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The title Duke of Braganza in the House of Braganza is one of the most important titles in the peerage of Portugalmarker, as the ancient Duchy of Braganza (Bragança), is one of the oldest and most important dukedoms in Portugal. Since the House of Braganza acceded to the throne of Portugal in 1640, the male heir of the Portuguese Crown has been known as the Duke of Braganza together with the title Prince of Brazil (until 1822), or sometimes also by Prince of Beira. The tradition of the heir to the throne being titled Duke of Braganza was revived by various pretenders after the foundation of the Republic on October 5, 1910, to signify their claims to the throne.

List of the Dukes of Braganza

(Note: dates are birth and death; the intermediate date represents accession as Duke)

  1. Afonso I, Duke of Braganza (1370–1442–1461) Illegitimate son of King John I of Portugal.
  2. Fernando I, Duke of Braganza (1403–1478), governor of Ceutamarker
  3. Fernando II, Duke of Braganza (1430–e.1483), executed for treason by order of King João II of Portugal married Princess Isabella, sister of King Manuel I and daughter of the Infante Duke of Viseu, thus having rights of succession to the throne.
  4. Jaime, Duke of Braganza (1479–1500–1532), builder of the Palace of Vila Viçosa, as heir of his mother a potential heir of crown of Portugal
  5. Teodósio I, Duke of Braganza (1520–1563), a man of the arts, wrote books on sculpture
  6. João I, Duke of Braganza (1543–1583), married to Infanta Catherine of Guimarães (also known as Catherine of Portugal), one of potential heiresses to King Henry's throne.
  7. Teodosio II, Duke of Braganza (1568–1630), who fought a battle when only 10 years-old
  8. João II, Duke of Braganza (1604–1656), crowned King João IV of Portugal in December 1, 1640.
  9. Teodósio III, Duke of Braganza, 4th Duke of Barcelos, Prince of Portugal (1634–1641–1653). Eldest son of King John IV.
  10. King Afonso VI of Portugal (Afonso II, Duke of Braganza) (1643–1653–1683) was Duke 1653–68
  11. the future King Peter II of Portugal (1648–1706) was in 1668 created Duke of Braganza, the same year when he became the regent for incapable Afonso VI and was recognized as the "heir-apparent"
  12. infanta Isabel Luisa, Princess of Beira was created duchess in 1683
  13. King João V of Portugal (João III, Duke of Braganza) (1689–1750)
  14. infanta Barbara of Portugal was duchess from 1711 to 1712
  15. infante Pedro (1712–14) was duke of Braganza too, created in 1712
  16. King Joseph I of Portugal (José I, Duke of Braganza) (1714–1777) was created the duke in 1714 (Queen Mary I of Portugal (1734–1816) apparently was never granted the title of Duchess)
  17. José II, Duke of Braganza, Prince of Portugal (1761–1788) Eldest son of Queen Maria I. Created duke in 1777
  18. King João VI of Portugal (João IV, Duke of Braganza) (1767–1826), created the duke in 1788
  19. King Pedro IV of Portugal (Pedro I, Duke of Braganza) (1798–1834) was created the Duke of Braganza in 1816, and later in 1831–1834 used it as his main title
  20. Miguel of Portugal (Miguel I, Duke of Braganza) (1802–1866) (in exile after 1834) was apparently never granted the duchy of Braganza (Queen Maria II of Portugal (1819–1853) was apparently never granted the title of Duchess)
  21. King Pedro V of Portugal (Pedro II, Duke of Braganza) (1837–1861)
  22. King Carlos of Portugal (Carlos, Duke of Braganza) (1863–k.1908), killed with his son, the 23rd duke
  23. Luis Filipe, Duke of Braganza, Prince of Portugal (1887–k.1908). Eldest son of Carlos I.

Post-monarchy use and claimants

The heir apparent is Afonso de Santa Maria, Prince of Beira (b. 1996)

For alternative or self-appointed claimants see the articles Maria Pia de Saxe-Coburgo e Bragança and Duke of Loulé.

  • in 1889–1891, the deposed Pedro II of Brazil (1825–1891) used the title of Duke of Braganza (duc de Bragançe) when in exile , as his main title in civil context (as had his abdicated father done in 1831–1834). Pedro II sojourned then chiefly in France and was member of Science Academy there. He was the heir male of his late father, the abdicated king and emperor Pedro I, who in 1816 had been created the 20th Duke of Braganza by king John VI and had never relinquished his rights to that title.

History of Dukedom

Feudal dukes

The Duke of Braganza holds one of the most important dukedoms in Portugal, see Duchy of Braganza. Created in 1442 by King Afonso V of Portugal for his uncle Afonso, Count of Barcelos (natural son of John I of Portugal), it is one of the oldest fiefdoms in Portugal.

By 1640, Portugal was on the verge of rebellion and a new Portuguese king had to be found. The choice fell upon the eighth duke, João II of Braganza, who had a claim both through his grandmother, Infanta Catherine of Guimarães, a legitimate granddaughter of king Manuel I, and through his great-great-grandfather, the 4th duke of Braganza, a nephew of King Manuel I. Duke John II was a modest man without particular ambitions to the Crown. Legend says that his wife, Leonor of Guzman, daughter of the duke of Medina-Sidónia, urged him to accept the offer saying, I'd rather be Queen for one day than duchess for a lifetime. He accepted the leadership of the rebellion, which was successful, and was acclaimed John IV of Portugal on December 1, 1640.

Dukedom in the Braganza monarchy

After the accession of the House of Braganza to the Portuguese throne in 1640, following the Philippine Dynasty of Spanish Habsburgs, the Dukedom became linked to the Crown and later the Duke of Braganza became the traditional title of the heir to the Portuguese Crown, together with, or alternate to Prince of Beira, much as Prince of Wales is in the United Kingdommarker. When the 8th Duke had ascended the royal throne, and elevated his son and heir Teodosio as the first Prince of Brazil, he granted the Duchy of Braganza to his brother infante dom Duarte de Portugal-Bragança e de Fernandez de Velasco de Frias. He died in 1649, in Spanish incarceration. Then it was granted to king's second son, the future Afonso VI of Portugal.

From this onwards, the Duke of Braganza was kept for the heir apparent of the throne – in its strictest sense. Although the other title for an unavoidable heir, that of Prince of Brazil, was from time to time granted even to female heirs, the Duke of Braganza was always only for the male heir except for two extraordinary creations, in 1683 and 1711 (these two creations are deemed invalid by some legalists, who accordingly number the dukes in a way that the last of them during the monarchy, Luiz Filipe, was 21st Duke).

When Emperor Pedro I of Brazil abdicated his Brazilian throne in 1831, he took his already invested title Duke of Braganza. After his 1834 death, it was (possibly erroneously ) regarded to have reverted to the Portuguese crown and for the next time, passed to his grandson Pedro of Coburg, upon his birth in 1837. However, in 1889 Pedro I's son and heir, the then deposed emperor Pedro II of Brazil, took the use of this ducal title . At that point, for two subsequent years, there were two dukes : the deposed emperor Pedro II who lived in France, and the very young Luiz Filippe (1887–1908), crown prince of Portugal, in Lisbon.

On February 1, 1908, king Carlos I of Portugal was murdered with his eldest son and heir, Luis Filipe, 23rd duke of Braganza, who was the last individual during the monarchy to have that title. He was succeeded by Manuel II of Portugal but for a short time: on October 5, 1910, a republic was instituted and the king was exiled. King Manuel II settled in England.

After the foundation of the Portuguese Republic in 1910, the tradition of the heir to the throne being titled Duke of Braganza was revived by various pretenders to signify their claims to the throne.

In the last years of the deposed king Manuel II of Portugal, the dukedom of Bragança allegedly passed to Miguel II, son of the exiled king Miguel I of Portugal, who was living in the Austrian Empire. His branch of the Braganza family allegedly became heirs to the crown in 1932 when Manuel II died without children. These Braganzas were officially allowed to return to the country in 1950 and have lived there ever since.

Presently, the commonly acknowledged duke of Braganza and Portuguese heir is Duarte Pio of Braganza (born 1945). Unlike some European countries like Greece, which continues to forbid the presence of the heirs of former royal houses in their lands, republican Portugal and its claimants to the throne have long been reconciled, a fact shown when among the guests at his wedding was the Portuguese President of the Republic and the country's prime minister.

See also

External links


  • "Nobreza de Portugal e Brasil", Vol. II, pages 433/449. Published by Zairol Lda., 1989, Lisbon.

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