Infanta Isabel Maria of Portugal

Infanta Isabel Maria of Portugal

Infanta Isabel Maria of Portugal (or of Braganza and Borbón; pron. IPA2|izɐ'bɛɫ mɐ'ɾiɐ) (Queluz, July 4, 1801 – Benfica, Lisbon, April 22, 1876 was a Portuguese infanta daughter of King John VI of Portugal and his wife Carlota Joaquina of Borbón.

Her full name was Isabel Mary of Conception Joan Gualberta Anne Francis of Assisi of Paula of Alcântara Antonia Raphaela Michaela Gabrielle Joachina Gonzaga of Braganza and Borbón ("Isabel Maria da Conceição Joana Gualberta Ana Francisca de Assis de Paula de Alcântara Antónia Rafaela Micaela Gabriela Joaquina Gonzaga de Bragança e Bourbon"). She was a titular of the Great-Cross of the Order of Our Lady of Conception; Dame of the orders of Saint Isabel and of the Noble Dames of Mary Louise and awarded with the Starry Cross of Austria.

Due to the fact that Prince Pedro, that was heir to the throne, had just proclaimed the independence of Brazil, Prince Michael was in Vienna, Queen Carlota Joaquina of Borbón was exiled in Queluz and Isabel's older sisters (Maria Teresa and Maria Francisca of Assisi) had married to Spanish infantes, Isabel Maria was chosen to be Regent of the Kingdom until the recently crowned Emperor of Brazil (Pedro I of Brazil and future Pedro IV of Portugal) returned. This happened in 1828 and after a short reign Pedro IV abdicated in favour of his daughter Maria da Glória (who became Maria II of Portugal), who was in London, with the condition that she should marry her uncle Michael. This did not happen and soon a civil war started between absolutists and liberals (called Liberal War) that would end with a liberal victory and defeat and consequent exile of Michael I of Portugal.

Isabel Maria retired from politics and turned her life to religion. She died unmarried in Benfica (at the time not a neighbourhood of Lisbon but a near town) on April 22 1876. She is buried in the national pantheon at the Monastery of São Vicente de Fora.

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