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Catherine of Braganza – (1638 – 1705)
Queen consort of Great Britain (1662 – 1685)
Princess Catherine of Braganza was born (Nov25, 1638) at Vila Vicosa, near Lisbon in Estramadura, the daughter of Joao VI, King of Portugal, formerly Duke of Braganza, and his wife Luiza Maria de Guzman. She married (1662) Charles II, King of England, with Tangiers and Bombay as her dowry. Despite several miscarriages, Catherine bore no surviving children, and sufferred the humiliation of having to receive the king’s mistress Barbara Villiers and her children at court. Her childlessness notwithstanding, her husband appears to have been genuinely fond of Catherine, and he refused all pressure from the government and courtiers to divorce her, and personally defended her in court, against the lies and calumnies of Titus Oates during the furore of the so-called ‘Popish Plot’ (1678). Though he generally treated her fairly, she always remained a secondary figure at his court.
Widowed in 1685, Catherine retired to Somerset House. As queen dowager, she vainly interceded with James II on behalf of her bastard stepson, the Duke of Monmouth, was present at the birth of James Edward Stuart (1688), and remained on pleasant terms with William and Mary. However, her Roman Catholicism always rendered her suspect, and seven years after the king’s death, Queen Catherine returned to Portugal (1692). There she was later appointed to rule as regent (1704) for her brother Pedro II during an illness. Queen Catherine died in office (Dec 31, 1705), at the Palace of Bemposta, Lisbon, and was interred at Belem. The queen was the subject of the historical romance With All My Heart by Margaret Campbell Barnes, and Wife to Charles II (1965) by Hilda Lewis, and appears as a character in the historical novels A Health Unto His Majesty (1956) and Here Lies Our Sovereign Lord (1956) by Jean Plaidy.
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Charito – (fl. 578 – 582)
Chariot was born (c559) the elder daughter of the Emperor Tiberius II Constantinus (578 – 582) and his wife Anastasia (formerly Ino). Her sister Constantina was the wife of the Emperor Maurice (582 – 602). She became the wife of Germanus, who was probably the son of Justinianus and a connection of the family of the Emperor Justinian I. Justinianus had served as the magister militiae of the East (575 – 577). Charito was married to Germanus in 582, and he was then created Caesar, together with his brother-in-law Maurice (Aug 5, 582). Because of his natural humility Charito’s husband refused to ascend the Imperial throne on the death of his father-in-law, and Maurice succeeded as sole emperor. Nothing more was recorded of Princess Charito or her husband after this date. Her marriage was recorded by Theophanes in his Chronogrophia and by Joannes Zonaras in his Epitome Historiarum.