María Cristina de Borbón-Dos Sicilias y de Borbón

María Cristina

b. 27 Apr 1806, Palermo, Sicily
d. 22 Aug 1878, Le Havre, Seine-Inférieure, France

Title: Reina Regente y Gobernadora del Reino (Queen Regent and Governor of the Kingdom)
Term: 29 Sep 1833 - 12 Oct 1840
Chronology: 29 Sep 1833, assumed regency upon demise of the crown [1]
24 Oct 1836, took the oath of loyalty to the Constitution of 1812, session of the Cortes Constituyentes (Constituent Cortes), Palacio de las Cortes, Madrid [2]
19 Nov 1836, confirmed in office as Governor of the Kingdom (Gobernadora del Reino), resolution of the Constituent Cortes, session of the Constituent Cortes, Palacio de las Cortes, Madrid [3]
18 Jun 1837, took the oath of loyalty to the Constitution of 1837, session of the Constituent Cortes, Palacio de las Cortes, Madrid [4]
12 Oct 1840, signed a letter of resignation (dated 12 Oct 1840, Valencia) [5]
Names/titles: Baptised: María Cristina Ferdinanda de Borbón-Dos Sicilias y de Borbón
Biography:
Daughter of King Francesco I of the Two Sicilies by his second wife, María Isabel of Spain; married (11 Dec 1829) King Fernando VII, her uncle by birth and by marriage; gave birth to two daughters, Isabel (the future Queen Isabel II) and María Luísa Fernanda; being gravely ill, Fernando VII authorized his spouse to make executive decisions (6 Oct 1832 - 4 Jan 1833); upon the death of Fernando VII (29 Sep 1833), assumed the functions of Queen Regent for Isabel II, whose succession was immediately disputed by her uncle, Carlos María Isidro Benito de Borbón y de Borbón-Parma, Infante of Spain, brother of Fernando VII and first Carlist claimant; secretly married (28 Dec 1833) an ex-sergeant from the royal guard, Augustín Fernández Muñoz (from 1844 duque de Riánsares); lost great deal of popularity over this marriage and conflicts with liberal ministers; restored constitutional monarchy by granting the Estatuto Real (Royal Charter) of 1834; after an army mutiny at La Granja, she was forced to accept (13 Aug 1836) the liberal Constitution of 1812 and then to promulgate the more moderate Constitution of 1837; amidst public discontent, she departed from Madrid with her daughter (11 Jun 1840), establishing royal court in Barcelona (30 Jun 1840) and later in Valencia (23 Aug 1840); as Madrid became the center of a new pronunciamiento, she reluctantly appointed Baldomero Espartero as President of the Council of Ministers (16 Sep 1840 - 10 May 1841); after Espartero found effective means to suppress the revolt, she submitted her resignation (12 Oct 1840) as Regent; left Spain (17 Oct 1840); influenced unsuccessful attempts to restore her authority (1841); lived mostly in France; return to Spain after Espartero's forced departure (1843) and regained influence.
Biographical sources: Enciclopedia de Historia de España. Diccionario biográfico. (Madrid: Alianza Editorial, 1991).

[1] Gaceta extraordinaria de Madrid, del domingo 29 de Setiembre de 1833. Núm. 119.
[2] Diario de las sesiones de las Cortes Constituyentes: Dieron principio el 17 de Octubre de 1836 y Terminaron el 4 de Noviembre de 1837 (Madrid: Imprenta de J. A. García, 1870-1877). Vol. 1. Número 6. P. 30.
[3] Gaceta de Madrid, domingo 20 de Noviembre de 1836. Núm. 714. P. 1; Diario de las sesiones de las Cortes Constituyentes. Op. cit. Vol. 1. Número 32. P. 328.
[4] Diario de las sesiones de las Cortes Constituyentes. Op. cit. Vol. 6. Número 228. P. 4124.
[5] Gaceta extraordinaria de Madrid, del jueves 15 de Octubre de 1840. Núm. 2186.
Last updated on: 26 Jun 2009 04:11:32