Isabella II (Spain)

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Isabella II
Isabella II (painting by Franz Xaver Winterhalter , 1852)
80- Reales - gold coin from 1840

Isabella II. María Luisa , Spanish Isabel de Borbón y Borbón-Dos Sicilias or Isabel II de España , (born October 10, 1830 in Madrid , †  April 9,  1904 in Paris ) was Queen of Spain from 1833 to 1868 .

Childhood and youth

Isabella was the daughter of King Ferdinand VII of Spain (1784–1833) and his fourth wife, Maria Christina of Sicily . She became queen after the death of her father at the age of two (September 29, 1833). Her father had the so-called Sali law repealed on March 29, 1830 , which restored the old cognatic Castilian line of succession . Her mother was her guardian.

Against the indignation of the supporters of the deceased Ferdinand VII's brother, Carlos María Isidro de Borbón (1788–1855), the Carlist , who were excluded from the throne , the Queen Mother Maria Christina secured the throne through her connection with the liberal parties of her daughter. In 1840 Maria Christina was ousted from the reign and left Spain. Ten year old Isabella remained queen under the reign of General Baldomero Espartero .

The "Spanish Weddings"

Isabella was declared majorenn ("of age") on November 8, 1843 at the age of 13 by decision of the Cortes . The question of their marriage had a European dimension. The French King Louis Philip I claimed the Spanish throne for his dynasty. England objected to this.

Queen Isabella II married on October 10, 1846, on her 16th birthday, her cousin Franz d'Assisi (1822-1902), the son of the Infante Franz de Paula (1794-1865), who in turn was a son of King Charles IV of Spain was. With that, Isabella and her husband were both grandsons of this king; the married couple's fathers were brothers. In addition, the mothers of the spouses were siblings from the House of Bourbon-Sicily . Franz was a sickly man. At the same time, Isabella's sister Luisa Fernanda (1832-1897) was married to her son Ludwig Philipps, Duke of Montpensier (1824-1890). No children were expected from the marriage of the queen because of the apparently obvious incapacity of the prince consort; the French seemed to have achieved their intentions.


In the government of her country, the queen was dependent on her surroundings, in which the nun Patrocinio and the general manager Marfori had the most influence. Repeated uprisings changed the ministries, but brought no improvement to the government.

On February 2, 1852, the priest Martín Merino y Gómez wanted to kill Isabella II while leaving a church with a dagger, but only wounded her. He was executed .

In September 1868, an uprising to which various party leaders had allied put an end to their rule, just as they were with Emperor Napoleon III. had agreed to intervene in the Roman question in favor of the Pope ; she fled to France. In their place, Francisco Serrano Domínguez was installed as regent until, after a lengthy search, Amadeus of Savoy ascended the Spanish throne in early 1871 . One day after his abdication on February 10, 1873, the (First) Republic was proclaimed in Spain .

Isabella renounced the crown on June 25, 1870 in favor of her son. Alfonso XII was proclaimed king on December 29, 1874. His father was officially Franz d'Assisi; however, there are doubts about paternity. Isabella returned to Spain and lived partly there and partly in Paris, where she died on April 9, 1904. Shortly before her death she received Eugénie de Montijo ; after that her cold worsened. She was buried in the Pantheon of the Kings of the El Escorial Monastery.


Queen Isabella II had nine children:

  • Ferdinand (* / † 1850)
  • Maria Isabel de Borbón (1851–1931) ⚭ 1868 Cajetan of Naples-Sicily (1846–1871)
  • María Cristina (* / † 1854)
  • Alfonso XII (1857–1885) King of Spain
  1. ⚭ 1878 Maria de las Mercedes d'Orléans-Montpensier
  2. ⚭ 1879 Maria Christina of Austria (1858–1929)

See also


  • Martin Baumeister: Isabella II. In: Walther L. Bernecker, Carlos Collado Seidel, Paul Hoser (Ed.): The Spanish Kings . CH Beck'sche Verlagsbuchhandlung, Munich 1997, ISBN 3-406-42782-0 , p. 224-242 .
  • Birgit Aschmann : The queen's two bodies: Isabella II of Spain and the double rift in marriage and nation . In: Andreas Gelz, Dietmar Hüser, Sabine Ruß-Sattar (eds.): Scandals between modern and post-modern. Interdisciplinary perspectives on forms of social transgression . Berlin / Boston 2014, pp. 79–106.

Web links

Commons : Isabella II. (Spain)  - Album with pictures, videos and audio files

Individual evidence

  1. Martin Baumeister: Isabella II. In: Walther L. Bernecker, Carlos Collado Seidel, Paul Hoser (ed.): The Spanish Kings . CH Beck'sche Verlagsbuchhandlung, Munich 1997, ISBN 3-406-42782-0 , p. 228 .
  2. ^ Dickinson College: Queen of Spain survives assassination attempt in Madrid. Retrieved February 1, 2012 .
  3. Rachel Challice: The secret history of the court of Spain during the last century , p. 180. London 1909 , consulted on February 1, 2012
  4. History Today Volume 54 Issue 4 April 2004
predecessor Office Successors
Ferdinand of Bourbon and Bourbon-Parma
( Ferdinand VII. )
Princess of Asturias
Isabella of Bourbon and Bourbon
Ferdinand VII. Queen of Spain
Francisco Serrano Domínguez (Regent)