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Infanta Maria Josefa of Spain

Infanta Maria Josefa of Spain

Spanish infanta
The basics
Gender female
Birth July 6, 1744 (Gaeta)
Death December 8, 1801 (Madrid)
Mother: Maria Amalia of Saxony
Father: Charles III of Spain
Siblings: Infante PhilipDuke of CalabriaCharles IV of SpainFrans van SpanjeInfante Gabriel of SpainInfante Antonio Pascual of SpainFerdinand I of the Two Sicilies
Authority VIAF id
The details

Maria Josefa of Spain (María Josefa Carmela; 6 July 1744 – 8 December 1801) was a Princess of Naples and Sicily by birth. At the accession of her father to the Spanish throne as Charles III, she became an Infanta of Spain. Born and raised in Naples, she arrived in Spain with her family in October 1759, at age fifteen. She lived at the court of her father and later with her brother Charles IV of Spain. She remained unmarried.


Infanta Maria Josefa (1800) by Goya, preliminary sketch for the group portrait of The Family of Charles IV

Princess María Josefa of Naples and Sicily was born in Gaeta, Naples. She received the name of her maternal grandmother, Maria Josepha of Austria. Her father had been King of Naples and Sicily as part of a Personal Union since 1734. Her parents married in 1738 and Maria Josefa was their first daughter to survive over the age of 5. Her parents' fourth child, at the time of her birth she had an older sister María Isabel Ana (1743–1749).

Her younger sister Princess Maria Luisa was chosen over Maria Josefa (1764) to marry the then Grand Duke of Tuscany, son of Empress Maria Theresa.

As a princess of Naples and Sicily, she was an Infanta of Spain through her father. This entitled Maria Josefa to the style of Royal Highness. Her parents were a devoted couple; her mother Maria Amalia of Saxony died barely a year after the family's arrival to Spain. Her father himself died in 1788. Afterwards, Maria Josefa lived at a court dominated by her sister-in-law, Maria Luisa of Parma, a granddaughter of Louis XV of France with whom she did not get along.

Maria Josefa was a candidate for marrying the widower Louis XV, his wife Marie Leszczyńska dying in 1768 when Maria Josefa was just 24. Louis rejected the idea being offended at her young age. Maria Josefa remained unmarried. After the death of her father, she continued living in the Royal Palace with her brother Charles IV. She supported the Carmelitas nuns, in whose convent of Saint Teresa she arranged to be buried.

She died at the Royal Palace of Madrid aged 57, before her brother Charles IV lost the throne and was exiled in 1808. In 1877 her body was transferred to El Escorial.


Titles, styles, honours and arms

Arms of Infanta Maria Josefa of Spain.

Titles and styles

  • 6 July 1744 – 6 October 1759 Her Royal Highness Princess Maria Josefa of Naples and Sicily, Infanta of Spain
  • 6 October 1759 – 8 December 1801 Her Royal Highness the Infanta Dona Maria Josefa, Infanta of Spain, Princess of Naples and Sicily


  • Dame of the Order of Queen Maria Luisa

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Life Ancestors Titles, styles, honours and arms
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