SUBALBUM:  Queen Isabel II of Spain

Spain suffered from the disease afflicting today's USA - we're number one so we don't have to change, let's go back to (some fictitious glory) "good old days," represented by a statue in Orange County (California) Airport of Marion Morrison dressed up as one of his strong straight-shootin' John Wayne characters in a Western movie. But that's the USA - Spain clung to sayas long after they were obsolete elsewhere. The world passed Spain by. Spain became a battleground for other nations such as France, Germany, and Russia - and its own factions. Napoleon invaded in the early 1800s prompting irregular forces to oppose him - the origin of the word "guerilla." One result of internal conflict following the end of Bonapartism in Spain was suspension of male succession ("Salic law") so a woman, Isabel II, could rule Spain. Internal conflict continued leading to a period of instability both in Spain and in the life of Isabel II who had a rather unsatisfactory husband chosen for her. Her meddling in affairs of state did not help either. Isabel II was exiled in 1868. She died in 1904.

Her portraits show she was either comfortable with or outright relished posing in full dress. There are numerous portraits of her lavishly dressed (portraits towards the end of her reign seem to betray unhappiness). The Spanish site Oronoz has many images of her, searchable from here. Her English-language Wikipedia article is here.

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