María Luisa

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María Luisa

(märē`ä lo͞oē`sä), 1751–1819, queen of Spain, daughter of Duke Philip of Parma, consort of King Charles IVCharles IV,
1748–1819, king of Spain (1788–1808), second son of Charles III, whom he succeeded in place of his imbecile older brother. Unlike his father, Charles IV was an ineffective ruler and in 1792 virtually surrendered the government to Godoy, his chief minister
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. Dissolute and domineering, she exerted, with her favorite GodoyGodoy, Manuel de
, 1767–1851, Spanish statesman. An army officer, he won the favor of Queen María Luisa and rose rapidly at the court of Charles IV. The king made him chief minister in 1792, and except for a brief eclipse from power (1798–1801), Godoy ruled
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, the real power in the government, thus contributing to the downfall of Spain at the hands of Napoleon I. She was present at the meeting in Bayonne at which Napoleon forced her husband and her son, Ferdinand VIIFerdinand VII,
1784–1833, king of Spain (1808–33), son of Charles IV and María Luisa. Excluded from a role in the government, he became the center of intrigues against the chief minister Godoy and attempted to win the support of Napoleon I.
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, to abdicate. She shared her husband's confinement and exile. Goya painted several revealing portraits of her.