Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Portuguese court rules that Queen Maria Pia can be sued

August 12, 1910. Queen Maria Pia of Portugal, the grandmother of King Manoel II, can be sued by a Lisbon dressmaker for non-payment of a bill. The dressmaker is owed $20,000 for dresses ordered by the queen. But the bill was not paid. The Queen's counsel stated that Maria Pia, as a queen consort was exempt from being sued. A lower court agreed. But the dressmaker refused to give up and pressed the court further. A higher court ruled that only the king -- the sovereign -- is entitled to this privilege. The court stated that Maria Pia was a subject, not the sovereign, and was required to pay the bill.

Maria Pia (1847-1911) was the daughter of King Vittorio Emanuele I and Queen Maria Adelaide of Italy. She allegedly made the statement: "If you want a queen, you have to pay for a queen." This was apparently in response to Portugal's Parliament questioning her excessive spending.

1 comment:

Cabri said...

Good! Immunity is granted for official acts. Buying dresses is hardly an offical act. I am impressed how modern the Portugese courts were in 1910.