Francisca of Braganza

Duarte Pio, Duke of Braganza

Duarte Pio, Duke of Braganza (Duarte Pio João Miguel Gabriel Rafael de Bragança; born May 15 1945), ), is the 24th Duke of Braganza (Portuguese Duque de Bragança) and a claimant to the defunct throne of Portugal.

Birth and education

Duarte Pio João Miguel Gabriel Rafael de Bragança was born in Berne, Switzerland, the eldest son of Duarte Nuno, Duke of Braganza and his wife Princess Maria Francisca of Orléans-Braganza, princess of Brazil. At the time of his birth Duarte's family was banned from entering Portugal by the laws of exile of December 19 1834 and October 15 1910. Although Portugal had been a republic since 1910, Duarte's parents sought to assure the child's eventual rights of succession to the Portuguese throne, which required Portuguese nationality, by arranging for his birth to take place in the Portuguese embassy in Berne. A fringe of Portuguese monarchists dispute these rights of succession.

Duarte's godparents were Pope Pius XII and Queen Amélie of Portugal, the mother of Manuel II, the last reigning king of Portugal.

On May 27 1950 the National Assembly repealed the laws of exile of December 19 1834 and October 15 1910. In 1951 Duarte visited Portugal for the first time accompanied by his aunt the Infanta Filippa. In 1952 he moved to Portugal permanently with his parents and brothers.

From 1957 to 1959 Duarte was enrolled in the Colégio Nuno Álvares in Santo Tirso. In 1960 he entered the Military College in Lisbon. He attended the Instituto Superior de Agronomia (now part of the Technical University of Lisbon) where he received a degree in agricultural sciences. Later he attended the Graduate Institute of Development Studies of the University of Geneva.

Military service

From 1968 to 1971 Duarte fulfilled his obligations as a Portuguese citizen by doing his military service as required by law. As part of his military service Duarte Pio was required to swear an oath of fidelity to the Portuguese republic. He was criticized for this by some monarchists, a few of whom even claimed that he had thereby lost his rights of succession.

Duarte held the rank of sub-lieutenant (alferes). He worked as a helicopter pilot in the Portuguese Air Force in Angola which at the time was embroiled in the Portuguese Colonial War. In 1972 he participated with a multi-ethnic Angolan group in the organization of an independent list of candidates to the National Assembly. This resulted in his expulsion from Angola by order of the Prime Minister Marcelo Caetano. Afterwards, Duarte continued his contacts with various leaders in the Portuguese speaking countries.


On December 24 1976 Duarte's father Duarte Nuno died; Duarte succeeded as claimant to the Portuguese throne. Henceforth he has used the title Duke of Braganza.

There are several regional non-partisan monarchical associations ("Reais Associações") which support Duarte.

A small fringe of Portuguese monarchists do not recognise Duarte as claimant to the throne and as Duke of Braganza. The dispute dates back to 1828 when Duarte's great-grandfather Miguel I proclaimed himself king of Portugal. Miguel I was eventually exiled by his niece Queen Maria II. According to the law of banishment of 1834 and the Constitution of 1838, Miguel I and all his descendants were forever excluded from the succession to the throne. In 1842, the Constitutional Charter of 1826 was re-instated, and this constitution (which was in place until 1910 when the monarchy was overthrown) had no bar to the succession by members of Miguel's family.

Duarte is the closest male-line relative to Manuel II, the last king of Portugal. There are closer female-line relatives (who according to the Constitutional Charter of 1826 have succession rights), but none of these has Portuguese nationality (which was required by the Constitutional Charter for succession to the throne); none of these female-line relatives makes any active claim to the throne .

In 1912 and 1922 Duarte's grandfather Miguel was reconciled with Manuel II, but this reconciliation was not accepted by all of their adherents. There are several monarchist organizations in Portugal which maintain that only the Cortes or the National Assembly could legally determine the rightful claimant if ever Portugal decided to restore the monarchy. One monarchist group in Portugal that did support D. Miguel (II) instead of the deposed D. Manuel II was the Integralismo Lusitano.

There is only one monarchist political party in Portugal, the People's Monarchist Party (Partido Popular Monárquico). It does not have the support of Duarte Pio, nor does it support him.

In May 2006, the Portuguese Ministry of Foreign Affairs issued a statement acknowledging Duarte's use of the title Duke of Braganza. In response to this statement, on July 5, 2006 Nuno da Câmara Pereira, a fado singer, member of the Portuguese parliament and the leader of the People's Monarchist Party addressed an official enquiry to the President of the Assembly of the Republic asking two questions:

  1. Does the Portuguese State recognise or recognise officially Mr. Duarte Pio de Bragança as pretender to the throne of Portugal?
  2. Does the Portuguese Republic recognise or can it recognise officially Mr. Duarte Pio de Bragança as Duke of Bragança?

On July 11, 2006 the Ministry of Parliamentary Affairs gave an official response in which it stated that the Portuguese constitution guarantees the republican form of government; the response did not specifically address Duarte's use of the title Duke of Braganza.

Campaigner for East Timor

Duarte was a major campaigner for the independence of East Timor, a former Portuguese colony which was forcibly occupied by Indonesia in 1975. Even before the political leaders of the world considered Timor an issue, Duarte organized several national and international campaigns on behalf of East Timor. These included "Timor 87 Vamos Ajudar" and "Lusitânia Expresso" in 1992. In 1997 Duarte suggested to the Indonesian Vice-President Jusuf Habibie that there be a referendum on the independence of East Timor. In 1999, after Habibie became president of Indonesia, a referendum resulted in East Timor's independence.

Marriage and family

On May 13 1995, Duarte married Isabel de Herédia, a Portuguese businesswoman. This was the first marriage of a member of the Portuguese royal family to take place in Portugal since the marriage of King Carlos I in 1886 and the first to a member of native aristocracy since the marriage of King Fernando I of Portugal in 1371. The ceremony was celebrated in the Monastery of Jerónimos in Lisbon and presided over by Cardinal António Ribeiro, Patriarch of Lisbon. It was attended by the principal Portuguese political figures, including the President of the Republic Mário Soares, the President of the Assembly of the Republic, and the Prime Minister Aníbal Cavaco Silva. Also present were representatives of most European royal houses.

Duarte and Isabel have three children:

The marriage of Duarte and Isabel and the birth of their first son were occasions of widespread news media attention in Portugal.

Full title

His Royal Highness, the Most Serene Lord, Duke of Braganza, of Guimarães and of Barcelos, Marquess of Vila Viçosa, Count of Arraiolos, of Ourém, of Barcelos, of Faria, of Neiva and of Guimarães, Sovereign of the Royal Order of Saint Isabel, Grand Master of the Order of the Immaculate Conception of Vila Viçosa, Grand Master by Birth of the Order of Saint Michael of the Wing, Judge of the Royal Brotherhood of Saint Michael of the Wing and Knight of the Austrian Order of the Golden Fleece


Duarte's ancestors in three generations
Duarte, Duke of Braganza Father:
Duarte Nuno, Duke of Braganza
Father's father:
Miguel II, Duke of Braganza
Father's father's father:
Miguel of Portugal
Father's father's mother:
Adelheid of Löwenstein-Wertheim-Rosenberg
Father's mother:
Princess Maria Theresa of Löwenstein-Wertheim-Rochefort
Father's mother's father:
Charles Henry, Prince of Löwenstein-Wertheim-Rochefort
Father's mother's mother:
Princess Sophia of Liechtenstein
Princess Maria Francisca of Orléans-Braganza
Mother's father:
Pedro, Prince of Grão-Pará
Mother's father's father:
Gaston, comte d'Eu
Mother's father's mother:
Isabel, Princess Imperial of Brazil
Mother's mother:
Elisabeth, Countess Dobrzensky of Dobrzenicz
Mother's mother's father:
John Vaclav II, Count Dobrzensky
Mother's mother's mother:
Elisabeth Josepha, Countess Kottulinsky

Patrilineal descent

Duarte is a member of the House of Braganza, a sub-branch of the House of Aviz, descended from the House of Burgundy, itself a branch of the House of Capet and of the Robertians.

Duarte's patriline is the line from which he is descended father to son. It follows the Dukes of Braganza, the Kings of Portugal and before them, the Kings of France. The line can be traced back more than 1,400 years and is one of the oldest in Europe.

  1. Robert or Radon, Mayor of the Palace of Austrasia in 613
  2. Robert, Referendary in 629 and Duke in 631
  3. Erlebert, Noble of Therouanne
  4. Robert, Mayor of the Palace of Neustria in 653, Referendary in 658 and Count in Alsace in 673
  5. Lambert II, Count of Neustria, 678 - 741
  6. Robert I of Worms and Rheingau, d. 764
  7. Thuringbert of Worms and Rheingau
  8. Robert II of Worms and Rheingau (Robert of Hesbaye), 770 - 807
  9. Robert III of Worms and Rheingau, 808 - 834
  10. Robert IV the Strong, 820 - 866
  11. Robert I of France, 866 - 923
  12. Hugh the Great, 895 - 956
  13. Hugh Capet, 941 - 996
  14. Robert II of France, 972 - 1031
  15. Robert I, Duke of Burgundy, 1011 - 1076
  16. Henry of Burgundy, 1035 - c. 1071
  17. Henry, Count of Portugal, 1066 - 1112
  18. Afonso I of Portugal, 1109 - 1185
  19. Sancho I of Portugal, 1154 - 1212
  20. Afonso II of Portugal, 1185 - 1212
  21. Afonso III of Portugal, 1210 - 1279
  22. Denis of Portugal, 1261 - 1325
  23. Afonso IV of Portugal, 1291 - 1357
  24. Peter I of Portugal, 1320 - 1367
  25. John I of Portugal, 1357 - 1433
  26. Afonso I, Duke of Braganza, 1377 - 1461
  27. Ferdinand I, Duke of Braganza, 1403 - 1478
  28. Ferdinand II, Duke of Braganza, 1430 - 1483
  29. James, Duke of Braganza, 1479 - 1532
  30. Theodosius I, Duke of Braganza, 1510 - 1563
  31. John I, Duke of Braganza, 1543 - 1583
  32. Theodosius II, Duke of Braganza, 1568 - 1630
  33. John IV of Portugal, 1604 - 1656
  34. Peter II of Portugal, 1648 - 1706
  35. John V of Portugal, 1689 - 1750
  36. Peter III of Portugal, 1717 - 1786
  37. John VI of Portugal, 1767 - 1826
  38. Miguel of Portugal, 1802 - 1866
  39. Miguel II, Duke of Braganza, 1853 - 1927
  40. Duarte Nuno, Duke of Braganza, 1907 - 1976
  41. Duarte Pio, Duke of Braganza, 1945-

The descent before Robert III of Worms and Rheingau is taken from two works published by Portuguese Genealogist Luís Paulo Manuel de Meneses de Melo Vaz de São Paio.


External links

Further reading

  • Henriques, Mendo Castro. Dom Duarte e a Democracia: uma biografia portuguesa. Lisbon: Bertrand, 2006. ISBN 972-25-1517-9
  • Mendes, Nuno Canas. Duarte e Isabel, duques de Bragança: biografia autorizada. Mem Martins: Lyon Multimédia Edições, 1995.
  • Morais, Jorge. D. Duarte: a primeira biografia. Lisbon: Chiado-Consultores de Informação, 1995.
  • Fernandes, Clara Picão. Monarquia hoje?: diálogos com o Duque de Bragança. Lisbon: Editora Civilização, 1995.

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