- Barbara of Portugal
Barbara of Portugal María Bárbara of Bragança Queen consort of Spain Tenure 9 July 1746 – 27 August 1758 Spouse Ferdinand VI of Spain Full name Maria Madalena Josefa Teresa Bárbara House House of Bourbon
House of Braganza
Father John V of Portugal Mother Maria Anna of Austria Born 4 December 1711
Died 27 August 1758(aged 46)
Burial Convent of the Salesas Reales Religion Roman Catholicism
Barbara of Portugal (Maria Madalena Bárbara Xavier Leonor Teresa Antónia Josefa; 4 December 1711 – 27 August 1758) was an Infanta of Portugal and later Queen of Spain as wife of Ferdinand VI of Spain.
Life in Portugal
She was the eldest child of King John V of Portugal and his wife, Archduchess Maria Anna of Austria, a daughter of Emperor Leopold I. She was a first cousin of the future Empress Maria Theresa as well as Maria Josepha of Austria. Her parents were married in 1708, but for nearly three years the queen did not give birth to any children. The King then made a promise to God that if an heir to the throne was born, a great convent would be built to thank Him. On 4 December 1711 Barbara was born, and the Convent of Mafra was built.
She was born as heiress-presumptive to the Portuguese throne, but her status as heiress lapsed when the Queen gave birth to a son, Pedro, two years later. Her title while she was heir to the throne was Princess of Brazil or Princesa do Brasil in its Portuguese form. Pedro died at the age of two, but another son, Joseph, had been born before Pedro's death. Though Barbara was never heiress-presumptive again, she was second-in-line to the throne throughout much of her life.
The Princess was baptised Maria Madalena Bárbara Xavier Leonor Teresa Antónia Josefa, her names honouring a number of saints and relatives. She was usually referred to as Bárbara or Maria Bárbara, a name never before used among Portuguese royals, in honour of Saint Barbara, the saint of her birthday.
She had a fine education and loved music. An accomplished keyboard player, she was a student of Domenico Scarlatti, the famous harpsichordist and composer, from age 9 or 10 until age 14. She was considered to marry Louis XV of France.
Life in Spain
In 1729 at age 18, she married the future Ferdinand VI of Spain, two years her junior. Her brother Joseph married Ferdinand's half-sister, the Spanish Infanta Mariana Victoria, previously rejected bride of Louis XV. The double marriage was meant to repair the Portuguese-Spanish alliance. Scarlatti followed her to Madrid on her marriage and remained with her, composing hundreds of harpsichord sonatas for her. During her husband's reign, Barbara presided over magnificent parties and concerts at the Royal Palace of Aranjuez, which was her favourite retreat.
Although Barbara was not beautiful — her homely looks were thought by observers to cause the prince a visible shock when he was first presented to her — 'Ferdinand the Learned' (as he was called) became deeply attached to her, sharing her passion for music. Ferdinand soon became dependent on Barbara for advice and support; when he ascended the Spanish crown as Ferdinand VI, the French ambassador noted "it is rather Barbara who succeeds Elizabeth [step-mother of Ferdinand] than Ferdinand succeeding Philippe." Barbara was well-educated, adept at languages, an avid reader of many differing subjects, and had a love of music.
The couple produced no children, though Barbara had a stillborn son in 1733. Barbara suffered from severe asthma for most of her life. She became quite overweight later in life. Barbara's death was said to have broken his heart. She died at the Royal Palace of Aranjuez, on the outskirts of Madrid on 27 August 1758.
Ancestors of Barbara of Portugal
Titles, styles, honours and arms
Titles and styles
- 4 December 1711 – 19 October 1712 Her Royal Highness the Princess of Brazil
- 19 October 1712 – 20 January 1729 Her Royal Highness the Infanta Barbara of Portugal
- 20 January 1729 – 9 July 1746 Her Royal Highness the Princess of Asturias
- 9 July 1746 – 27 August 1758 Her Majesty the Queen of Spain
Barbara of PortugalBorn: 4 December 1711 Died: 27 August 1758
- Noel, Charles C. (2004). "'Barbara Succeeds Elizabeth...': The Feminisation and Domestication of Politics in the Spanish Monarchy, 1701–1759". In Campbell Orr, Clarissa. Queenship in Europe 1660–1815: The Role of the Consort. Cambridge University Press. pp. 155–185. ISBN 0521814227.
Spanish royalty Preceded by
Elisabeth of Parma
Queen Consort of Spain
Maria Amalia of Saxony
1st Generation 2nd Generation 3rd GenerationLeonor, Queen of Denmark • Infanta Maria 4th Generation 5th GenerationConstance, Queen of Castile and León • Maria, Lady of Menezes and Orduña • Isabel, Lady of Penela • Infanta Constança • Beatriz, Lady of Lemos 6th GenerationMaria, Queen of Castile and León • Infanta Isabel • Leonor, Queen of Aragon 7th GenerationMaria, Marchioness of Tortosa • Beatriz, Countess of Alburquerque 8th GenerationBeatriz I • Infanta Branca • Isabel, Duchess of Burgundy • Infanta Branca 9th Generation 10th GenerationLeonor, Queen of Portugal and the Algarve • Isabel, Duchess of Braganza • Infanta Catarina • Saint Joana, Princess of Portugal 11th Generation 12th Generation 13th GenerationIsabella Clara Eugenia, Co-Sovereign of the Habsburg Netherlands* • Catherine Michelle, Duchess of Savoy* • Infanta Maria* 14th GenerationAnna, Queen of France* • Infanta Maria* Maria Anna, Holy Roman Empress* • Infanta Margarita Francisca* 15th Generation 16th Generation 17th GenerationBarbara, Queen of Spain 18th Generation 19th GenerationInfanta Maria Isabel • Mariana Vitória, Infanta of Spain • Infanta Maria Clementina 20th Generation 21st GenerationMaria II • Januária Maria, Princess Imperial of Brazil** • Infanta Paula Mariana** • Infanta Francisca** • Infanta Maria Amélia** • Maria das Neves, Duchess of San Jaime • Maria Teresa, Archduchess of Austria • Maria Josepha, Duchess in Bavaria • Adelgundes, Duchess of Guimarães • Maria Ana, Grand Duchess of Luxembourg • Maria Antónia, Duchess of Parma 22nd GenerationInfanta Maria*** • Maria Ana, Crown Princess of Saxony*** • Antónia, Princess of Hohenzollern*** • Isabel, Princess Imperial of Brazil** • Infanta Maria da Glória*** • Leopoldina, Princess Ludwig August of Saxe-Coburg-Kohary** • Maria Teresa, Princess Karl Ludwig of Thurn und Taxis • Isabel Maria, Princess of Thurn und Taxis • Infanta Maria Benedita • Infanta Mafalda • Maria Anna, Hereditary Princess of Thurn und Taxis • Infanta Filippa Maria • Maria Antónia, Mrs. Chanler • Maria Adelaide, Mrs. van Uden 23rd Generationnone 24th GenerationInfanta Maria Ana*** • Infanta Maria Francisca*also an infanta of Spain, **also an imperial princess of Brazil, ***also a princess of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha, Duchess in Saxony
- held the title in her own right
Infantas of Spain by marriage 1st generation 2nd generationnone 3rd generation 4th generationnone 5th generationnone 6th generationnone 7th generationLouise Élisabeth d'Orléans · Infanta Barbara of Portugal · Princess Maria Amalia of Saxony · Princess Louise Élisabeth of France 8th generation 9th generation 10th generation 11th generation 12th generation 13th generationPrincess Mercedes of the Two Sicilies · Princess Alicia of Parma 14th generation 15th generation*also an Infanta in her own right
**did not have a royal or noble title by birth but was admitted as Infanta
Princesses of Asturias
Letizia Ortiz Rocasolano (2004-present)Princess Maria Antonia of Naples and Sicily (1802-1806) · Princess Maria Luisa of Parma (1765-1788) · Infanta Barbara of Portugal (1729-1746) · Louise Élisabeth d'Orléans (1722-1724) · Princess Elisabeth of France (1615-1621) · Mary I of England (1554-1556) · Infanta Maria Manuela of Portugal (1543-1545) · Archduchess Margaret of Austria (1497) · Blanche II of Navarre (1468-1474) · Catherine of Lancaster (1388-1406)
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