I won't be a spoiler and reveal the identity of "the Man in the Iron Mask" in the series - a first.
But the appearance of a flirty Infanta Isabel of Bragança in Versailles hoping for the king's hand was ridiculous.
Infanta Luisa Isabel Josefa of Bragança was the only child of the then Prince-Regent D.Pedro (later D.Pedro II) with his wife and former sister-in-law Maria Francisca Isabel of Savoy-Nemours.
Maria Francisca of Savoy was the bride chosen for King D.Afonso VI at a time Portugal sought an alliance with France after the spanish occupation of 1580-1640.
After failing to get the hand of the Grande Demoiselle, Maria Francisca was second choice and had Louis XIV's approval as he wanted Portugal under his wing and charge Maria Francisca to be her instrumental pawn in Lisbon.
The marriage between D.Afonso VI and Maria Francisca prooved to be made in hell and she abandonned her husband, accusing him of impotence and taking refuge in a convent in Lisbon.
Meanhwile, despite all the victories against Spain, the state of the country went from bad to worse and, in a coup d'état in 1668, D.Afonso's younger brother, Infante D.Pedro took the power, imprisionned the king and took the title of Prince Regent.
At the same time, Maria Francisca got her wedding annulled, invoking the marriage was never consumated, and soon after she married her brother-in-law D.Pedro with whom she might have had some inclination during the time she had been married as he was the complete opposite of poor, ill, handicapped, demented D.Afonso VI.
The couple prroved to be not a happy one, and they had only one daughter, Infanta D.Isabel Luisa Josefa, born in 1669.
She was the only portuguese princess at the time and was sworn heiress to the crown and titled Princess of Beira.
Her wedding became an affair of state, because of that depended the survival of the realm.
She was engaged to her cousin Victor Amedeo II of Savoy.
The prince was far from enthusiast with the marriage that would have provided him a crown but might prevent him the succession of the Savoy duchy, so he postponed several times his journey to Portugal.
Many saw in this project the hand of Louis XIV (him again).
Victor-Amedeo's mother was Maria Giovanna of Savoy-Nemours - sister of Maria Francisca, and the piedmontese thought she was plotting to have her son placed in Lisbon, thus favouring her cousin Louis XIV's ambitions to conquer the Piedmont and Savoy.
In the end Victor-Amedeo broke the engagement.
A new husband had to be found and there were several projects of marriage: Louis XIV himself, after the death of his wife Maria Teresa, but also with his son, the Grand-Dauphin.
Both projects came to nothing, as Infanta D.Isabel was portrayed as a sickly princess, suspected to be sterile.
The spanish party in Lisbon put forward the candidature of Carlos II of Spain which would put Portual again under the spanish influence, and so it was soon rejected.
Other candidates were the hereditary grand-duke of Tuscany, Ferdinando di Médicis, the hereditary duke of Parma, Edoardo Farnese and with Carl Philp, elector-palatine of Neuburg.
All those failed projects gave her the nickname of the "Sempre-Noiva" - the Always engaged or the Forever-Bride.
In 1683 D.Maria Francisca died and D.Pedro was pressed to re-marry and produce other children rather than the sickly princess of Beira.
So he remarried to Maria Sofia of Pfalz-Neuburg - sister of the above mentioned Carl-Philip- and the couple had seven children including 5 sons (the eldest died as baby).
In 1690, when the future D.João V was already born and took his sister the style of heir to the throne, Infanta D.Isabel Luisa contracted smallpox and died.
There is not a good bio of the Infanta so we know nothing of the princess character and how she regarded all the projects of marriage that she was linked with - most certainly she had no word on the subject and accepted them as any royal princess of the time.
But having been submitted to a very religious education, never leaving Lisbon and its surroundings, she would never be the flirty princess that appeared by surprise in Versailles, in a plan concotted by the Duchess of Orléans to marry her to Louis XIV (without his knowledge !!!) and break the king's liaison with Mme de Maintenon.
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