Maria Luisa of Parma

Queen consort of Spain (1751-1819)

Maria Luisa of Parma (9 December 1751 - 2 January 1819) was Queen consort of Spain from 1788 to 1808 as the wife of King Charles IV of Spain. She was the youngest daughter of Duke Philip of Parma and his wife, Louise Élisabeth of France, the eldest daughter of King Louis XV.

Maria Luisa of Parma
Maria Luisa as Queen by Zacarías González Velázquez
Queen consort of Spain
Tenure14 December 1788 - 19 March 1808
Born(1751-12-09)9 December 1751
Ducal Palace, Parma
Died2 January 1819(1819-01-02) (aged 67)
Palazzo Barberini, Rome
SpouseCharles IV
Carlota, Queen of Portugal
Maria Amalia, Infanta Antonio Pascual
Maria Luisa, Queen of Etruria
Ferdinand VII
Carlos, Count of Molina
Maria Isabella, Queen of the Two Sicilies
Infante Francisco de Paula
Full name
Luisa Maria Teresa Anna di Borbone
HouseHouse of Bourbon
FatherPhilip, Duke of Parma
MotherLouise Élisabeth of France
ReligionRoman Catholicism



Christened Luisa Maria Teresa Anna, but known as María Luisa was born at the Ducal Palace of Colorno in the Duchy of Parma. She was the favourite child of her mother, who tried to engage her to the heir to the French throne, however the prince died in 1761. In 1762 Maria Luisa became engaged to the Prince of Asturias (heir to the throne), Charles, later King Charles IV of Spain. She married the future Charles IV on 4 September 1765. From her marriage she was the most senior female at the Spanish court, Queen Maria Amalia having died in 1761.

Maria Luisa was regularly painted by the famous Spanish artist Goya. She was often described by contemporaries as an ugly, vicious, and coarse woman who greatly dominated the king. Maria Luisa dominated her husband and was believed to have had many love affairs, but there is no evidence that Maria Luisa had any lovers. Gossip pointed out Manuel de Godoy, her husband's Prime Minister, was her long-time lover. She was unpopular during her reign and has also long had a bad reputation in history, mainly because of her alleged love affairs and her support of pro-French policies that eventually were not good for Spain. In 1792, the Order of Queen Maria Luisa was founded on her suggestion, an order which was given only to women.

Her husband abdicated the throne of Spain in 1808, and together with Maria Luisa and Godoy spent the rest of his life in exile. When Napoleon's army invaded the country, several pamphlets blamed her for that. Maria Luisa spent some years in France and then in Rome, Italy. Both Maria Luisa and her husband died in Italy in early 1819.


  1. Infante Carlos Clemente of Spain (19 September 1771 – 7 March 1774) died in infancy.
  2. Infanta Carlota of Spain (25 April 1775 – 7 January 1830) married John VI of Portugal and had issue.
  3. Infanta Maria Luisa of Spain (11 September 1777 – 2 July 1782) died in infancy.
  4. Infanta Maria Amalia of Spain (9 January 1779 – 22 July 1798) married Infante Antonio Pascual of Spain, no issue.
  5. Infante Carlos Domingo of Spain (5 March 1780 – 11 June 1783) died in infancy.
  6. Infanta Maria Luisa of Spain (6 July 1782 – 13 March 1824) married Louis of Etruria and had issue.
  7. Infante Carlos Francisco of Spain (5 September 1783 – 11 November 1784) died in infancy.
  8. Infante Felipe Francisco of Spain (5 September 1783 – 18 October 1784) died in infancy.
  9. Ferdinand VII of Spain (14 October 1784 – 29 September 1833).
  10. Infante Carlos, Count of Molina (29 March 1788 – 10 March 1855).
  11. Infanta Maria Isabel of Spain (6 June 1789 – 13 September 1848) married Francis I of the Two Sicilies and had issue.
  12. Infanta Maria Teresa of Spain (16 February 1791 – 2 November 1794) died in infancy.
  13. Infante Felipe Maria of Spain (28 March 1792 – 1 March 1794) died in infancy.
  14. Infante Francisco Antonio de Paula of Spain, Duke of Cadiz (10 March 1794 – 13 August 1865) married Princess Luisa Carlotta of Naples and Sicily and had issue.

Titles, styles, honours and arms


Titles and styles

  • 9 December 1751 - 4 September 1765 Her Royal Highness Princess Maria Luisa of Parma
  • 4 September 1765 - 14 December 1788 Her Royal Highness The Princess of Asturias
  • 14 December 1788 - 19 March 1808 Her Majesty The Queen of Spain
  • 19 March 1808 - 2 January 1819 Her Majesty Queen Maria Luisa

  Media related to Maria Luisa of Parma at Wikimedia Commons

Maria Luisa of Parma
Cadet branch of the House of Bourbon
Born: 9 December 1751 Died: 2 January 1819
Preceded by
Maria Amalia of Saxony
Queen consort of Spain
14 December 1788 - 19 March 1808
Succeeded by
Julie Clary