Queen Maria II (1819 - 1853)
Maria was born in Rio de Janeiro on 4 April 1819 and given the full name of Maria da Glória Joana Carlota Leopoldina da Cruz Francisca Xavier de Paula Isidora Micaela Gabriela Rafaela Gonzaga.
After abdicating in 1826, her father, Pedro IV, appointed Maria's uncle Prince Miguel as regent until Maria was able to reign in her own right. She was proclaimed queen in 1834 at the age of fifteen.
The following year she married the grandson of the Empress Josephine, the first wife of Napoleon Bonaparte, Prince Auguste of Leuchtenberg. He died one year later.
In 1834 Maria ordered the disbandment of all religious orders and corporations in Portugal. The immovable property - monasteries, hermitages, royal chapels and other buildings - that was not exclusively used for public service was appropriated by the State and the movable assets were sold off, with the income going to the State coffers.
On 9 April 1836 Maria II married once more, this time taking Ferdinand (Fernando) of Saxe-Coburg-Gotha, the brother of Leopold I of Belgium, as her husband.
Maria's short reign, which took place in a period of great internal upheavals in Portuguese history thanks to the disputes between liberals and absolutists, was marked by a number of important historic events: the Portuguese Civil War, the September Revolution (1836), the resulting Belenzada counter-reaction, the Revolt of the Marshals, the Maria da Fonte Revolution (1846) and the Patuleia civil war.
The great esteem Maria had for the Count and Marquis of Tomar, António Bernardo da Costa Cabral, a State counsellor and Minister and Secretary for Royal State Affairs who acquired part of the Convent of Christ in 1838, is well recorded. Maria II was responsible for Tomar being recognised as a city, on the occasion of her visit on 13 February 1844.
Maria II died at Necessidades Palace in Lisbon on 15 November 1853.