Luisa de Guzmán

Luisa de Guzmán
Luisa Francisca de Guzmán y Medina Sidonia atribuible a Alonso Cano.png
Portrait attributed to Alonso Cano, 1632
Queen consort of Portugal
Tenure 1 December 1640 – 6 November 1656
Born (1613-10-31)31 October 1613
Sanlúcar, Spain
Died 27 February 1666(1666-02-27) (aged 52)
Lisbon, Portugal
Spouse João IV of Portugal
Luisa María Francisca de Guzmán y Sandoval
House Medina Sidonia
Father Manuel de Guzmán y Silva, 8th Duke of Medina Sidonia
Mother Juana de Sandoval y de la Cerda
Religion Roman Catholicism
Signature Luisa 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 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 de jure from 1656 until 1662, and de facto until her death in 1666.


Early life

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 de la Cerda. Her paternal grandfather was Alonso de Guzmán, "El Bueno", while her paternal great-grandmother was Ana de Mendoza y de Silva, Princess of Éboli.

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

Restoration War

Despite her Spanish roots, the ambitious, willful and ruthless 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 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. She continued to occupy the post even after Afonso became an adult in 1662, 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 eldest son was incapable and hoping that eventually her youngest son would take the crown.

Luisa was politically astute and 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.


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. ^ "Luísa Gusmão", Dicionário [Dictionary] (in Portuguese), Arq net.

External links

Luisa de Guzmán
Born: 13 October 1613 Died: 27 February 1666
Portuguese royalty
Preceded by
Queen consort of Portugal and the Algarves
Title next held by
Maria Francisca of Savoy