Carlota Joaquina, Queen

(1775-1830)
   Daughter of King Carlos IV of Spain, born in Aranjuez, Spain, and married at the tender age of 10 to João, son and heir of Queen Maria I. When Dom José, the eldest son of Queen Maria I died in 1788, Carlota Joaquina, who had become an unpopular Spaniard living in alien Portugal, was named princess-heiress. Always in conflict with her well-meaning but indecisive husband, João, Carlota became the leader of an extreme reactionary court party and was frequently in conflict with her more malleable husband. When the royal family fled to Brazil in 1808 to escape the French army of invasion, she accompanied them and remained in Brazil until she returned to Portugal with her husband in 1821.
   From that time on, Carlota Joaquina was never far from the center of political conflicts and controversy, as the Portuguese political system was caught in the grip of a violent struggle between the forces of constitutionalism and absolutism. After returning from Brazil, she refused to swear allegiance to the new constitution presented to her husband, King João VI, and was placed under house arrest. She was a power behind the throne of her son, Miguel, as he proclaimed himself an absolutist king, threw out the constitution, and prepared to rule the country in 1828. Before the civil war called "The War of the Brothers" (Miguel vs. Pedro, both her sons) was concluded with Pedro's military victory in 1834, Carlota Joaquina died and thus did not have to witness Miguel's defeat and permanent exile.

Historical dictionary of Portugal 3rd ed.. . 2014.

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