Spanish Archives - Ministry of Education, Culture and Sport

Person - Borbón, María Cristina de (1806-1878, reina consorte de España)

Borbón, María Cristina de (1806-1878, reina consorte de España)




Preferred form:

Borbón, María Cristina de (1806-1878, reina consorte de España)Other forms

Dates of existence/Biographical dates:

Palermo (Sicilia, Italia)  1806-04-27 - 1878-08-22 (Francia)


Queen Consort of Spain because of her marriage to King Ferdinand VII. Regent of Spain. Daughter of the King of Naples, Francis I of the Two Sicilies. When she was very young she became the fourth wife of her uncle Ferdinand VII of Spain and she was the mother of the future Queen Isabella II, in 1830. Before Isabella was born King Ferdinand published the Pragmatic Sanction, approved in 1789, by which the House of Bourbon restored the traditional inheritance practices of Castile, allowing women access to the Throne. Maria Christina fought to guarantee the succession for her daughter, in the face of the expectations aroused by the possibility that the king would die without descendants and his brother Carlos Maria Isidro, the visible head of the ultra-realist faction of the court, became king. Christina, for her part, adopted an open stance towards the liberal opposition, with which she had had contacts when crossing France on her journey to Spain. Taking advantage of the king's illness in 1832, the ultras made him sign a codicil annulling his previous succession and restoring the Salic law. Nevertheless, this rectification was annulled when Ferdinand VII recovered his health. The inevitable confrontation broke out when the king died in 1833, leaving a three-year-old girl as heiress and her mother Maria Christina as regent during her minority. The rebellion of the absolutists, grouped in the Carlist bloc, gave rise to seven years of civil war (1833-40), which forced Maria Christina to seek support among the liberals in order to guarantee Isabella's throne. With recognition from France and England, Maria Christina moved toward a constitutional monarchy as liberal pressure demanded. In 1834 she called upon the moderate Martínez de la Rosa to govern, who dictated an amnesty for liberals persecuted by the absolutist regime and put into operation the first elective Courts through the Royal Statute of that year. The combined pressure of popular movements and military uprisings, together with the need to reinforce the Queen's side in the war against the Carlists, determined the fall of that cabinet and the call to power of the progressive Mendizábal (1835), who set in motion the confiscation of the Church's possessions. In 1836 the "Motín de los sargentos" of La Granja took place, which led to the liquidation of the regime of the Royal Statute. After a brief period of the entry into force of the Constitution of 1812, the progressives elaborated a new liberal Constitution in 1837. Under that regime, General Espartero finally defeated the Carlists in 1839-40. Meanwhile, Maria Christina had become unpopular, both because of her conservative political ideals and because of her morganatic marriage to a guard of her escort named Agustín Fernando Muñoz, with whom she had several children. Taking advantage of his military prestige, Espartero became leader of the progressive liberals and in 1840 carried out a coup attempt by which he overthrew the regent, assuming himself the Regency of the Kingdom the following year. Maria Christina and her husband had to go into exile in Paris, from where they organized conspiracies with moderates in order to recover power. Once a first attempt ¡ by Diego de León (1841) failed, the coup d'état of General Narváez declared the anticipated age of Isabella II and allowed the Queen mother to return back to Spain (1843). From the shadow she continued to exert great influence in the court, organized royal marriages, and named her husband I Duke of Riansares. During the progressive revolution of 1854, her Madrid palace was ransacked and her property was later seized by the government of Espartero. After his fall in 1856, she returned occasionally to Spain. She died in exile and is buried in the Monastery of El Escorial.

Internal Structure-Genealogy:

Francisco I de las Dos Sicilias (1777-1830) y de la infanta María Isabel de Borbón (1789-1848).



Reinas Regentes in  Spain between 1833 and 1840


Aranjuez (Madrid, España) in 1829-12-11 Obs.:  Lugar de matrimonio

Lugar de Nacimiento:

Palermo (Sicilia, Italia) in 1806-04-27

Lugar de Defunci¿n:

France in 1878-08-22


(Function) He/She carries out/ perform:

Regencia Maria Cristina de Borbón, 1833-1840




CASADO SÁNCHEZ, M.A. y MORENO SECO, M. María Cristina de Borbón y María Cristina de Habsburgo: dos regentes entre los modos aristocráticos y los modos burgueses. Universidad de Alicante, 2014.

Historia de España. La España de Fernando VII/dirigida por R. Menéndez Pidal; por Miguel Artola Gallego. 2ª ed.-Madrid: Espasa Calpe, 1989.

Related Authorities

Family relationships :

Fernando VII (1784-1833, rey de España)  - Marriage (He/She is married to)

Muñoz Sanchez, Agustín (1808-1873)  - Marriage (He/She is married to)

Borbón, Francisco de Asís (1822-1902, rey consorte de España)  - Collateral (He/She is the uncle/aunt of)

Borbón-Dos Sicilias, Luisa Carlota de (1804-1844)  - Collateral (He/She is the brother/sister of)

Borbón-Dos Sicilias, María Antonia Ana de (1814-1898)  - Collateral (He/She is the brother/sister of)

Orleáns, Antonio María de (1824-1890, infante de España)  - Collateral (He/She is the father-in-law/mother-in-law of)

Borbón, María Isabel de (1789-1848, infanta de España)  - Descendant (He/She is the son/daughter of)

Francisco I (1777-1830, rey de las Dos Sicilias)  - Descendant (He/She is the son/daughter of)

Borbón, María Luisa Fernanda de (1832-1897, infanta de España)  - Progenitor (She is the mother of)

Isabel II (1830-1904, reina de España)  - Progenitor (She is the mother of)

See ancestors See successors

Cerda Cernecio, José Máximo de la (1794-1851)  ( He/She/It collaborated with )

Associative relations :

González Oña, Francisco Antonio (1773-1833)

Piermarini, Francesco (1792-ca. 1873)  ( He/She/It collaborated with )

Real Conservatorio Superior de Música (Madrid, España)  ( He/She is the founder of )

Reina consorte de España  ( Ocupa /Ejerce de_en )

Vega Martínez, Juana María de la (1805-1872)  ( Juana María de la Vega fue nombrada aya de Isabel II y a partir de 1841, Camarera Mayor de Palacio )


Producer of:

  • Archivo Histórico Nacional  (3)

Related documents:

  • Archivo Histórico de la Nobleza  (46)
  • Archivo Histórico Nacional  (16)
  • Archivo General de Indias  (1)