Infanta Maria Josefa of Spain

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Maria Josefa of Spain
Mengs - Infanta Maria Josefa.jpg
Born (1744-07-06)6 July 1744
Gaeta, Kingdom of Naples
Died 8 December 1801(1801-12-08) (aged 57)
Royal Palace of Madrid, Madrid, Spain
Burial El Escorial, Spain
Full name
Spanish: Maria Josefa Carmela de Borbón y Sajonia
House Bourbon
Father Charles III of Spain
Mother Maria Amalia of Saxony
Religion Roman Catholicism

Maria Josefa of Spain (María Josefa Carmela; 6 July 1744 – 8 December 1801) was a Princess of Naples and Sicily by birth. At the accession of her father to the Spanish throne as Charles III, she became an Infanta of Spain. Born and raised in Naples, she arrived in Spain with her family in October 1759, at age fifteen. She lived at the court of her father and later with her brother Charles IV of Spain. She remained unmarried.


Infanta Maria Josefa (1800) by Goya, preliminary sketch for the group portrait of The Family of Charles IV

Princess María Josefa of Naples and Sicily was born in Gaeta, Naples. She received the name of her maternal grandmother, Maria Josepha of Austria. Her father had been King of Naples and Sicily as part of a Personal Union since 1734. Her parents married in 1738 and Maria Josefa was their first daughter to survive over the age of 5. Her parents' fourth child, at the time of her birth she had an older sister María Isabel Ana (1743–1749).

Her younger sister Princess Maria Luisa was chosen over Maria Josefa (1764) to marry the then Grand Duke of Tuscany, son of Maria Theresa.

As a princess of Naples and Sicily, she was an Infanta of Spain through her father. This entitled Maria Josefa to the style of Royal Highness. Her parents were a devoted couple; her mother Maria Amalia of Saxony died barely a year after the family's arrival to Spain. Her father himself died in 1788. Afterwards, Maria Josefa lived at a court dominated by her sister-in-law, Maria Luisa of Parma, a granddaughter of Louis XV of France with whom she did not get along.[citation needed]

Maria Josefa was a candidate for marrying the widower Louis XV, his wife Marie Leszczyńska dying in 1768 when Maria Josefa was just 24. Louis rejected the idea being offended at her young age.[citation needed] Maria Josefa remained unmarried. After the death of her father, she continued living in the Royal Palace with her brother Charles IV.[1] She supported the Carmelitas nuns, in whose convent of Saint Teresa she arranged to be buried.[1]

She died at the Royal Palace of Madrid aged 57, before her brother Charles IV lost the throne and was exiled in 1808. In 1877 her body was transferred to El Escorial.[1]


Titles, styles, honours and arms[edit]

Arms of Infanta Maria Josefa of Spain.

Titles and styles[edit]

  • 6 July 1744 – 6 October 1759 Her Royal Highness Princess Maria Josefa of Naples and Sicily, Infanta of Spain
  • 6 October 1759 – 8 December 1801 Her Royal Highness the Infanta Dona Maria Josefa, Infanta of Spain, Princess of Naples and Sicily



  1. ^ a b c Mississippi Commission, The Majesty of Spain, p. 72
  2. ^ Genealogie ascendante jusqu'au quatrieme degre inclusivement de tous les Rois et Princes de maisons souveraines de l'Europe actuellement vivans [Genealogy up to the fourth degree inclusive of all the Kings and Princes of sovereign houses of Europe currently living] (in French). Bourdeaux: Frederic Guillaume Birnstiel. 1768. p. 9.


  • Mississippi Commission For international Cultural Exchange. The Majesty of Spain: Royal Collections from The Museo del Prado & The Patrimonio Nacional. Mississippi Commission For international Cultural Exchange Inc, 2001.