Queen Amélie of Portugal, a true fan of Benamôr
Benamôr was founded in 1925, in the heart of the Portuguese capital. A mysterious apothecary, who was inspired by natural Portuguese ingredients, created miraculous ointments in his laboratory in Campo Grande, giving life to some of the main beauty products in Portugal, such as the famous Face Cream.
And it was precisely this moisturising anti-imperfection cream that caught the eye of various personalities, including Queen Amélie of Portugal, Portugal's last Queen Consort.
For Benamôr, it has always been important to maintain and promote the brand's connection with Lisbon and Portugal. We therefore wanted the names of the families of our beauty recipes to be intimately linked to the brand's past and the bond with Lisbon and Portuguese culture. This is where the name "Rose Amélie" comes from, a tribute to Queen Amélie, whose father was heir to the French crown, and to the royal rose, an ingredient with beneficial properties for the skin and a delicate fragrance.
AMÉLIE OR AMÉLIA - A FRENCH WOMAN BORN IN ENGLAND WITH A PORTUGUESE HEART
Maria Amélie Louise Helena de Bourbon-Orleans was born in Twickenham, England on 28th September 1865. When she came into the world, her father, Count of Paris and grandson of the last French king, had been in exile since Napoleon III had assumed the Presidency of the Second Republic. Only after the fall of Napoleon III, nephew and heir of Napoleon Bonaparte, was Amélie's family able to return to France. Amélie was brought up as a princess, even though her father was only a pretender to the crown, and her adolescence was spent between palaces and visits to royal relatives in Austria and Spain.
It was in 1886 that Amélie of Orleans first met Prince Charles, Duke of Bragança, when he was on holiday in Paris. The enchantment was mutual and the official proposal was made by Charles to the Count of Paris on 6th February 1886. Although this was an arranged marriage, it is known that the two truly fell in love with each other.
A person of books and an admirer of opera and theatre, she played a very important role in the Portuguese court, influencing it with her cultured and elegant character. Moreover, the Queen was always the right arm of King Carlos, whom she made a point of accompanying on his state trips.
After the king's regicide on 1st February 1908 and the establishment of the Republic on 5th October 1910, Queen Amélie went into exile in England and years later in France.
THE QUEEN AND BENAMÔR PRODUCTS
And it was precisely during her exile that Her Majesty was introduced to Benamôr's famous face cream. In the 1930s and 1940s, several personalities in Portuguese society used this brand's products. In fact, at the time, many of these celebrities wrote and sang Benamôr's praises.
In a letter dated 1935, Queen Amélie of Portugal publicly admired Benamôr's beauty articles. In fact, according to her, its products were at the level of the highest French cosmetics. When the Queen lived in Portugal, she always used products made in the country.
"When I lived in Portugal, I always used and established as a rule at court the preference for everything manufactured there [in Portugal]".
But the curious thing is that, even after her exile, the Queen continued to use Portuguese creams. In fact, in this letter, Queen Amélie of Portugal placed Benamôr's recipes above any others, "however great and justified their fame may be".
This is proof that, in the 1930s, Benamôr products crossed borders, reaching France. It was a foretaste of the success that Benamôr has today in the world, since it is present in 30 countries, with more than 50 cosmetics available.
This is the story of a blue-blooded fan who inspired the family name "Rose Amélie" and came to prove that Benamôr products are worthy of royalty.