Palácio Nacional de Queluz

Queluz, Portugal | C.1747

Photo Credit: @blockofcheddar

It’s not easy being queen. The first female ruler of Portugal, Maria I learned quickly that being the monarch wasn’t an enviable position, eventually locked away in the palatial estate she helped construct.

With the death of her father, Joseph I, Maria was forced into the spotlight as the rightful heir in her twenties. Portuguese law stipulated that she would need to marry a native noble of Portugal, and with limited options, found herself in a modern day faux pas—-marrying her uncle.

Though there was a 25 year age gap, Maria I and Pedro III by all accounts were happily married. Unlike her father, Maria was interested in foreign affairs, entering Portugal into the League of Armed Neutrality, brokering peace with Spain, and running the Portuguese colonies. During this time Maria and Pedro would construct their “Portuguese Versailles” in the town of Queluz.

Covered with statuary, lush gardens, and a beautiful blue hue, the palace at Queluz officially became the royal residence. After the loss of her husband and son within the span of a few years, however, Maria retired from the public eye, locked deep within the Baroque halls and state rooms of the vast estate. For such a beautiful home and a likening to the Bourbon behemoth in France, the structure’s color reflected its owner for the rest of her years.

Written By: Seamus McMahon

Create an account to comment! Login/Sign Up.


Log in

Need an account? Sign up

Sign up

Already have an account? Log In

Enter your email to reset your password

Enter your new password