Parque das NaÃ§Ãµes, Lisbon
Rainha D. Catarina de BraganÃ§a (Queen Catherine of Braganza) by Audrey Flack
This statue of Catherine of Braganza (Queen Consort of Charles II) stands quite close to the Vasco da Gama Bridge and faces the River Tagus.
The statue was given to Lisbon by the "Friends of Queen Catherine" from the Queens district of New York, which tradition says is named after her ("Kings" became Brooklyn). It is a quarter scale version of the original which is ten metre (33ft) high.
I think there is a certain amount of "artistic license" here, making her look quite modern when compared with portraits of her that are held in the - National Portrait Gallery -
Catherine of Braganza was born on 25th November 1638 at Vila ViÃ§osa. Daughter of D. JoÃ£o IV de Portugal (John IV) and Louisa de Susman, (dau. of Duke of Medina Sedona). She was raised in a convent.
Catherine was married to - Charles II -
by proxy at the JerÃ³nimos Monastery in Belem, Lisbon on 23rd April 1662. After this she travelled to England, arriving in Portsmouth on 13th May. The marriage was formalised in London on 21st May.
The marriage was a political alliance, formed in part to ensure military support for Portugal which had become independent from Spain in 1640 following the death of the despised Miguel de Vasconcelos (Secretary of State "lover" of Duchess of Mantua).
Charles II, although he had mistresses, did "stick by her" and tolerated her Catholicism. She had no living children (at least two miscarriages) and, three years after Charles' death in 1685, returned to Portugal. She built a palace at Bemposta, Abrantes/Lisbon (now a military building) where she spent the rest of her life. She was on two occasion Regent of Portugal - in 1701 and 1703.
She died on 31st December 1705 and is buried at the JerÃ³nimos Monastery, BelÃ©m.
Britain benefitted from Portuguese exploration.
Catherine brought with her the custom of drinking tea - at "tea time", she brought oranges, lemons and grapefruit, and the taste for eating marmalade (then made from quinces and oranges). She introduced using a fork for dining, and also drinking Port and Madeira Wine.
There's more information about Catherine on the - Queen's Royal Surrey Regiment -
website and also on - BBC h2g2 -.