I’ve blogged about the royal family of Portugal before, and while researching that post, I came across one of the common problems with European nobility. The thing is, there just weren’t enough of them on speaking terms in each generation, so the ones that were on speaking terms tended to marry each other, leading to a lot of inbreeding.
So back to the Portugese royal family. Joseph I of Portugal (6 June 1714 – 24 February 1777) had four daughters, two of whom, Maria I of Portugal (December 17, 1734 – March 20, 1816) and Benedita, Princess of Brazil(25 July 1746 – 18 August 1829), married.
Maria, then Crown Princess, married her uncle, Pedro III of Portugal (5 July 1717 – 25 May 1786) on 1760, when she was 25 and he was 43.
It gets worse though.
Seventeen years later, Maria’s youngest sister Benedita, then thirty, married her fifteen year old cousin, who was also her nephew, as he was the child of Maria and Pedro.
Sadly, but mercifully, and certainly not surprisingly, Benedita and Jose were unable to have children.