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Manuel II
King of Portugal and the Algarves
Reign 1 February 1908 - 4 October 1910
Predecessor Carlos I
Successor Monarchy abolished
Teófilo Braga (as president of the provisional government)
Spouse Augusta Victoria of Hohenzollern-Sigmaringen
House House of Braganza-Saxe-Coburg and Gotha
Father Carlos I
Mother Amélie of Orleans
Born 19 March 1889(1889-03-19)
Lisbon
Died 2 July 1932 (aged 43)
Fulwell, London

Manuel II (Portuguese pronunciation: [mɐnuˈɛɫ]; English: Emanuel II), the Patriot (Port. o Patriota), the Unfortunate (Port. o Desventurado) or the Missed King (Port. o Rei Saudade), named Manuel Maria Filipe Carlos Amélio Luís Miguel Rafael Gabriel Gonzaga Francisco de Assis Eugénio de Saxe-Coburgo-Gotha e Bragança — ( 19 March 1889 – 2 July 1932) reigned as the 34th (or 35th according to some historians) and last King of Portugal from 1908 to 1910.

Contents

Early life and reign

Young Manuel was born in the last year of the reign of his grandfather, King Luís I. He was created Duke of Beja. He was the son of Carlos I and Amélie of Orleans.

On 1 February 1908, the royal family returned from the palace of Vila Viçosa to Lisbon. They travelled by coach to Almada and from then took a boat to cross the Tagus River and disembarked in Cais do Sodré, in central Lisbon. On their way to the royal palace, the carriage with King Carlos I and his family passed through Terreiro do Paço. While the royal family was crossing the square, shots were fired from the crowd by at least two men: Alfredo Costa and Manuel Buiça. The King died immediately; his heir, Crown Prince Luís Filipe, was mortally wounded; Prince Manuel hit in the arm and Queen Amélie surprisingly unharmed. It was the quick thinking of Queen Amélie that saved her son Manuel.[1]

The assassins were shot on the spot by members of the bodyguard and later recognized as members of the Portuguese Republican Party. About twenty minutes later, Prince Luis Filipe died and days later, Manuel was acclaimed King of Portugal. The young King, who had not been groomed for kingship, sought to save the fragile position of the Braganza monarchy by dismissing the dictator João Franco and his entire cabinet in 1908. The ambitions of the various political parties made Manuel's reign a turbulent one. Free elections were declared in which republicans and socialists won an overwhelming victory.[2]

Revolution, exile and marriage

Manuel II in January, 1910

The murder of a prominent republican precipitated the revolution that had been so long in preparation.[3] Revolution erupted on October 4, 1910. A military coup was commenced by soldiers who were joined by some civilians and municipal guards attacking loyal garrisons and the royal palace, while the guns of a warship added to the revolutionary cannonade. Manuel fled on the royal yacht Amélia IV to British-ruled Gibraltar.[4]

King Manuel II lived in exile in the United Kingdom. While King he had been made a Knight of the Garter by his distant cousin King Edward VII. His great-grandfather King Ferdinand II had been a first cousin of Queen Victoria and Prince Albert. Manuel also prior to marrying in 1913 had an affair with the French singer and dancer Gaby Deslys.

On 4 September 1913, he married Princess Augusta Victoria of Hohenzollern (1890–1966). Manuel wrote an invaluable guide to medieval and Renaissance Portuguese literature, but died young. Royalist movements in Portugal subsequent to 1910 failed to restore the Braganza dynasty.

Death

Manuel died suddenly on 2 July 1932, at Fulwell Park, Twickenham, Middlesex, England of a tracheal oedema.[4] The estate was sold for development, but the Portuguese connection is reflected in some of the road names: Portugal Gardens, Manoel Road, Lisbon Avenue and Augusta Road.

His death has been regarded as suspicious by some because of the fact that he had been playing tennis on 1 July and was apparently in excellent health. An incident surrounding his sudden death was mentioned in the autobiography of Harold Brust, a member of Scotland Yard Special Branch in charge of protecting public figures. In his memoirs, Brust speaks of an incident which probably occurred in 1931 in which he mentions an intruder in the grounds of Fulwell Park who, when arrested, the Police confirmed as being a prominent member of Portuguese republican terrorist group the Carbonária and was subsequently deported to Lisbon. To date the identity of the intruder has not been confirmed. Questions remain as to the reason for the man's intrusion.[5]

As the King had no children, before his death he recognised his cousin from a previously rival branch, Duarte Nuno, Duke of Braganza, to be the legitimate heir to the Portuguese Crown. In addition, with his mother, Queen Amélie, he was a godparent to the son of the Duke. The Duke had married a cousin from the Brazilian branch of the Braganza dynasty.

References

  1. ^ New York Times, 3 February 1908.
  2. ^ Great Dynasties, p. 220.
  3. ^ Hindley, Geoffrey. The Royal Families of Europe, p. 23.
  4. ^ a b Great Dynasties, p. 221.
  5. ^ Centenário do Regicídio.

Books

  • Great Dynasties. New York: Mayflower Books Inc.,. 1980. ISBN 0 8317 3966 5.  
  • Hindley, Geoffrey (1979). The Royal Families of Europe. London: McGraw-Hill Book Company. ISBN 0 07 093530 0.  

Ancestors

Manuel II of Portugal
Cadet branch of the House of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha
Born: 19 March 1889 Died: 2 July 1932
Regnal titles
Preceded by
Carlos I
King of Portugal and Algarves
1 February 1908 – 4 October 1910
Vacant
Titles in pretence
Loss of title
— TITULAR —
King of Portugal and Algarves
4 October 1910 – 2 July 1932
Succeeded by
Duke Duarte Nuno of Braganza
Flag of the Kingdom of Portugal (1139-1910)
Pretenders to the Portuguese
throne
Kingdom of Portugal

Miguelist Line
King Miguel (1834-1866)
Duke Miguel (1866-1920)
Duke Duarte Nuno (1920-1976)
Duke Duarte Pio (1976-)

Deposed King
King Manuel II (1910-1932)

See also House of Braganza







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