Maria Manuela, Princess of Portugal

Dona Maria Manuela (15 October 1527 12 July 1545[1]) was the eldest daughter and second child of King John III of Portugal and his wife Catherine of Austria. She was Princess of Asturias and Duchess of Milan as the first wife of the future Philip II of Spain, and Princess of Portugal as heir presumptive to the Portuguese throne between 1527 and 1535.

Maria Manuela
Princess of Portugal, Princess of Asturias, Duchess of Milan
Portrait by Antonis Mor
Born15 October 1527
Died12 July 1545(1545-07-12) (aged 17)
IssueCarlos, Prince of Asturias
HouseAviz (by birth)
Habsburg (by marriage)
FatherJohn III of Portugal
MotherCatherine of Austria
ReligionRoman Catholicism

Early life

Maria was born in Coimbra on 15 October 1527 and was one of the few children of John III to survive childhood. In her youth, Maria received a humanistic education that was considered typical for a princess of her time.[2]

Marriage and later life

She married her cousin Philip II of Spain on 12 November 1543 at Salamanca.[3] As she was to be married to the Prince of Asturias, heir apparent to the Spanish crown, and being an Infanta of Portugal, their wedding became one of the most remarkable in the history of Spain due to its opulence. Contemporary writers have left detailed descriptions of the journey from Madrid to Badajoz to Salamanca to receive the princess and of the luxuries she was given by the Duke of Medina Sidonia in Badajoz.

She gave birth to their son Carlos on 8 July 1545 in Valladolid, but died four days later due to a haemorrhage.[4] She was initially buried in the Royal Chapel of Granada on 30 March 1549 but was later transferred to Royal Crypt of the Monastery of El Escorial.



  1. Kamen p. 20
  2. Delbrugge, Laura (2015). Self-Fashioning and Assumptions of Identity in Medieval and Early Modern Iberia. Netherlands: Brill. p. 230. ISBN 9789004250482.
  3. Kamen p. 12
  4. Kamen p. 20
  5. Stephens, Henry Morse (1903). The Story of Portugal. G.P. Putnam's Sons. pp. 139, 279. Retrieved 17 September 2018.
  6. Liss, Peggy K. (10 November 2015). Isabel the Queen: Life and Times. University of Pennsylvania Press. p. 11. ISBN 9780812293203.
  7. Wurzbach, Constantin, von, ed. (1861). "Habsburg, Philipp I. der Schöne von Oesterreich" . Biographisches Lexikon des Kaiserthums Oesterreich [Biographical Encyclopedia of the Austrian Empire] (in German). 7. p. 112 via Wikisource.
  8. Jordan, Annemarie (1994). The Development of Catherine of Austria's Collection in the Queen's Household: Its Character and Cost. Providence, R. I.: Brown University. p. 700.
  9. Chisholm, Hugh, ed. (1911). "Joanna" . Encyclopædia Britannica. 15 (11th ed.). Cambridge University Press.


  • Kamen, Henry: Philip of Spain. Yale University Press. 1998. ISBN 978-0-300-07800-8.
Maria Manuela, Princess of Portugal
Cadet branch of the House of Burgundy
Born: 15 October 1527 Died: 12 August 1545
Preceded by
Princess of Portugal
Succeeded by
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