Maria Pia of Savoy

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Maria Pia of Savoy
Мария Пиа - Королева Португалии.jpg
Queen Maria Pia in 1887
Queen consort of Portugal
Tenure6 October 1862 – 19 October 1889
Born16 October 1847
Royal Palace, Turin, Sardinia
Died5 July 1911(1911-07-05) (aged 63)
Stupinigi Palace, Nichelino, Italy
Luís I of Portugal
(m. 1862; died 1889)
Full name
Maria Pia di Savoia
HouseSavoy (By birth) Braganza (By marriage)
FatherVictor Emmanuel II of Italy
MotherAdelaide of Austria
ReligionRoman Catholicism
SignatureMaria Pia of Savoy's signature

Dona Maria Pia (16 October 1847 – 5 July 1911) was a Portuguese Queen consort, spouse of King Luís I of Portugal. She was a member of the House of Savoy. 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.


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

Maria Pia of Savoy as a young woman, 1863
Maria Pia, Queen of Portugal, Prado Museum

Maria Pia married King Luís I of Portugal on 6 October 1862 at the age of 14 in the São Domingos Church in Lisbon, therefore she instantly became Queen consort of Portugal.

One year after the wedding, Maria Pia gave birth to her first son and heir, Carlos, Duke of Braganza. In 1865 she had another son, Afonso, Duke of Porto.

As Queen, Maria Pia was considered by some as extravagant, but far more for her many charitable works in aid of the Portuguese people. She was known by the Portuguese people as an "angel of charity" and "mother of the poor" for her compassion and work on social causes. At a masquerade ball in 1865, she changed her costume three times. When the Portuguese parliament discussed her expenses, she replied saying "if you want a Queen, you have to pay for her".[citation needed] As Queen, she was largely responsible for the interiors of the Ajuda Royal Palace in Lisbon, still used to this time for banquets during state visits by foreign heads of state.[citation needed]

Maria Pia 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 you shot!"[citation needed]

King Luís died on 19 October 1889 and Maria Pia became queen dowager. She remained very active 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 abroad. The queen dowager was devastated after the assassination of her son King Carlos I of Portugal and grandson Crown Prince Luís Filipe, Duke of Braganza, on 1 February 1908 on the Praça do Comércio in Lisbon. During her last years in Portugal, she withdrew from the public eye. She was deeply saddened after the military coup that deposed her remaining grandson, King Manuel II of Portugal by the 5 October 1910 Revolution.[citation needed]

Exile and death[edit]

Due to the 1910 coup that deposed Maria Pia’s grandson, Manuel II, and established the republic in Portugal, the whole Portuguese royal family was exiled. King Manuel and Queen Amelie went to England, while Maria Pia and Infante Afonso went to her native Italy, where she died on the 5th of July of the very next year in Stupinigi, and was interred in the Basilica of Superga.


Name Birth Death Notes
Dom Carlos, Prince Royal of Portugal 28 September 1863 1 February 1908 Who succeeded his father as Carlos I, King of Portugal, murdered in 1908 by the Carbonária.
Dom Afonso, Prince Royal of Portugal 31 July 1865 21 February 1920 Infante of Portugal, Duke of Porto, Viceroy of Portuguese India, and after 1908 Prince Royal.
Miscarriage 1866


External links[edit]

Media related to Maria Pia of Savoy at Wikimedia Commons

Maria Pia of Savoy
Born: 14 February 1847 Died: 5 July 1911
Portuguese royalty
Preceded by
Stephanie of Hohenzollern-Sigmaringen
Queen consort of Portugal
6 October 1862 – 19 October 1889
Succeeded by
Amélie of Orléans