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Maria Anna of Austria

Portuguese queen
The basics
Date of birth Linz
Date of death Aug 14, 1754 Lisbon
Mother: Eleonor Magdalene of Neuburg
Brother(s): Joseph I Holy Roman Emperor Charles VI Holy Roman Emperor Archduke Leopold Joseph of Austria
Children: Barbara of Portugal Pedro Prince of Brazil Joseph I of Portugal Peter III of Portugal Infante Alexandre of Portugal Infante Carlos of Portugal
Sister(s): Archduchess Maria Elisabeth of Austria Maria Antonia of Austria Archduchess Maria Theresa of Austria Archduchess Maria Magdalena of Austria
Spouse: John V of Portugal
Father: Leopold I Holy Roman Emperor
Authority Library of congress id ISNI id VIAF id
The details

Maria Anna of Austria (Maria Anna Josepha; 7 September 1683 – 14 August 1754) was an Archduchess of Austria and Queen consort of Portugal. She was also Regent of Portugal from 1742 until 1750 during the illness of her husband King John V of Portugal.


The Arrival of Maria Anna of Austria in Lisbon; Gottfried Stein, c. 1708.

Born Maria Anna Josepha, she was a daughter of Holy Roman Emperor Leopold I and Eleonor Magdalene of Neuburg. Maria Anna was a sister of Holy Roman Emperors Joseph I and Charles VI. Through her brother Charles, she was an aunt of Maria Theresa, Austria's first queen regnant.

Queen Consort of Portugal

On 27 October 1708 Maria Anna of Austria married John V, King of Portugal. She would cease to be the Queen Consort of Portugal on 31 July 1750, when her husband died. During her time as Queen Consort of Portugal, she acted as regent during times of her husband's illness.

Once she was head of her household, Maria Anna reformed her court and its customs to follow the traditions and costumes of the traditional Queens of Portugal. Her greatest influence on the court, and Portuguese nobility as a whole, was the increase of segregation between men and women, as well as between servants and masters. Like John, Maria Anna had an exubrant taste, and this was best shown in her famous parties. Often lasting several days, she would invite the nobility from all over the country and hold a magnificent festival, often in concurrence with a saintly holiday, though religion played a small part in her parties.


In 1742 Maria Anna took over power as regent after her husband suffered a stroke, which left him partially paralyzed. When John V died on 31 July 1750 she gave up power to their eldest son Joseph I of Portugal.

She died while in residence in the Palace of Belém in 1754. After her death, she was buried in Lisbon, but her heart was brought to Vienna and buried there in the imperial crypt.

Marriage and children

On 27 October 1708 she married her maternal first cousin John V of Portugal to become Queen consort of Portugal. She was the mother of six children:

  • Barbara of Portugal (4 December 1711 – 27 August 1758), married Ferdinand VI of Spain, no issue.
  • Pedro of Portugal (19 October 1712 – 24 October 1714), Prince of Brazil, died in infancy.
  • Joseph I of Portugal (6 June 1714 – 24 February 1777), married Mariana Victoria of Spain.
  • Infante Carlos of Portugal (2 May 1716 – 30 March 1720), died in infancy.
  • Peter III of Portugal (5 July 1717 – 25 May 1786) married Maria I, Queen regnant of Portugal, had issue.
  • Infante Alexandre of Portugal (24 September 1723 – 2 August 1728), died in infancy.

In Culture

Maria Anna, along with her husband and children, is a central character in José Saramago's novel Baltasar and Blimunda (1987).


Titles, styles, honours and arms

Titles and styles

  • 7 September 1683 – 27 October 1708 Her Royal Highness Archduchess Maria Anna of Austria
  • 27 October 1708 – 31 July 1750 Her Most Faithful Majesty the Queen of Portugal and the Algarves
  • 31 July 1750 – 14 August 1754 Her Most Faithful Majesty the Queen Mother of Portugal and the Algarves
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