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Maria II of Portugal

Maria II da Gloria, Queen of Portugal (April 4, 1819 - November 15, 1853), was the daughter of the future King Pedro IV (Emperor of Brazil as Pedro I). She was only six years old when, on May 2, 1826, her father made her Queen of Portugal under the auspices of a constitutional government; she was seven years old when she was married to her uncle, Dom Miguel on 5 November 1826.

Only two years later, Miguel declared himself regent of Portugal and then deposed Maria altogether, renounced the constitution and made himself King. Pedro abdicated the Brazilian throne in 1831 and, from his base in the Azores he attacked Miguel, forcing him to abdicate in 1834. Maria was thereupon restored to the throne, and an annulment of her marriage obtained.

On 26 January 1835 she married, at the age of 15, Auguste Charles Eugène Napoléon de Beauharnais, 2nd Duke of Leuchtenberg, son of Eugène de Beauharnais, and grandson of the Empress Josephine. He died after two months on 28 March 1835.

On 1 January 1836 she married the cultured and able Prince Ferdinand of Saxe-Coburg-Saalfeld, who ruled with her as King Consort. Her eleven children were all from this last marriage.

Maria's reign saw a revolutionary insurrection on May 16, 1846, but this was crushed by royalist troops on February 22, 1847, and Portugal otherwise avoided the European upheavals of 1848. Maria's reign was also notable for a public health act aimed at curbing the spread of cholera throughout the country. Maria II died while only in her thirties.

See also: War of the Two Brothers

Preceded by:
D. Pedro IV
List of Portuguese monarchs Interregnum:
D. Miguel
Succeeded by:
D. Pedro V