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Braganza

Braganza

Braganza, royal house that ruled Portugal from 1640 to 1910 and Brazil from 1822 to 1889. It took its name from the castle of Braganza or Bragança. The line was descended from Alfonso, the natural son of John I of Portugal, who became the duke of Braganza in 1442. Although Alfonso's grandson, Ferdinand, was executed (1483) for alleged treason by John II, the family steadily increased its possessions. John, 6th duke of Braganza, married a niece of King John III, and when the Portuguese threw off Spanish rule in 1640, their grandson became king as John IV. The house of Braganza ruled Portugal until the establishment of a republic in 1910. After Brazil declared (1822) its independence, it was ruled as an empire under Pedro I, son of John VI of Portugal, and Pedro II until a revolution made it a republic in 1889.

(born Nov. 25, 1638, Vila Viçosa, Port.—died Dec. 31, 1705, Lisbon) Portuguese wife of Charles II of England. She was married to Charles in 1662 as part of an alliance between England and Portugal, bringing England trading privileges and the port cities of Tangier and Bombay (now Mumbai). She produced no heir. Though not a faithful husband, Charles defended her against accusations of scheming to poison him. She helped convert him to Catholicism shortly before his death. In 1692 she returned to Portugal, and in 1704 she governed the country as regent for her ailing brother, Pedro II.

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