There was no reason for her to step down during her son's reign.
Apart from that, D.Maria Pia began her mental decline after the schock of the regicide, loosing a son and a grandson in such a brutal way, and left the limelight to her d-i-l during D.Manuel's reign.
D.Maria Pia's strong personality and outgoing character sometimes clashed with D.Amélia more introvert and discret character during D.Carlos' reign.
She was always a more popular queen that D.Amélia and she knew it and took advantage of it.
Although she sincerely loved and cared for her d-i-l, D.Maria Pia was THE undisputed Queen when D.Amélia arrived in Portugal, an adult woman who welcomed one young and inexperient young lady, but showing her who was the Boss.
D.Maria Pia was also the only woman in the Royal Family (as D.Fernando II's 2nd wife was openly outcasted by her).
She might have had some difficulty to adjust to the role of 2nd Lady after her husband's death and D.Carlos sure had to walk on the razor edge, trying to please both his mother and his wife.
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