First Lady of Chile
Flag of Chile.svg
Irina Karamanos retrato oficial.jpg
Incumbent
Irina Karamanos

since March 11, 2022
ResidenceLa Moneda Palace
Inaugural holderMaría Mercedes Fontecilla Valdivieso
Formation1811
WebsiteOfficial website (in Spanish)

The First Lady of Chile (Spanish: Primera Dama de Chile) is the title for the wife of the president of Chile, who is traditionally responsible for directing and coordinating activities in the social field of the presidency and also accompany the president in ceremonies or official activities, for example, on state visit. Although not an official title, it is widely used in formal protocol and has been used in some decrees.[1]

History

In colonial times, the wives of the royal governors (known also as "presidents") were called Presidentas. The title was still in use after Chile become a republic in the 19th century; the term, was slowly superseded by the newer First Lady, similar to the one used in other countries.[a]

Due to the complex evolution of the Head of State of Chile after the emancipation from Spain and the non-official character of the title, it is not possible to define who was the "first First Lady". Potential options include:

During the 19th and early 20th century, the First Lady was considered one of the most influential figures of Chilean high society. As the wife of the President, the first ladies fulfilled the role as hostesses of ceremonies, especially after the President moved to the La Moneda Palace in 1845, and were in charge of the decoration of the presidential residences. Also, they participated in several charities and promoted different causes: Delfina de la Cruz and Emilia Márquez de la Plata, for example, organized events to support injured veterans, orphans and widowers caused by the War of the Pacific. In 1925, the First Lady had their own private office and staff, to support her role as the president of different charitable organizations created by the government.

During the 20th century, the role of the First Lady increased, in line with the empowered role women had in politics and became more visible to the general public, not just for the high society. Juana Rosa Aguirre , wife of Pedro Aguirre Cerda (president between 1938 and 1941), promoted the adoption of women's suffrage and helped the people affected by the 1939 Chillán earthquake. Other foundations created by the First Ladies by the middle of the 20th century included the Ropero del Pueblo (1947–1958) and CEMA Chile (1967–1990).

At the moment, no male presidential spouse has existed. The title of First Gentleman (Primer Caballero) has been proposed for this case, although colloquially the term Primer Damo was used to refer to Bachelet's son Sebastián Dávalos when he acted as her representative.[2]

Vacancy

The role of the First Lady has been vacant in six times, once by the death of the title holder and five times when the President has not been married. Usually in these cases, the role has been assumed by a close female relative.

Although not married, President-elect Gabriel Boric announced that the role of the First Lady will be assumed by his couple and girlfriend Irina Karamanos.[4]

Director of the Social-Cultural Area of the Presidency

Michelle Bachelet, a divorced woman, created an administrative position under her direct appointment, the Director of the social-cultural area of the Presidency, to absorbe the different non-profit foundations of the presidency (Red de Fundaciones de la Presidencia de la República) that were traditionally managed by the First Lady. The foundations included are Integra, Promoción y Desarrollo de la Mujer, Prodemu (Women's promotion and development); Fundación de la Familia; Tiempos Nuevos; Museo Interactivo Mirador; Matucana 100 Cultural Center; the Chilean Youth Orchestras; Artesanías de Chile (Arts and crafts) and Todo Chilenter.[5]

List of first ladies

Dates Name President Parents
1810 María Nicolasa Valdés y Carrera Mateo de Toro y Zambrano y Ureta Domingo Valdés y González-Soberal and Francisca de Borja de la Carrera y Ureta
1811–1813 María Mercedes Fontecilla Valdivieso José Miguel Carrera Verdugo Diego Antonio Fontecilla Palacios and Rosa Valdivieso Portusagasti
1818–1823 Isabel Riquelme y Meza [b] Bernardo O'Higgins Riquelme Simón Riquelme de la Barrera y Goycochea and María Mercedes de Meza y Ulloa
1823–1826 Manuela Caldera Mascayano [es] Ramón Freire Serrano Francisco de Paula Caldera y Fontecilla-Palacios and Micaela Mascayano Larraín
1826 Carmen Gana López Manuel Blanco Encalada Agustín Gana Darrigrande and Dolores López Guerrero
1826–1827 María Teresa de Larraín y Guzmán Agustín Manuel de Eyzaguirre y Arechavala Agustín de Larraín y Lecaros and of Ana Josefa de Guzmán Peralta y Lecaros
1827–1829 Luisa Garmendia [es] Francisco Antonio Pinto Díaz Ignacio Garmendia y Aguirre and María Elena de Aldurralde y Villagrán
1829 Mariana de Aguirre y Boza Francisco Ramón Vicuña Larraín José Santos de Aguirre y Díez de Aséndegui and Antonia de Boza de Lima y Andía-Irarrázaval
1830–1831 Rafaela Bezanilla Bezanilla José Tomás Ovalle y Bezanilla Francisco Bezanilla y De la Bárcena y Juana Bezanilla y Abós-Padilla
1831 María del Carmen Sotomayor Elzo Fernando de Errázuriz y Martínez de Aldunate Francisco Sotomayor Serrano and María de la Concepción de Elzo y Ureta
1831–1841 Manuela Warnes [es] José Joaquín Prieto Vial Manuel Antonio Warnes y Durango and Ana Jacoba García de Zúñiga y Lizola
1841–1851 Enriqueta Pinto Garmendia Manuel Bulnes Prieto Ex presidente Francisco Antonio Pinto and the ex-First Lady Luisa Garmendia Aldurralde
1851–1861 Rosario Montt Manuel Montt Torres Filiberto Montt y Prado and Luz Goyenechea Sierra.
1861–1871 Tránsito Flores [es] José Joaquín Pérez Mascayano Antonio Flores y Toro Zambrano and Micaela de la Cavareda y Trucíos
1871–1876 Eulogia Echaurren García-Huidrobro Federico Errázuriz Zañartu José Gregorio de Echaurren y Herrera and Juana García de Huidobro y Aldunate
1876–1881 Delfina de la Cruz Zañartu Anibal Pinto Garmendia José María de la Cruz Prieto and Josefa Zañartu Trujillo
1881–1886 Emilia Márquez de la Plata [es] Domingo Santa María González Fernando Márquez de la Plata y Calvo de Encalada and María del Carmen Guzmán y Fontecilla
1886-1891 Emilia de Toro [es] José Manuel Balmaceda Fernández Domingo José Francisco Rafael de Toro y Valdés and María Mercedes Guzmán y Lecaros
1891–1896 Leonor Frederick [es] Jorge Montt Álvarez Jonathan Frederick Winthon and Nieves Ledesma Varas
1896-1901 Gertrudis Echenique Mujica Federico Errázuriz Echaurren Juan José Echenique Bascuñán and Jesús Mujica Echaurren
1901–1906 María Errázuriz Echaurren Germán Riesco Errázuriz Ex presidente Federico Errázuriz Zañartu and the ex-First Lady Eulogia Echaurren García-Huidrobro
1906-1910 Sara del Campo Yávar Pedro Montt Montt Evaristo del Campo Madariaga and Antonia Yávar Ruiz de Cabrera
1910–1915 Mercedes Valdés Cuevas [es] Ramón Barros Luco Francisco de Borja Valdés Aldunate and Alejandra Cuevas Avaria
1915–1920 Ana Echazarreta Pérez-Cotapos Juan Luis Sanfuentes Andonaegui Juan Manuel Echazarreta Irigoyen and Mercedes Pérez-Cotapos Recabarren
1920–1925 Rosa Rodríguez Velasco [es] Artuto Alessandri Palma José Antonio Rodríguez Velasco and Antonia Velasco Pérez-Cotapos
1925–1927 Leonor Sánchez [es] Emiliano Figueroa Larraín Teodoro Sánchez Foulkner and Teresa Vicuña Vicuña
1927–1931 Graciela Letelier Velasco [es] Carlos Ibáñez del Campo Ricardo Letelier Silva and Margarita Velasco Urzúa
1931–1932 Graciela Fehrman [es] Juan Esteban Montero Rodríguez Eduardo Fehrman Zúñiga and Adelaida Martínez Prado
1932 Herminia Arrate Carlos Dávila Espinoza Miguel Arrate Larraín and Delia Ramírez Molina
1932–1938 Rosa Rodríguez Velasco [es] Arturo Alessandri Palma José Antonio Rodríguez Velasco and Antonia Velasco Pérez-Cotapos
1938-1941 Juana Rosa Aguirre Luco Pedro Aguirre Cerda José Joaquín Aguirre Campos and Mercedes Luco Gutiérrez
1942-1946 Marta Ide Pereira [es] Juan Antonio Ríos Morales Carlos Jorge Ide Schulz and Juana Pereira Ahuer
1946–1952 Rosa Markmann Reijer Gabriel González Videla Ladislao Markmann Villagrán and Ana Reijer Silva
1952–1958 Graciela Letelier Velasco [es] Carlos Ibáñez del Campo Ricardo Letelier Silva and Margarita Velasco Urzúa
1958–1964 None[c] Jorge Alessandri Rodríguez
1964–1970 María Ruiz-Tagle [es] Eduardo Frei Montalva Alfredo Ruiz-Tagle Adriasola and Claudia Jiménez Pérez de Arce
1970-1973 Hortensia Bussi Soto Salvador Allende Gossens Ciro Bussi Aguilera and Mercedes Soto García
1973–1990 María Lucía Hiriart Rodríguez Augusto Pinochet Ugarte Osvaldo Hiriart Corvalán and Lucía Rodríguez Auda
1990–1994 Leonor Oyarzún Ivanovic Patricio Aylwin Azócar Manuel Oyarzún Lorca and Ana Ivanovic Roccatagliata
1994–2000 Marta Larraechea Bolívar Eduardo Frei Ruiz-Tagle Vasco de Larraechea Herrera and Victoria Bolívar Le Fort
2000–2006 Luisa Durán de la Fuente Ricardo Lagos Escobar Hernán Durán Morales and Luisa de la Fuente Tavolara
2006–2010 None[d] Michelle Bachelet
2010–2014 Cecilia Morel Montes Sebastián Piñera Echenique Eduardo Morel Chaigneau and Paulina Montes Brunet
2014–2018 None[e] Michelle Bachelet
2018–2022 Cecilia Morel Montes Sebastián Piñera Echenique Eduardo Morel Chaigneau and Paulina Montes Brunet
2022– Irina Karamanos Adrían[f] Gabriel Boric Font Jorge Karamanos and Sabine Adrian

Footnotes

  1. ^ The term Presidenta has been adopted in current times as the female version of Presidente, the title of President in Spanish (for example, when Michelle Bachelet assumed as the first female President of Chile in 2006).
  2. ^ O'Higgins was single. The role of First Lady was assumed unofficially by his mother.
  3. ^ Alessandri was single; role was assumed by Louise Schäffer [es], wife of minister Sótero del Río.
  4. ^ Michelle Bachelet was divorced. The role of First Lady was unofficially held by her mother, Ángela Jeria, in ceremonies. However, the role of Director of the social-cultural area of the Presidency was assumed by Adriana Delpiano (2006-2007) and María Eugenia Hirmas [es] (2007-2010).[5][6]
  5. ^ Michelle Bachelet was divorced. The role of First Lady was unofficially held by her mother, Ángela Jeria, in ceremonies. However, the role of Director of the social-cultural area of the Presidency was assumed by her son Sebastián Dávalos [es] (2014-2015) and later by Paula Frottes (2015-2018).[7]
  6. ^ Boric and Karamanos are not married.

References

  1. ^ Presidency of the Republic of Chile. "Resolución 2059 Exenta: Aprueba disposiciones generales de participación ciudadana en la Presidencia de la República". Library of the National Congress of Chile (in Spanish). Retrieved 2022-01-18.((cite web)): CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  2. ^ La Segunda, March 17, 2004, Sebastián Dávalos se instaló en La Moneda y comienza a ejercer rol de «primer damo» (Sebastián Dávalos is working at La Moneda and begins his job as "male first lady".)
  3. ^ "Cuando no hay primera dama, está la familia". La Verdad. Retrieved 2022-01-18.((cite web)): CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  4. ^ "Irina Karamanos confirmó que asumirá cargo de Primera Dama: "Es un desafío que podemos aprovechar"". Pagina 7 (in Spanish). Retrieved 2022-01-18.
  5. ^ a b "Bachelet designa a esposa de Sergio Bitar en funciones de Primera Dama". El Mostrador. 2007-01-26. Archived from the original on September 30, 2007. Retrieved 2007-01-26.
  6. ^ Emol.com, Adriana Delpiano asumirá rol que ocupaba Luisa Durán, 16 March 2006.
  7. ^ Chilevisión, Sebastián Dávalos Bachelet se hará cargo de siete fundaciones sin recibir sueldo, 17 March 2014.