Catherine of Braganza was a member of the British and Portuguese aristocracy (upper classes or upper crust). Born in Alentejo, she was the daughter of King John IV of Portugal and the wife of King Charles II of England, Scotland and Ireland. For the first 23 years of her life she lived in Portugal, but following her marriage in 1662 she resided in England until the 1690s. It was Catherine who began the British love for tea. Sadly she didn’t have the easiest of marriages as Charles took numerous mistresses and had at least a dozen illegitimate children. However apparently he always insisted she was treated with respect, and he came to her defence in 1669 when false charges of treason were laid against her.

On her return to beloved Lisboa, eight years after the death of her husband, she resided with Portuguese nobles. Soon after she commissioned her own palace, which became known as Paço da Rainha and on a couple of occasions before her death acted as regent for her brother Peter II. You can read all about her palace in Lisboa in my Portuguese post.

By the way the phrase upper crust to describe the upper classes is apparently an Americanism coined in the 19th century. So Catherine would never have heard herself called that. Although she may have heard the phrase with its original definition. There is written evidence it was first used to describe part of a loaf in England in the 1640s.

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  1. I am a little weak in statuary, but she is lovely. I finally gave up and went back to birds. I really did spend ALL day trying to get Garry a vaccination and anything available was like way up in the Berkshires — more than 100 miles away AND up a mountain — with snow on the way. I want him vaccinated, not driving off an icy cliff.

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