana Josefa Xavier de Paula Micaela Rafaela Isabel Gonzaga; 19 May 1797 – 26 December 1818) was an Infanta of Portugal who became Queen of Spain as the second wife of Ferdinand VII of Spain.

Early years[edit]

Maria Isabel, born Maria Isabel Francisca de Assis Antónia Carlota Joana Josefa Xavier de Paula Micaela Rafaela Isabel Gonzaga, was born to John VI of Portugal and Carlota Joaquina of Spain on 19 May 1797. She was born as their third child and second daughter. The marriage between her father and mother was unhappy, Carlota Joaquina attempting to have King John VI deemed insane.[1]

In 1807 Napoleon invaded Portugal, and the royal family unwillingly fled to Brazil. Maria Isabel’s mother Carlota sent her eldest surviving son, Pedro, to join his father and grandmother onboard the ship Principe Real whilst Carlota and the rest of her children would board the Affonso d’Albuquerque.[1]

Upon their arrival, Carlota and her children were forced to shave their heads and wear white muslin hats.[1]

Upbringing[edit]

Maria Isabel and her siblings were carefully educated by her mother liberally. Maria Isabel was noted to be kind, balanced and shy, and was much like her father within her personality.

Marriage[edit]

Portrait of Maria Isabel by Vicente López Portaña, attributed to Bernardo López y Pique (1829)
Portrait of Maria Isabel by Vicente López Portaña, attributed to Bernardo López y Pique (1829)

On 20 March 1816, Queen Maria I of Portugal perished. Due to this, Maria Isabel’s father John became the King of Portugal and Brazil. On 22 February 1816 marriage contracts between Ferdinand VII of Spain and Maria Isabel were officially signed; they would soon marry 29 September 1816.[2][3] Ferdinand was 32 years old and Maria Isabel was 19.

Towards the end 1816 Maria Isabel and Ferdinand were married, and then settled in Madrid.[2] There, Maria Isabel was then quickly pregnant. Maria Isabel gave birth to a daughter, who they named María Luisa Isabel, on 21 August 1817. María Luisa Isabel died four-five months later.[1][2]

Death[edit]

Maria Isabel was pregnant soon after the birth of María Luisa Isabel, but the birth was indeed a difficult one:[4] the baby was in breech and the physicians soon found that the child had died.[5] Maria Isabel stopped breathing soon thereafter and the doctors thought she was dead.

Maria Isabel’s sister protested against the doctors' thoughts on presuming her dead.[2] The king, however, ordered a fatal caesarean.[2] When they started cutting her stomach to extract the dead fetus, she suddenly shouted in pain and collapsed on her bed, bleeding heavily. She died soon afterwards on 26 December 1818 in the Palace of Aranjuez, and was buried at the Escorial — the royal site of San Lorenzo de El Escorial.[6]

Legacy[edit]

Queen Maria Isabel's dedication and affection for art led her to gather many treasures from the past and create a royal museum, which would end up being the beginnings of Museo del Prado. It opened on 19 November 1819, a year after the queen's death.[7]

Issue[edit]

Children of Queen Maria Isabel of Portugal
Name Lifespan Notes
María Luisa Isabel
Infanta María Luisa Isabel
21 August 1817 –
9 January 1818
Died in infancy, four months after birth.
María Luisa Isabel
Infanta María Luisa Isabel
26 December 1818 Stillborn. Given the same name as her elder sister.[8]

Ancestors[edit]

Honours and arms[edit]

Coat of arms of Maria Isabel of Portugal, Queen of Spain

See also[edit]

Napoleonic Wars

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d "Maria Isabel of Braganza - An obstetric tragedy". History of Royal Women. 10 July 2020. Retrieved 16 March 2022.
  2. ^ a b c d e "María Isabel de Braganza, what could have been | Timeless Women 5". Fascinating Spain (in Spanish). Retrieved 16 March 2022.
  3. ^ María Isabel de Braganza: la reina del Prado : edición conmemorativa del bicentenario de la Fundación Museo del Prado (1819-2019). Boletín Oficial del Estado. 2019. ISBN 978-84-340-2547-9.
  4. ^ "María Isabel de Braganza, what could have been | Timeless Women 5". Fascinating Spain (in Spanish). Retrieved 16 March 2022.
  5. ^ natashamoura (26 December 2018). "On this day… died Maria Isabel of Braganza". Women'n Art. Retrieved 16 March 2022.
  6. ^ María Isabel de Braganza: la reina del Prado : edición conmemorativa del bicentenario de la Fundación Museo del Prado (1819-2019). Boletín Oficial del Estado. 2019. ISBN 978-84-340-2547-9.
  7. ^ "La Institucion" (in Spanish). Museo del Prado. Retrieved 5 May 2020.
  8. ^ Geneall.net (retrieved 30 March 2012).
Maria Isabel of Braganza
Born: 19 May 1797 Died: 26 December 1818
Spanish royalty
Vacant
Title last held by
Julie Clary
Queen consort of Spain
1816–1818
Vacant
Title next held by
Maria Josepha Amalia of Saxony

External links[edit]