exhibition tells the life of D. Maria 2e – Ora Pois

Eldest daughter of D. Pedro 1º, born in Rio de Janeiro in 1819 (three years before independence), Princess Maria da Glória ended up officially becoming Queen of Portugal at just 7 years old, after the death of her grandfather , D. João 6º, and the abdication of his father, then Emperor of Brazil, in his favor.

The life and trajectory of the monarch, faced with a coup d’état organized by her uncle, who became a widow two months after her marriage and whose mission is to be the head of state of a country barely out of war civil, is now told in a major exhibition in Portugal.

Newly inaugurated in Lisbon, the exhibition “D. Maria 2ª: from Brazilian princess to queen of Portugal. 1819-1853 ”brings hundreds of
pieces and documents from different collections, both public and private.

Two of the highlights of the exhibition, the crown and scepter of Maria 2ª, had not been on display to the public for 20 years.

The crown and scepter of Queen D. Maria 2ª had not been exhibited for more than 20 years | Photo: Disclosure

“She was queen at a time when the Portuguese state, Portuguese institutions and society were changing so rapidly that they might not change until 150 years later, in the 50s, 60s and 70s of the 20th century,” said declared historian José Miguel. Sardica, exhibition curator, on a special press visit.

On display until September 29, the exhibition also features a significant collection of paintings of the Queen, from her childhood to (literally) the time of her death.

There are still many personal effects and documents of the royal family.

One of the highlights of the exhibition is the reproduction of the queen’s chamber, meticulously reconstructed from an inventory.

Dona Maria 2ª’s rooms allow you to learn a little more about her personal tastes, such as a certain penchant for porcelain ornaments.

The reproduction of the queen’s chamber was made from the inventory | Photo: Disclosure

The centerpiece of the room is an imposing wooden bed, brought from Brazil, and once owned by the Queen’s mother, Empress Maria Leopoldina.

Reproduction of D. Maria 2ª bedroom includes a wooden bed that belonged to Empress Leopoldina | Photo: Disclosure

The exhibition is jointly organized by the Museum of the Presidency of the Republic and the Palácio Nacional da Ajuda


In 1926, at the time of the death of D. João 6º, there was an intense discussion about who would be the legitimate heir to the Portuguese throne. While the eldest son, D. Pedro, had become the ruler of a newly independent country, the younger son, D. Miguel, was exiled to Austria after an unsuccessful coup against his own father.

Mostra covers the queen’s three weddings | Photo: Disclosure

In a risky political maneuver, the Brazilian emperor abdicates in favor of his daughter, Maria da Glória, with a special arrangement. The young woman will marry her uncle, D. Miguel, who will be the regent of the country until adulthood.

D. Miguel returned to Lisbon in 1828 and quickly broke his oath by proclaiming himself absolute King of Portugal.

Then began a period of civil war in Portugal. In 1831, with the worsening political situation in Brazil, D. Pedro abdicated his position of emperor of Brazil and left for Europe, under the title of Duke of Braganza, to try to overthrow his brother and restore the crown. of his daughter.

The dispute between absolutists and liberals did not end until 1834, shortly before the death of D. Pedro 1º.

To avoid a new regency, Maria II was declared of age at 15 and finally ascended to the throne.

On January 26, 1835, D. Maria 2ª married Auguste de Beauharnais, Prince of Eichstatt, who died two months later, in 1835.

Painting of D. Maria 2ª with her father, D. Pedro 1, and her stepmother, D. Amélia. Front, flag of Portugal embroidered by the queen herself | Photo credit: Giuliana Miranda / Folhapress

Less than a year later, the queen remarries with the one who will be her lifelong companion, Fernando de Saxe-Cobourg-Gotha.

Second (and last) reigning queen of Portugal (the others were wives), Maria 2ª played an important role in the construction of modern Portugal.

Maria 2ª’s period as monarch was a period of great political instability and successive changes of government, in a country suffering from a serious economic crisis.

Yet, as head of state, she played an important role in the promulgation of the country’s constitution.

One of the main legacies has been the encouragement of education.

Maria 2ª died on November 15, 1853, giving birth to her 11th child.

A service

D. Maria 2ª: from Brazilian princess to queen of Portugal. 1819-1853
When until September 29, 2021
Where Palácio Nacional da Ajuda
Largo da Ajuda, 1349-021 Lisbon
Price 5 €

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