On This Day: Birth of Stephanie, Short-lived Queen of Portugal

  July 15, 2017 at 3:00 am by

180 years ago today, in the southern German town of Krauchenwies, Princess Stephanie of Hohenzollern-Sigmaringen was born to Prince Karl and Princess Josephine.

The Princess was the couple’s second child, her siblings were Leopold, Prince of Hohenzollern; Carol I of Romania; Prince Anton; Prince Friedrich; and Princess Marie, Countess of Flanders. Among her ancestors Stephanie counted the Princes of Hohenzollern-Sigmaringen, Grand Dukes of Baden, Landgraves of Hesse-Darmstadt, and Johan Willem Friso, Prince of Orange.

Stephanie spent her teenage years in Dusseldorf, when her father took up the position of Division Commander in the Prussian forces after he gave the Hohenzollern throne to his cousin, Friedrich Wilhelm IV of Prussia.

In April 1858, at the age of 20, Princess Stephanie was married by proxy to Pedro V, King of Portugal. They were married again in Lisbon three weeks later. Unfortunately for Stephanie, now Queen of Portugal and the Algarves, she contracted diphtheria in 1859 and died in July that year after being married for only thirteen months. Her husband, who was devastated by his wife’s death, would follow her to the grave two years later.

During her short time as Portugal’s Queen, Stephanie – who changed her name to the Portuguese spelling, Estefânia – was the driving force behind the creation of several hospitals, including the country’s first children’s hospital, with the money that came from her dowry.

Filed under German Royals, Historical Royals, Portuguese Royals
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