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Luisa de Guzmán
Portrait attributed to Alonso Cano, 1632
Queen consort of Portugal
Tenure1 December 1640 – 6 November 1656
Queen Regent of Portugal
6 November 1656 – 22 June 1662
Born(1613-10-13)13 October 1613
Sanlúcar, Spain
Died27 February 1666(1666-02-27) (aged 52)
Lisbon, Portugal
SpouseJoão IV of Portugal
Luisa María Francisca de Guzmán y Sandoval
HouseMedina Sidonia
FatherManuel, 8th Duke of Medina Sidonia
MotherJuana de Sandoval y la Cerda
SignatureLuisa de Guzmán's signature

Luisa María Francisca de Guzmán y Sandoval (Portuguese: Luísa Maria Francisca de Gusmão;[1] 13 October 1613 – 27 February 1666) was Queen of Portugal as the spouse of King John IV, the first Braganza ruler. She was the mother of two kings of Portugal (Afonso VI and Peter II) and a queen of England (Catherine of Braganza).[2] She served as regent of Portugal from 1656 until 1662.[3]


Early life

Luisa was Spanish by birth, the daughter of Manuel Pérez de Guzmán y Silva, 8th Duke of Medina Sidonia, and Juana Gómez de Sandoval y de la Cerda.[1] Her paternal grandfather was Alonso Pérez de Guzmán y Sotomayor, 7th Duke of Medina Sidonia, while her paternal great-grandmother was Ana de Mendoza y de Silva, Princess of Éboli. Through her mother, she was also a descendant of Isabel, Lady of Viseu, the illegitimate daughter of King Ferdinand I.

She married a high ranking Portuguese noble, John, 8th Duke of Braganza, in 1633, during the period of the Iberian Union.[4][5]

Restoration War

Despite her Spanish roots, Luisa guided her husband's policies during the Portuguese revolution against Habsburg Spain of 1640.[6] She is considered the main influence[2][5] behind his acceptance of the Portuguese throne.[7][8] 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 que Duquesa toda a vida.

Rather Queen for a day than Duchess all my life.

In some sources, this is quoted as for an hour instead of for a day.

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.


Luisa de Guzmán, Queen Consort of Portugal; José de Avelar Rebelo

In 1656, she was named Regent of the Kingdom after her husband's death and during the minority of her son Afonso VI.[9][10]

Luisa was politically astute[11] and mainly responsible for the diplomatic success of the new alliance with England.[12][13] Her daughter Catherine married Charles II of England.[14]

Afonso was considered mentally unfit for governing.[15] In addition to lacking intellect, he exhibited wild and disruptive behavior.[9][16] In 1662, after the king terrorized Lisbon at night alongside his favorites,[17][18] Luisa and her council responded by banishing some of the king's companions that were associated with the raids.[18] Angered, Afonso took power with the help of Castelo-Melhor and Luisa's regency came to an end.[19][20] She subsequently retired to a convent,[21][1] where she died in 1666.[22]


Arms of Luísa de Guzmán, Queen of Portugal
  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 firstly Maria Francisca of Savoy, had issue; married secondly Maria Sophia of Neuburg, had issue.



  1. ^ a b c "Luísa Gusmão", Dicionário [Dictionary] (in Portuguese), Arq net.
  2. ^ a b Livermore 1969, p. 173.
  3. ^ Ames 2000, p. 18.
  4. ^ Stephens 1891, p. 304.
  5. ^ a b McMurdo 1889, p. 363.
  6. ^ Stephens 1891, p. 305.
  7. ^ Stephens 1891, p. 306.
  8. ^ McMurdo 1889, p. 367.
  9. ^ a b McMurdo 1889, p. 408.
  10. ^ Dyer 1877, p. 340.
  11. ^ Davidson 1908, p. 14.
  12. ^ Dyer 1877, p. 341.
  13. ^ Ames 2000, p. 29.
  14. ^ Davidson 1908, p. 96.
  15. ^ Marques 1976, p. 331.
  16. ^ Livermore 1969, p. 185.
  17. ^ McMurdo 1889, p. 414.
  18. ^ a b Livermore 1969, p. 189.
  19. ^ Marques 1976, p. 332.
  20. ^ Stephens 1891, p. 331.
  21. ^ McMurdo 1889, p. 417.
  22. ^ Ames 2000, p. 30.


External links

3 Annotations

First Reading

Terry Foreman  •  Link

Luisa Maria de Gusmão, Queen of Portugal mother of Catherine of Braganza (wife of Charles II & Queen of England); by birth Spanish Luisa de Guzmán and granddaughter on her father's side of Alonso de Guzmán, the 7th Duke of Medina Sidonia -- renowned in Spain as "El Bueno" and in England as "the Admiral of the [Spanish] Armada".…

Second Reading

San Diego Sarah  •  Link

Queen Catherine of Braganza followed the history of her country with keen interest. Her mother's death, although long kept from her, affected her profoundly (Cal. State Papers, Dom. 1665-6, p. 342; cf. Hatton Correspondence, i. 49).

Maria Luisa Francisca de Guzman, Dowager Queen of Portugal, died on February 27, 1666 at the age of 52.…

Pepys says the English court was in mourning in November 1666. That's a long time to keep her death a secret.

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


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