Palácio da Bemposta

Palácio da Bemposta (Bemposta Palace) or Paço da Rainha (Residence of the Queen) in Lisbon was the residence of Queen Catherine, widow of King Charles II of England, Scotland & Ireland.

 

Catarina (Catherine) de Braganza was born at the Paço Ducal de Vila Viçosa on 25th November 1638, daughter of King João IV of Portugal & Luisa María Francisca de Guzmán y Sandoval. Catarina (Catherine) married King Charles II at Portsmouth on 21st May 1662. Charles and Catherine had no children although Charles had many illegitimate children by various mistresses.

 

Charles died in London on 6th February 1685 and was interred in Westminster Abbey. Following Charles’ death, Catherine remained in England until she returned to her native Portugal in 1692. Catherine died at the Palácio da Bemposta on 31st December 1705 and was interred in the Mosteiro de São Vicente de Fora in Lisbon along with her parents. 

 

Queen Maria II of Portugal transferred the palace to the army and it subsequently became the Academia Militar (Military Academy). The palace is not open to the public.

 

In 2012 a bust of Queen Catherine was unveiled in front of the Palace to commemorate Queen Elizabeth II’s Golden Jubilee.