Tuesday, December 8, 2009

The Last Queen of Portugal

Amélie of Orléans (1865-1951), consort of the doomed Carlos I. She was the great-niece of Queen Louise-Marie of the Belgians and seems to have strongly resembled her in character.
Those who knew her all described her as a very friendly, subdued and caring woman with an open and friendly style who cared deeply for the unfortunate. Medical causes dominated much of her extensive charity work. She worked to spread awareness for the prevention of tuberculosis, sponsored sanatoriums and more available pharmacies. The Queen was also artistically minded and enjoyed literature, the opera and theatre and occupied her time writing in her diary and painting. However, she was also a competent woman and acted as regent of Portugal while the King was away on foreign trips. For all of her charity work and support for the Church she was given the Golden Rose in 1892 by His Holiness Pope Leo XIII.
Queen Amélie's most heroic moment came with the Lisbon regicide on February 1, 1908. Revolutionaries fired at the royal carriage, killing the King instantly and mortally wounding the Crown Prince, Dom Luis. The Queen, however, amazingly unharmed, managed to save the life of her youngest son, Dom Manuel (Manuel II), by defending him with her bouquet of flowers...


Lucy said...

What an adorable gown! Looks like it's all in silk?

May said...

I don't know, but it has such a lovely color and sheen!