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Maria Josepha Amalia of Saxony (Maria Josepha Amalia Beatrix Xaveria Vincentia Aloysia Franziska de Paula Franziska de Chantal Anna Apollonia Johanna Nepomucena Walburga Theresia Ambrosia; 6 December 1803 – 18 May 1829) was Queen consort of Spain as the wife of King Ferdinand VII of Spain. She was the youngest daughter of Prince Maximilian of Saxony (1759–1838) and his first wife, Princess Carolina of Parma (1770–1804), daughter of Duke Ferdinand of Parma. She was a member of the house of Wettin.

Princess of Saxony

Born Princess Maria Josepha Amalia of Saxony, she lost her mother when she was a few months old, so her father sent her to a convent near the Elbe river, where she was raised by the nuns. As a result, Maria Josepha Amalia had a strict religious upbringing and was a fervent Roman Catholic all her life. At birth she was entitled to the style of Serene Highness as Saxony remained an electorate until 1806. After then, she was entitled to the style of Royal Highness.

Queen of Spain

Ferdinand VII of Spain's second wife, Maria Isabel of Portugal, died in 1818 without leaving any descendants. Thus the King began to look for a new consort and his choice fell on Maria Josepha Amalia. They married on 20 October 1819 in Madrid. Although the new queen was too young, naive and inexperienced, the king fell in love with her because of her sweet temper. Besides, she was more attractive than his previous wives, Maria Antonia of Naples and Maria Isabella of Portugal. After his two childless marriages, there was great pressure for the Bourbon dynasty in Spain to ensure that King Ferdinand VII had an heir. Saxon princesses were renowned for their fertility since Maria Josepha Amalia and Ferdinand VII's common ancestors Augustus III of Poland and Maria Josepha of Austria had had some fourteen children, including Ferdinand VII's grandmother and Maria Josepha's grandfather. Nevertheless, the marriage remained childless and Maria Josepha Amalia withdrew from public life, with long stays in the Palace of Aranjuez, in La Granja de San Ildefonso and the Royal Palace of Riofrio. It took a personal letter sent by Pope Pius VII in order to convince the queen that sexual relations between spouses were not contrary to the morality of Catholicism. She died as a result of fevers on 18 May 1829 in Aranjuez, leaving her husband heartbroken, and was buried in El Escorial. Her husband remarried for the fourth time to Maria Christina of the Two Sicilies who eventually gave birth to the future Queen Isabella II of Spain.


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