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Dona Mafalda de Saboia

(1125-1157)

D. Mafalda de Saboia, Countess of Saboia, Piemonte and Maurienne, also known as Matilde, was the first queen of Portugal from 1146 until the date of her death.

Daughter of Count Amadeu III of Saboia and his wife Mafalda de Albon.

She was married for twelve years to D. Afonso Henriques, the first King of Portugal.

The Wedding Ceremony between King Afonso Henriques and the future Queen took place in the year 1146.

Of her life little is known, however, historians refer to Queen D. Mafalda of Saboia as having been a woman with a "difficult shape and of real stubbornness.

A bad temper is attributed, as well as a certain stubbornness to the Queen, due to the constant conflicts between the queen and the prior of Santa Cruz de Coimbra, São Teotónio.

It is said that the Queen was in the labor of one of her children and that when she realizes that she is in serious danger of life, she orders to call the Prior in order to obtain the blessing of St. Teotonius. Once blessed, the Queen can give birth and survive.

As a form of deep gratitude to the prior D. Mafalda orders to make a picture in his honor.

The friendship between Queen D. Mafalda and the prior turned out to be temporary because the prior had not allowed D. Mafalda to enter the inner cloister of the Monastery of Santa Clara so as not to violate the rules of the institution.

D. Mafalda de Saboia does not accept the decision and position taken by the prior and as a reaction has him persecuted.

From his marriage to D. Afonso Henriques were born seven children, one of whom, D. Sancho, second king of Portugal.

The first queen of Portugal died about thirty years ago, on December 3 or 4, 1157, following the birth of the Infanta D. Sancha.

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