Mary Anne of Austria

Mary Anne of Austria

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Maria Anna of Austria (Maria Anna Josepha; 7 September 1683 – 14 August 1754) was an Archduchess of Austria
The title of Archduke denotes a noble rank above Duke and below King, used only by princes of the Houses of Habsburg and Habsburg-Lorraine....

 and Queen consort of Portugal
Portugal , officially the Portuguese Republic is a country situated in southwestern Europe on the Iberian Peninsula. Portugal is the westernmost country of Europe, and is bordered by the Atlantic Ocean to the West and South and by Spain to the North and East. The Atlantic archipelagos of the...

. She was also Regent of Portugal from 1742 until 1750 during the illness of her husband King John V of Portugal.


Born Maria Anna Josepha, she was a daughter of Holy Roman Emperor
Holy Roman Emperor
The Holy Roman Emperor is a term used by historians to denote a medieval ruler who, as German King, had also received the title of "Emperor of the Romans" from the Pope...

 Leopold I
Leopold I, Holy Roman Emperor
| style="float:right;" | Leopold I was a Holy Roman Emperor, King of Hungary and King of Bohemia. A member of the Habsburg family, he was the second son of Emperor Ferdinand III and his first wife, Maria Anna of Spain. His maternal grandparents were Philip III of Spain and Margaret of Austria...

 and Eleonor Magdalene of Neuburg. Maria Anna was a sister of Holy Roman Emperors Joseph I
Joseph I, Holy Roman Emperor
Joseph I , Holy Roman Emperor, King of Bohemia, King of Hungary, King of the Romans was the elder son of Emperor Leopold I and his third wife, Eleonor Magdalene of Neuburg....

 and Charles VI
Charles VI, Holy Roman Emperor
Charles VI was the penultimate Habsburg sovereign of the Habsburg Empire. He succeeded his elder brother, Joseph I, as Holy Roman Emperor, King of Bohemia , Hungary and Croatia , Archduke of Austria, etc., in 1711...

. Through her brother Charles, she was an aunt of Maria Theresa
Maria Theresa of Austria
Maria Theresa Walburga Amalia Christina was the only female ruler of the Habsburg dominions and the last of the House of Habsburg. She was the sovereign of Austria, Hungary, Croatia, Bohemia, Mantua, Milan, Lodomeria and Galicia, the Austrian Netherlands and Parma...

, Austria's first queen regnant
Queen regnant
A queen regnant is a female monarch who reigns in her own right, in contrast to a queen consort, who is the wife of a reigning king. An empress regnant is a female monarch who reigns in her own right over an empire....


Marriage and children

On 27 October 1708 she married her maternal first cousin John V of Portugal to become Queen consort of Portugal. She was the mother of six children:
  • Barbara of Portugal
    Barbara of Portugal
    Barbara of Portugal was an Infanta of Portugal and later Queen of Spain as wife of Ferdinand VI of Spain.-Life in Portugal:...

     (4 December 1711 – August 27, 1758), married Ferdinand VI of Spain
    Ferdinand VI of Spain
    Ferdinand VI , called the Learnt, was King of Spain from 9 July 1746 until his death. He was the fourth son of the previous monarch Philip V and his first wife Maria Luisa of Savoy...

    , no issue.
  • Pedro of Portugal (19 October 1712 – 24 October 1714), Prince of Brazil
    Prince of Brazil
    Prince of Brazil was a title used in the Kingdom of Portugal, for the heir of the royal House of Braganza.The title was created by King John IV of Portugal on 27 October 1645 in favor of his eldest son and heir prince Teodósio, soon after Portugal had got rid of its Spanish rulers...

    , died infancy.
  • Joseph I of Portugal (6 June 1714 – 24 February 1777), married Mariana Victoria of Spain
    Mariana Victoria of Spain
    Mariana Victoria of Spain was an Infanta of Spain and Queen consort of Portugal as wife of King Joseph I. The mother of Queen Maria I of Portugal, she also acted as Regent of Portugal during the last months of her husband's life and advisor to her daughter during her reign.-Background:Mariana...

  • Carlos of Portugal (2 May 1716 – 30 March 1730), died unmarried.
  • Peter III of Portugal
    Peter III of Portugal
    Peter III became King of the Kingdom of Portugal and the Algarves by the accession of his wife and niece Queen Maria I in 1777, and co-reigned alongside her until his death.-Biography:...

     (5 July 1717 – 25 May 1786) married Maria I, Queen regnant of Portugal
    Maria I of Portugal
    Maria I was Queen regnant of Portugal and the Algarves from 1777 until her death. Known as Maria the Pious , or Maria the Mad , she was the first undisputed Queen regnant of Portugal...

    , had issue.
  • Alexander of Portugal (24 September 1723 – 2 August 1728), died in infancy.


In 1742 Maria Anna took over power as regent after her husband suffered a stroke
A stroke, previously known medically as a cerebrovascular accident , is the rapidly developing loss of brain function due to disturbance in the blood supply to the brain. This can be due to ischemia caused by blockage , or a hemorrhage...

, which left him partially paralyzed
Paralysis is loss of muscle function for one or more muscles. Paralysis can be accompanied by a loss of feeling in the affected area if there is sensory damage as well as motor. A study conducted by the Christopher & Dana Reeve Foundation, suggests that about 1 in 50 people have been diagnosed...

. When John V died on 31 July 1750 she gave up power to their eldest son Joseph I of Portugal.

She died while in residence in the Palace of Belém
Belém Palace
The Belém National Palace, or alternately National Palace of Belém, has, overtime, been the official residence of Portuguese monarchs and, after the installation of the First Republic, the Presidents of the Portuguese Republic...

 in 1754. After her death, she was buried in Lisbon
Lisbon is the capital city and largest city of Portugal with a population of 545,245 within its administrative limits on a land area of . The urban area of Lisbon extends beyond the administrative city limits with a population of 3 million on an area of , making it the 9th most populous urban...

, but her heart was brought to Vienna
Vienna is the capital and largest city of the Republic of Austria and one of the nine states of Austria. Vienna is Austria's primary city, with a population of about 1.723 million , and is by far the largest city in Austria, as well as its cultural, economic, and political centre...

 and buried there in the imperial crypt.

In Culture

Maria Anna, along with her husband and children, is a central character in José Saramago
José Saramago
José de Sousa Saramago, GColSE was a Nobel-laureate Portuguese novelist, poet, playwright and journalist. His works, some of which can be seen as allegories, commonly present subversive perspectives on historic events, emphasizing the human factor. Harold Bloom has described Saramago as "a...

's novel Baltasar and Blimunda
Baltasar and Blimunda
Baltasar and Blimunda is a novel by the Portuguese author José Saramago.It is a love story set in the 18th century with the construction of the Convent of Mafra, now one of Portugal's chief tourist attractions, as a background...



Titles and styles

  • 7 September 1683 – 27 October 1708 Her Royal Highness Archduchess Maria Anna of Austria
  • 27 October 1708 – 31 July 1750 Her Most Faithful Majesty the Queen of Portugal and the Algarves
  • 31 July 1750 – 14 August 1754 Her Most Faithful Majesty the Dowager Queen of Portugal and the Algarves

See also