Maria Pia of Savoy

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Maria Pia of Savoy
SMF Maria Pia.jpg
Queen consort of Portugal
Reign6 October 1862 – 19 October 1889
Born14 February 1847
Royal Palace, Turin, Sardinia
Died5 July 1911(1911-07-05) (aged 64)
Palazzina di caccia di Stupinigi, Italy
Burial
SpouseLuís I of Portugal
IssueCarlos I of Portugal
Afonso, Prince Royal of Portugal
HouseHouse of Savoy
FatherVictor Emmanuel II of Italy
MotherAdelaide of Austria
ReligionRoman Catholicism

Maria Pia of Savoy (14 February 1847 – 5 July 1911) was a Portuguese Queen consort, spouse of King Luís I of Portugal. On the day of her baptism, Pope Pius IX, her godfather, gave her a Golden Rose. Maria Pia was married to Luís on the 6 October 1862 in Lisbon. She was the grand mistress of the Order of Saint Isabel.

Biography

Maria Pia was the daughter of Victor Emmanuel II, the first King of Italy, by his wife Adelaide of Austria. Her sister Maria Clotilde was the "princesse Napoléon" as wife of Napoléon Joseph Charles Paul Bonaparte and her brothers were King Umberto I of Italy and King Amadeo of Spain.

Queen

The famous portrait of the Queen.

As a queen, Maria Pia became known both for her extravagance and for her charity. She had a taste for luxury, parties, balls, fashion and masquerades; at a masquerade ball in 1865, she changed her costume three times. When the Portuguese parliament discussed the queen's excessive expenses, Maria Pia replied saying "if you want a queen, you have to pay for her".

Maria Pia of Savoy was also known in Portugal as "angel of charity" or "mother of the poor" for her compassion and work on social causes.

She did not involve herself in politics, but at a conflict with João Carlos Saldanha de Oliveira Daun, 1st Duke of Saldanha in 1870, she stated: "If I were the king, I would have him shot!"

Queen Dowager

King Luís died on 19 October 1889 and Maria Pia became Queen Dowager. She was very active as such and continued with her social projects while holding a dominating position at court. She served as regent during the absence of the king and queen.

The Queen Dowager was devastated after the assassination of her son King Carlos I of Portugal and grandson Luís Filipe, Duke of Braganza, on 1 February 1908. During her last years in Portugal, she was showing signs of senility and was rarely seen in public.

Maria Pia was deeply upset by the deposition of her other grandson Manuel II of Portugal by the 5 October 1910 Revolution and the resulting establishment of the Portuguese First Republic. Maria Pia left Portugal with the rest of the royal family to exile in 1910. She returned to her native Italy, where she died on 5 July 1911. She is said to have mourned the loss of Portugal.

Her remains are interred in the royal mausoleum in the Basilica of Superga, near Turin, with most members of the House of Savoy since the 18th century.

Issue

Name Birth Death Notes
Dom Carlos, Prince Royal of Portugal September 28, 1863 February 1, 1908 Who succeeded him as Carlos I, King of Portugal, murdered in 1908 by the Carbonária.
Dom Afonso, Prince Royal of Portugal July 31, 1865 February 21, 1920 Infante of Portugal, Duke of Porto, Viceroy of Portuguese India, and after 1908 Prince Royal.

Ancestors

Titles, styles, honours and arms

Titles and styles

  • 14 February 1847 – 6 October 1862 Her Royal Highness Princess Maria Pia of Savoy
  • 6 October 1862 – 19 October 1889 Her Most Faithful Majesty The Queen of Portugal and the Algarves
  • 19 October 1889 – 1 February 1908 Her Most Faithful Majesty The Dowager Queen of Portugal and the Algarves
  • 1 February 1908 – 5 July 1911 Her Most Faithful Majesty Queen Maria Pia of Portugal
Portuguese royalty
Preceded by
Stephanie of Hohenzollern-Sigmaringen
Queen consort of Portugal
6 October 1862 – 19 October 1889
Succeeded by
Amélie of Orléans

See also

Media related to Maria Pia of Savoy at Wikimedia Commons

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