Today in History - December 4th. 1711 - Barbara of Portugal

December 4th 1711, Marks the birth of Infanta Barbara of Portugal.

Barbara of Portugal - Source picture: Wikipedia

The Portuguese Princess was baptised as:
Maria Madalena Bárbara Xavier Leonor Teresa Antónia Josefa.
All her names were honouring  a number of saints and relatives. 

Formally she was known as Bárbara, a name never used before among 
the Portuguese Royals in honour of Saint Barbara, the saint of her 
birthday.
Barbara was the first cousin of the future Empress Maria Theresa as
well as Maria Josepha of Austria.  


She was considered to marry Louis XV of France, however in 1729 at
the age of 18, Barbara married the future Ferdinand VI of Spain. 

From 1733 until 1737 the couple were kept under more or less house 
arrest in their apartments at the Royal Palace of Aranjuez, due to 
Queen Elizabeth (Elizabeth Farnese). 
This gave Barbara the opportunity to deepen her relationship with 
the timid Ferdinand.

He became deeply attached to her and shared her passion for music. 
When he ascended the Spanish crown as Ferdinand VI, he asked
Barbara for advice and support.

Barbara made a moderately positive impression upon the public and
she didn't have much political ambition. Although she took care for
the friendly relationship between Spain and Portugal.

In 1733 the couple had a stillborn son. Barbara suffered for severe
asthma for most of her life and later she became quite overweight. 

Barbara died at the Royal Palace of Aranjuez on August 27th. 1758. 
Her death broke Ferdinands hart. Her husband never married again 
and he died one year later on August 10th. 1759.