Ferdinand II of Portugal

Ferdinand II of Portugal

Infobox Portuguese Royalty
name =Ferdinand II
title =King of Portugal

imgw =200
reign =9 April 183616 September 1837
16 September 1837 - 15 November 1853
reign-type =Consort
predecessor =Maria II
successor =Peter V
spouse =Maria II
issue = Peter V
Infante João, Duke of Beja
Infanta Maria Ana
Infanta Antónia, Princess of Hohenzollern-Sigmaringen
Infante Augusto, Duke of Coimbra
issue-link = #Marriages and descendants
issue-pipe = among others...
royal house =House of Saxe-Coburg-Gotha
father =Prince Ferdinand of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha
mother =Princess Maria Antonia Koháry
date of birth =birth date|1816|10|29
place of birth =Vienna
date of death =death date and age|1885|12|15|1816|10|29
place of death =Lisbon|

Ferdinand of Saxe-Coburg-Gotha (October 29 1816 - December 15 1885), named "Prince Ferdinand Augustus Francis Anthony of Saxe-Coburg-Gotha-Koháry", was King of Portugal and co-ruler with Maria II of Portugal from their marriage in 1836 to her death in 1853. In keeping with Portuguese law, only after the birth of his son in 1837 was he styled Ferdinand II of Portugal. He was regent for his son Pedro V from 1853 to 1855. He was born a German prince, of the House of Saxe-Coburg-Gotha.

Early life

Ferdinand was the son of Prince Ferdinand of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha and his wife, Princess Maria Antonia Koháry. Prince Ferdinand grew up in several places: the family's lands in modern day Slovakia, the Austrian court, and Germany. He was a nephew of Leopold I of Belgium, and a first cousin to his children Leopold II of Belgium and Empress Carlota of Mexico, as well as Queen Victoria of the United Kingdom and her husband Prince Albert.

King of Portugal

According to the Portuguese laws, the husband of a Queen Regnant could only be titled King after the birth of any child from that marriage (that was the reason the Queen's first husband, Auguste, Duke of Leuchtenberg, did not have that title). After the birth of the future Peter V of Portugal, he was proclaimed Ferdinand II of Portugal.

Although it was Maria to whom the ruling power belonged, they were a good team and together resolved many problems in Maria's reign. The King had a very important part in Portuguese political history, acting frequently as regent during his wife's pregnancies.

Eventually, Maria died as a result of the birth of their eleventh child and Ferdinand had to assume regency of Portugal (1853-1855) because his son King Peter V was only 16 years old.

Later life

In 1869 he rejected an offer to the Spanish throne.

Late in his life Ferdinand married the opera singer Elisa Hensler, Countess of Edla.He was an intelligent and artistically-minded man with modern and liberal ideas. He was adept at etching, pottery and painting aquarelles. He was the president of the Royal Academy of Sciences and the Arts, lord-protector of the university of Coimbra and Grand-Master of the Rosicrucians.

In 1838 he built near Sintra the Pena National Palace, a wild architectural fantasy in an eclectic style, full of symbolism that could be compared with the castle Neuschwanstein of king Ludwig II of Bavaria. He spent his last years in this castle with his second wife, receiving the greatest artists of his time.

Marriages and descendants

Ferdinand married Maria II, Queen-regnant of Portugal, daughter of Peter I of Brazil (IV of Portugal). Later in his life, after the death of Maria, he married Elisa Hensler.

ee also

*List of Portuguese monarchs

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