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Today in royal history: July 15, 1837 – Stephanie of Hohenzollern-Sigmaringen, the future Queen consort of Portugal, wife of King Pedro V of Portugal and the Algarves, was born.

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Stephanie of Hohenzollern-Sigmaringen

Princess Stephanie was born in Krauchenwies, Sigmaringen, on July 15, 1837, Stephanie was the eldest daughter of Karl Anton, Prince of Hohenzollern, head of the House of Hohenzollern-Sigmaringen, and his wife Princess Josephine of Baden. Her maternal grandparents were Karl, Grand Duke of Baden, and Stéphanie de Beauharnais, adopted daughter of Emperor Napoleon I of France.

She was also a younger sister of Leopold, Prince of Hohenzollern, older sister of King Carol I of Romania, and aunt of King Albert I of Belgium.

Hohenzollern-Sigmaringen was a principality in southwestern Germany. Its rulers belonged to the senior Swabian branch of the House of Hohenzollern. The senior Swabian branch of the House of Hohenzollern is not as well known to history as is the junior Franconian line which became Burgraves of Nuremberg and later ruled Brandenburg-Prussia and the German Empire.

The Swabian Hohenzollerns were elevated to princes in 1623 by Holy Roman Emperor Ferdinand II. The small sovereign state with the capital city of Sigmaringen was annexed to the Kingdom of Prussia in 1850 by Friedrich Wilhelm IV following the abdication of its sovereign, Prince Carl, in the wake of the revolutions of 1848, then became part of the newly created Province of Hohenzollern.

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This photo shows King Pedro V and Queen Stephanie in the courtyard at Pena Palace near Sintra, around 1858. The picture was taken during the wedding festivities of Pedro and Stephanie.

Stephanie married King Peter V of Portugal and the Algarves by proxy on 29 April 1858 at St. Hedwig’s Cathedral in Berlin, where her eldest brother Leopold stood in for the groom. She was then married in person on 18 May 1858 at the Church of St. Dominic in Lisbon.

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Pedro V, King of Portugal and the Algarves.

King Pedro V was the eldest son of Queen Maria II of Portugal and the Algarves and Prince Ferdinand a German prince of the House of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha-Koháryeter was a member of the House of Braganza. As heir apparent to the throne, Pedro was styled Prince Royal and he was also the 19th Duke of Braganza.

Both bride and groom were a few months short of their twenty-first birthdays. Stephanie was received with much luxury and wrote home that the Portuguese understood luxury better than dignity. However she fell ill with diphtheria and died only a year later in Lisbon at the age of 22. During her short period as queen, she made herself a good name from the foundation of hospitals.

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Stephanie, Queen of Portugal and the Algarves.

There were no children from this marriage. Her body was interred at the Braganza Pantheon inside the Monastery of São Vicente de Fora in Lisbon.

Pedro never married again and died of cholera on November 11, 1861 at the age of 24. He was succeeded as King by his younger brother Luís.