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Luisa de Guzmán
It is assumed Luisa had vitiligo as evidenced in the white streak in her hair in many paintings.
Queen consort of Portugal
Spouse John IV of Portugal
Issue
Infante Teodósio
Infanta Ana
Joana, Princess of Beira
Catherine, Queen of England and Scotland
Infante Manuel
Afonso VI of Portugal
Peter II of Portugal
House Ducal House of Medina Sidonia
Father Juan Manuel Pérez de Guzmán, 8th Duke of Medina Sidonia
Mother Juana Lorenza de Sandoval
Born 31 October 1613(1613-10-31)
Sanlúcar, Spain
Died 27 February 1666 (aged 52)

Luisa de Guzmán (Portuguese: Luísa de Gusmão) (31 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 Pedro II) and a Queen of England (Catherine of Braganza). She served as regent of Portugal from 1656.

Biography

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 la Cerda. Her paternal grandfather was the renowned Alonso de Guzmán, "El Bueno". She married John in 1633.

Despite her Spanish roots, the ambitious Luisa guided her husband's policies during the Portuguese revolution against Spain of 1640. She is considered the main influence behind her husband John IV's acceptation 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 (in some versions uma hora) que duquesa toda a vida.
Rather Queen for a day (in some versions an hour) than a duchess all my life.

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.

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 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 son was incapable. She is also 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 next years would completely secure Portuguese independence through the victories in the Portuguese Restoration War.

Coat of Arms of Luísa of Guzman, Queen of Portugal

Ancestry

Royal titles
Preceded by
Elisabeth of Bourbon
Queen consort of Portugal
1 December 1640 – 6 November 1656
Succeeded by
Maria Francisca of Nemours
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