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Luisa de Guzmán
José de Avelar Rebelo - Retrato da Rainha D.Luisa de Gusmão.jpg
Portrait attributed to José de Avelar Rebelo
Queen consort of Portugal and Algarves
Tenure 1 December 1640 – 6 November 1656
Regent of Portugal and the Algarves
Tenure 6 December 1656 – 26 June 1662
Spouse John IV of Portugal
Issue Teodósio, Prince of Brazil
Joana, Princess of Beira
Catherine, Queen of England
Afonso VI, King of Portugal
Peter II, King of Portugal
House House of Medina Sidonia
House of Braganza
Father Juan Manuel Pérez de Guzmán, 8th Duke of Medina Sidonia
Mother Juana Lorenza de Sandoval y La Cerda
Born (1613-10-31)31 October 1613
Sanlúcar, Spain
Died 27 February 1666(1666-02-27) (aged 52)
Lisbon, Kingdom of Portugal

Luisa Maria Francisca de Guzmán y Sandoval (Portuguese: Luísa Maria Francisca de Gusmão;[1] 13 October 1613 – 27 February 1666) was a queen consort of Portugal. She was the spouse of King John IV, the first Braganza ruler, as well as the mother of two kings of Portugal (Afonso VI and Peter II) and a queen of England (Catherine of Braganza). She served as regent of Portugal from 1656.


Luisa was Spanish by birth, the daughter of Juan Manuel Pérez de Guzmán, 8th Duke of Medina Sidonia, and Juana Lorenza Gomez de Sandoval y la Cerda. Her paternal grandfather was the renowned Alonso de Guzmán, "El Bueno". She married John in 1633.

Despite her Spanish roots, the ambitious Luisa guided her husband's policies during the Portuguese revolution against Habsburg Spain of 1640. She is considered the main influence behind his acceptance of the Portuguese throne when the Revolution seemed to tend to the Portuguese side. It is said that being warned of the dangers of becoming queen of a country that was to face Spain's might she pronounced the famous words:

Antes rainha um dia (in some versions uma hora) que duquesa toda a vida.
Rather queen for a day (in some versions an hour) than a duchess all my life.

When she was made aware of a failed attempt to murder the King in 1641, she is said to have been one of the members of the Corte, which supported the execution of nobles like the Duke of Caminha.

In 1656, she was named Regent of the Kingdom after her husband's death and during the minority of her son Afonso VI. She continued to occupy the post even after Afonso became an adult because her son was mentally unstable. She was the target of a failed conspiracy headed by Luís de Vasconcelos e Sousa, Count of Castelo Melhor.

She defended the principles of freedom and independence of Portugal and controlled the government with a strong hand, fearing her son was incapable.

Luisa was mainly responsible for the diplomatic success of the new alliance with England. Her daughter Catherine married Charles II of England. She is also credited with the organization of the armies that in the following years would completely ensure Portuguese independence through the victories in the Portuguese Restoration War.


  1. Infante Teodósio, Prince of Brazil (8 February 1634 – 13 May 1653) died unmarried.
  2. Ana of Braganza (21 January 1635) died at birth.
  3. Infanta Joana, Princess of Beira (18 September 1635 – 17 November 1653) died unmarried.
  4. Catherine of Braganza (25 November 1638 – 31 December 1705) married Charles II of England and had no surviving issue.
  5. Manuel of Portugal (6 September 1640) died at birth.
  6. Afonso VI of Portugal (21 August 1643 – 12 September 1683) married Maria Francisca of Savoy.
  7. Pedro II of Portugal (26 April 1648 – 9 December 1706) married Maria Francisca of Savoy, had issue; married Maria Sophia of Neuburg and had issue.

Titles, styles, honours and arms

Arms of Luísa de Guzmán, Queen of Portugal

Titles and styles

  • 13 October 1613 – 12 January 1633 Dona Luisa de Guzmán
  • 12 January 1633 – 1 December 1640 Her Serene Highness The Duchess of Braganza
  • 1 December 1640 – 6 November 1656 Her Majesty The Queen of Portugal and the Algarves
  • 6 November 1656 – 27 February 1666 Her Majesty The Dowager Queen of Portugal and the Algarves


House of Braganza and the Ducal House of Guzmán


External links

Royal titles
Preceded by
Elisabeth of France
Queen consort of Portugal
Title next held by
Maria Francisca of Savoy

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Chart showing the number of references in each month of the diary’s entries.


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