The Old Rectory – Maria Francisca of Portugal
Infanta Maria Francisca of Portugal
Infanta (princess) Maria Francisca of Portugal (or of Bragança) was a daughter of King John VI of Portugal. Her full name was: Maria Francisca de Assis da Maternidade Xavier de Paula de Alcântara Antónia Joaquina Gonzaga Carlota Mónica Senhorinha Soter e Caia of Braganza; She lived from 22 April 1800 – 4 September 1834. In 1816 she married her uncle: Infante Carlos Maria Isidro of Spain. The couple had three children.
In 1833 Maria Francisca, her husband and children were exiled from Spain for refusal to recognise Isabella II as heiress to the Spanish Throne. They first went to Portugal and then came to Alverstoke where she died a year later. Several thousand people came to pay their respects to her whilst she was laid out in the Rectory before burial at St Mary’s.
Although initially interred in Gosports Catholic Church, Maria Francisca’s remains were later transferred to Trieste Cathedral in Italy, next to those of her husband and children.