Peter III of Portugal

Peter III

D. Pedro III
King of Portugal and Algarves
Reign 24 February 1777 –
25 May 1786
Predecessor José
Successor Maria I
Co-monarch Maria I
Born (1717-07-05)5 July 1717
Lisbon, Portugal
Died 25 May 1786(1786-05-25) (aged 68)
Queluz, Portugal
Burial Pantheon of the Braganzas
Spouse Maria I of Portugal
(m. 1760)
see details...
José, Prince of Brazil
João VI
Infanta Mariana Vitória
Dynasty Braganza
Father João V of Portugal
Mother Maria Anna of Austria
Religion Roman Catholicism

Peter III (Portuguese: Pedro III)[1] (Portuguese pronunciation: [ˈpedɾu]) (5 July 1717 – 25 May 1786) became King of the Kingdom of Portugal and the Algarves by the accession of his wife and niece Queen Maria I in 1777, and co-reigned alongside her until his death.[2]

Early life

Pedro, Prince of Brazil; Portrait by Vieira Lusitano.

Pedro was born at 12:00 noon on 5 July 1717 in the Ribeira Palace in Lisbon, Portugal.[3] He was baptized on 29 August and was given the name Pedro Clemente Francisco José António.[4] His parents were King João V and his wife Maria Ana of Austria.[3] Pedro was a younger brother of José I of Portugal. Their maternal grandparents were Leopold I, Holy Roman Emperor, and Eleonor Magdalene of Neuburg, sister of Queen Maria Sofia of Portugal.


Pedro married his niece Maria, Princess of Brazil, in 1760, at which time she was the heiress presumptive to the throne then held by his brother José I. According to custom, Pedro thus became king of Portugal in right of his wife. They had six children, of whom the eldest surviving son succeeded Maria as João VI on her death in 1816.

Pedro made no attempt to participate in government affairs, spending his time hunting or in religious exercises.

He also defended the high nobility of Portugal, and sponsored the petitions of those accused in Távora affair, whose rehabilitation was subject of new lawsuits, in which the heirs demanded the restitution of their confiscated properties.

Peter III was moderately friendly toward the Jesuits, who had been banished from Portugal and its overseas empire in 1759, largely at the behest of the Marquis of Pombal. Peter III had taken some of his early education from the Jesuits, explaining this. His affection had little effect; Pope Clement XIV ordered the Jesuits suppressed across Europe in 1773.

Marriage and Issue

The couple married on 6 June 1760. At the time of their marriage, Maria was 25 and Pedro was 42. Despite the age gap, the couple had a happy marriage. Peter automatically became co-monarch (as Pedro III of Portugal) when Maria ascended the throne, as a child had already been born from their marriage. The couple had six children and a stillborn baby.

Royal styles of
King Pedro III of Portugal
Reference style His Most Faithful Majesty
Spoken style Your Most Faithful Majesty
Alternative style Sire
Effigy of Maria I and Peter III, 1785
José, Prince of Brazil20 August 176111 September 1788José Francisco Xavier de Paula Domingos António Agostinho Anastácio married Infanta Benedita of Portugal and had no issue. His death lead to his younger brother becoming heir-apparent and later king.
João de Bragança20 October 176220 October 1762João was a still born baby, born at the Ajuda National Palace.
João Francisco de Bragança16 September 176310 October 1763João Francisco de Paula Domingos António Carlos Cipriano was born at the Ajuda National Palace.
João VI13 May 176710 March 1826João Maria José Francisco Xavier de Paula Luís António Domingos Rafael married Carlota Joaquina of Spain and had issue. He was King of Portugal and Emperor of Brazil.
Mariana Victoria de Bragança15 December 17682 November 1788Maria Ana Vitória Josefa Francisca Xavier de Paula Antonieta Joana Domingas Gabriela married Infante Gabriel of Spain and had issue.
Maria Clementina de Bragança9 June 177427 June 1776Maria Clementina Francisca Xavier de Paula Ana Josefa Antónia Domingas Feliciana Joana Michaela Julia de Bragança was born at the Queluz National Palace.
Maria Isabel de Bragança 12 December 177614 January 1777Maria Isabel was born at the Queluz National Palace.



  1. Encyclopaedia Britannica Volume 17 1973 Page 518 "Pedro III (1717-1786), king-consort from 1777, was born in Lisbon on July 5, 1717, the younger son of John V of Portugal. He was married in July 1760 to the daughter of his elder brother, King Joseph I."
  2. David Birmingham A Concise History of Portugal 2003 Page 205 "Pedro III 1777-86"
  3. 1 2 Sousa 1741, Vol VIII, p. 369.
  4. Sousa 1741, Vol VIII, p. 370.


Regnal titles
Preceded by
Joseph I
King of Portugal and the Algarves
24 February 1777 – 25 May 1786
with Maria I
Succeeded by
Maria I
Portuguese royalty
Preceded by
Maria I
Duke of Braganza
6 July 1760 24 February 1777
with Maria I
Succeeded by
José II
Preceded by
Maria I
Prince of Brazil
6 July 1760 24 February 1777
with Maria I
Succeeded by
Preceded by
Lord of the House of Infantado
5 July 1717 6 July 1760
Succeeded by
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