House of Braganza
The House of Braganza (Portuguese: Casa de Bragança; Portuguese pronunciation: [bɾɐˈɣɐ̃sɐ]), officially the Most Serene House of Braganza (Portuguese: Sereníssima Casa de Bragança), is an important noble house of Portuguese origin, a branch of the House of Aviz. The House evolved from being powerful dukes of Portuguese nobility, to ruling as the monarchs of Portugal and the Algarves, from 1640 to 1910, and as monarchs of Brazil, from 1815 to 1889.
The House of Braganza was founded in 1442, when Afonso, 8th Count of Barcelos, illegitimate son of King John I of Portugal, was made Duke of Braganza, as Duke Afonso I of Braganza. These feudal dukes quickly amassed a fortune in properties and titles and, by the time of Fernando II of Braganza, the House was the wealthiest and most powerful in all of Portugal. This importance created many opportunities, as well as caused many problems, for the house, which varied depending on the House's standings with the Portuguese royal house at the time.
The House of Braganza became the reigning house of the Kingdom of Portugal and the Algarves in 1640, when John II, Duke of Braganza, was acclaimed King by the Portuguese nobility and subsequently waged the Portuguese Restoration War. The House of Braganza was only recognized as the legitimate ruling house of Portugal by the Portuguese House of Habsburg during the reign of King Afonso VI. The Braganzas were deposed from the Portuguese throne, in 1910, when the Portuguese Republic was proclaimed.
The House of Braganza became the reigning house of Brazil, first, when the United Kingdom of Portugal, Brazil, and the Algarves was created in 1815. The United Kingdom lasted until 1825, when the Brazilian Empire became independent from Portugal. The new Brazilian nation was lead by Prince Pedro of Braganza, heir to the Portuguese throne, who ruled as Emperor Pedro I of Brazil, as well as King Pedro IV of Portugal. Until 1835, the Portuguese Braganzas were still in the line of succession to the Brazilian throne. The House was deposed from the Brazilian throne, in 1889, when Brazil was proclaimed a republic.
In 1834, with the end of the Liberal Wars, won by Emperor Pedro I of Brazil and Queen Maria II of Portugal against King Miguel I of Portugal, the House of Braganza was split into three branches. The first branch was the Legitimist House of Braganza, headed by Queen Maria II of Portugal, daughter of King Pedro IV, and her descendants, who ruled the Kingdom of Portugal. The second branch was the Brazilian House of Braganza, headed by Emperor Pedro I of Brazil, and his descendants, who ruled the Brazilian Empire. The third branch was the Miguelist House of Braganza, headed by King Miguel I of Portugal, and his descendants, who claimed the Portuguese throne after King Manuel II's death, in 1932.
In 1835, Queen Maria II of Portugal married Prince Ferdinand of Saxe-Coburg-Gotha, later King Fernando II of Portugal. Despite the tradition of following the custom of patrilineal descent of royal houses, common throughout Europe, the children of the marriage between Queen Maria II and King Fernando II were members of the House of Braganza and ruled Portugal as Brigantine monarchs, not as Saxe-Coburg-Gotha monarchs. Some foreign genealogists have classified the descendants of Queen Maria II and Fernando II into a separate house, usually named the House of Braganza-Saxe-Coburg and Gotha however, the Portuguese constitution of 1838 clearly states that "the Most Serene House of Braganza is the reigning house of Portugal and continues through the Person of the Lady Queen Maria II".
Feudal establishment 
D. Afonso, 8th Count of Barcelos, was an illegitimate son of King D. João I of Portugal - founder of the House of Aviz, the second Portuguese royal house - and Inês Pires. [a] In 1442, Afonso's nephew, King D. Afonso V created the Duchy of Braganza, a royal dukedom, for his uncle. The Duchy included the important town of Braganza in northeastern Portugal, which gave the house its name. It is the third-oldest dukedom in Portugal, after Viseu and Coimbra.
Count D. Afonso, an expert intriguer, won the favor of his father King D. João I, his brother King D. Duarte I, and his nephew King D. Afonso V. In 1442, King D. Afonso gave him the dukedom, and in 1445, when the King came of age, Duke Afonso was the wealthiest and most powerful man in the kingdom.
The third Duke, D. Fernando II, married Dona Isabella, granddaughter of D. Duarte I, thus bringing the House of Braganza into the legitimate succession to the throne. However, his power and intrigues led to the suppression of the Braganzas by King D. João II. In 1483, D. João II had Fernando executed in Évora for treason. Later D. João seized the Braganza lands and exiled the four-year-old heir, D. Jaime, to Castile.
Dom João II's successor, King D. Manuel I was D. Jaime's uncle. In 1500, he recalled his nephew to Portugal, returning to him the titles and the lands of Braganza. The house was once again one of the highest and mightiest in the country. D. Jaime I ordered the construction of a ducal palace at Vila Viçosa, which would later become one of the royal palaces in the 17th century.
The sixth Duke, D. John I of Braganza, married Infanta Dona Catarina of Portugal, daughter of Infante D. Duarte, sixth son of King D. Manuel I, again linking with the royal line. Their son was the courageous seventh Duke D. Teodósio II, who allegedly fought in the Battle of Ksar El Kebir (1578) when only ten years old.
Meanwhile, the Portuguese kingdom had a succession crisis. King D. Sebastian went missing in battle in Morocco in 1578. He was a childless bachelor and the crown passed to his elderly great-uncle, Cardinal Henry I, who of course was also childless. On Henry I's death in 1580, there were several claimants to the throne, all in some way weak. The Duchess of Braganza had a claim, through her father, but was denied, mostly due to her gender. Her husband had a claim descending from the third Duke. Other claimants included Ranuccio I Farnese, Duke of Parma and King Don Philip II of Spain. Philip was the most powerful contender, and became King D. Philip I of Portugal, establishing a union of crowns. Portugal was thereafter ruled by Habsburg governors appointed by Philip and his successors.
Though able to, the duke D. Teodósio II did not press his claim to Portuguese throne, having supported Philip I of Portugal. From this support, the Braganzas gained more lands and titles and, by 1640, the House of Braganza had amassed around 80,000 vassals and countless churches, orders, and institutions under her patronage.
Portuguese throne 
By 1640 the wise policies of D. Philip I in respect of Portugal were long past. The country was overtaxed, Portuguese colonies were left unprotected, and the King Philip III of Portugal no longer had the trust or support of most Portuguese nobility. He was especially loathed by the powerful Portuguese guild of merchants. Portugal, like the rest of Philip's kingdoms, was on the verge of rebellion.
The eighth Duke of Braganza, D. João II of Braganza, had inherited the claim of his grandmother, Infanta Catarina of Portugal, and the remoter claim through of his grandfather João I of Braganza. Because of his claims, the discontent Portuguese nobility asked João II to lead their restoration as their king.
According to court historians, D. João II was a modest man without particular ambitions to the crown. Legend says that his wife, Dona Luisa de Guzmán, daughter of the duke of Medina-Sidonia, 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 João IV of Portugal on December 1, 1640.
After the accession of the Braganzas to the throne, the duchy was linked to the Crown. "Duke of Braganza" became the traditional title of the heir to the throne, together with Prince of Brazil and, later, Prince Royal of Portugal, much as Prince of Wales is in the United Kingdom or Prince of Asturias in Spain.
The zenith of the Braganza dynasty came with the long reign of D. João V (1706–1750), who ruled with grandeur and piety. The reign of D. José I, son of D. João V, was marked by the great earthquake, which struck Lisbon in 1755. The political genius of his reign was the 1st Marquis of Pombal. The end of the 18th century was characterized by stability, under the rule of Dona Maria I (1777–1816), who discharged Pombal at her accession. Unfortunately Dona Maria became psychologically unstable, displaying similar symptoms to George III of the United Kingdom in his later years.
In 1807 the Braganzas and almost all the Portuguese nobility fled to Brazil, Portugal's largest colony, as the mother country was involved in the Napoleonic Wars. Some time after they had crossed the Atlantic, a royal decree changed the status of Brazil from a Portuguese colony into kingdom alongside Portugal, and the United Kingdom of Portugal, Brazil and the Algarves was formed. In 1821, D. João VI, who succeeded in 1816, returned to Portugal.
Colony turned empire 
D. Pedro, Royal of Portugal, Brazil, and the Algarves, the eldest son of D. João VI and also regent in Brazil, sided with the Brazilian rebels in January 1822. He proclaimed himself Emperor D. Pedro I of an independent Brazil in 1822, founding the Empire of Brazil. D. Pedro I ruled Brazil until 1831, when he abdicated in favor of his young son D. Pedro II, and returned to Portugal to aid his daughter D. Maria II (see below).
D. Pedro II, being only 6 years old at the time of his coronation, had a regency established. The regency would rule until 1846, when the Emperor turned 20 years old. His reign would last until 1889, when the Brazilian monarchy was abolished. His reign would see the abolition of slavery in Brazil, economic growth, and very long periods of tranquility in his empire.
Warring branches 
In Portugal, D. Pedro I of Brazil became King as D. Pedro IV (1826), but no one wanted to re-establish the union of Portugal and Brazil. Pedro abdicated the Portuguese throne in favor of his daughter Princess Maria da Glória, then seven years old. D. Pedro's brother D. Miguel was to act as Regent, and to marry Maria when she came of age. In 1828, Miguel instead proclaimed himself King of Portugal and repudiated the liberal constitution granted by D. João VI, trying to establish an absolute monarchy.
In 1828, Maria II was forced into exile by her uncle, the new King Miguel I. Her father D. Pedro IV of Portugal returned from Brazil, launched a successful military campaign, from the Azores, against Miguel I. He finally defeated and exiled Miguel I in 1834. Though exiled, Miguel would not give up his claim to the throne and would establish the Miguelist branch of the House of Braganza. The strategic marriages of his children to the various royal houses of Europe would earn him the nickname the "Grandfather of Europe" (see Descendants of Miguel I of Portugal).
Peace in Portugal 
Maria II married Prince Ferdinand of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha. Maria II was succeeded in 1853 by her son D. Pedro V, a hard-working reformer who died prematurely in 1861 due to cholera. D. Pedro V was succeeded by his brother D. Luís, as D. Pedro V had no children.
D. Luís I was succeeded in 1889 by his son D. Carlos. Carlos was assassinated in 1908 together with his eldest son, D. Luís Filipe, Prince Royal of Portugal and Duke of Braganza, by republicans. His younger son, D. Manuel, Duke of Beja, survived the attack on his father and elder brother and became King as Manuel II, but was toppled two years later in the 1910 republican revolution. After the revolution, Manuel was forced into exile in England by the Portuguese First Republic, but he would continue to support his fatherland until his death.
Modern day 
After the revolution of 1910, King D. Manuel II settled in England until his death in 1932. He was childless, and descendants of D. Miguel (the usurper of 1826) claimed the throne. In 1920–22, the two (of the now four) branches of the House of Braganza negotiated a pact under which D. Manuel named as his heir D. Duarte Nuno of Braganza, grandson of D. Miguel. D. Duarte Nuno, now Duke of Braganza, remained the Braganza pretender until his death in 1976. In 1942, he married a great-granddaughter of Emperor D. Pedro II of Brazil, uniting the two lines of the House.
In 1950 Portugal repealed the law of exile against the Braganzas, and D. Duarte Nuno moved to the country in 1952.
Dom Duarte Nuno was succeeded as pretender by his son, D. Duarte Pio of Braganza (born 1945). D. Duarte Pio served in the Portuguese Armed Forces and took the customary oath of allegiance to the Republic, but Portuguese monarchists still recognize him as the pretender to the Portuguese throne. In 1995 he married Dona Isabel de Herédia, a Portuguese businesswoman and descendent of the Viscount of Ribeira Brava. He worked actively in support of the independence of East Timor from Indonesia.
Duarte Pio and Isabel have three children, each bearing the traditional stylings of the Braganzas. Duarte Pio's oldest son is Afonso de Santa Maria, who bears the traditional titles of Prince of Beira (as heir apparent to the heir apparent to the King of Portugal) and Duke of Barcelos (as heir apparent to the Duke of Braganza). He has a brother, Dinis, Duke of Porto, and a sister, Infanta Maria Francisca.
Dona Maria Pia de Saxe-Coburgo e Bragança, who claimed she was an illegitimate daughter of King D. Carlos I of Portugal, began asserting that she was the heir to the throne from 1957. Allegedly, she adopted the Italian Rosario Poidimani, transferring her claimed rights to the Portuguese throne to him.
Braganza dukes and monarchs 
Dukes of Braganza (before ascension to throne) 
|Afonso I of Braganza||1443||Duke of Braganza; Count of Barcelos|
|Fernando I of Braganza||1461||Duke of Braganza; Marquis of Vila Viçosa|
|Fernando II of Braganza||1478||Duke of Braganza; Duke of Guimarães|
|Jaime I of Braganza||1498||Duke of Braganza|
|Teodósio I of Braganza||1532||Duke of Braganza;
ceded Dukedom of Guimarães
|João I of Braganza||1563||Duke of Braganza; Duke of Barcelos|
|Teodósio II of Braganza||1583||Duke of Braganza|
|João II of Braganza||1630||Duke of Braganza; recovered Dukedom of Guimarães;
first Braganza monarch of Portugal
Monarchs of Portugal 
|João IV of Portugal||1640||King of Portugal and the Algarves;
first Braganza monarch of Portugal
|Afonso VI of Portugal||1656||King of Portugal and the Algarves;
died without heir
|Pedro II of Portugal||1683||King of Portugal and the Algarves;
brother of Afonso VI
|João V of Portugal||1706||King of Portugal and the Algarves|
|José I of Portugal||1750||King of Portugal and the Algarves|
|Maria I of Portugal &
Pedro III of Portugal
|1777||Queen and King of Portugal, Brazil, and the Algarves|
|João VI of Portugal||1816||King of Portugal, Brazil, and the Algarves;
Titular Emperor of Brazil
|Pedro IV of Portugal||1826||King of Portugal and the Algarves;
Emperor of Brazil
|Maria II of Portugal||1826||Queen of Portugal and the Algarves|
|Miguel I of Portugal||1828||King of Portugal and the Algarves;
reigned for 6 years; succeeded by Maria II
|Pedro V of Portugal||1853||King of Portugal and the Algarves|
|Luís I of Portugal||1861||King of Portugal and the Algarves|
|Carlos I of Portugal||1889||King of Portugal and the Algarves;
assassinated by radical republicans
|Manuel II of Portugal||1908||King of Portugal and the Algarves;
last monarch of Portugal
Monarchs of Brazil 
|Maria I of Portugal, Brazil, and the Algarves||1815||Queen and founder of the United Kingdom of Portugal, Brazil, and the Algarves|
|John VI of Portugal, Brazil, and the Algarves||1816||King of Portugal, Brazil, and the Algarves;
Titular Emperor of Brazil; last King of Brazil
|Pedro I of Brazil||1822||Emperor of Brazil; declarer of Brazilian Independence
King of Portugal and the Algarves
|Pedro II of Brazil||1831||Emperor of Brazil; last Emperor of Brazil|
Armorial of the House of Braganza 
|Coat of Arms||Title||Time Held||Coat of Arms||Title||Time Held||Coat of Arms||Title||Time Held|
Portugal, Brazil, and the Algarves
Prince of Brazil
Prince Royal of Portugal
Duke of Guimarães
Duke of Barcelos
Marquis of Vila Viçosa
Count of Neiva
Count of Faria
Symbols of the house of Braganza 
The traditional symbol and crest of the House of Braganza is a green dragon, representing Saint George, patron saint of Portugal. This symbol can be found in many different monuments in Portugal and Brazil, such as the Monument to the Independence of Brazil in São Paulo and in the palaces of the Imperial family in Rio de Janeiro and Petrópolis. It is famously found atop the Portuguese Crown Sceptre, the Sceptre of the Dragon and the Sceptre of the Emperor of Brazil. The dragon is also sometimes used as a supporter in the coat of arms of both the Brazilian and Portuguese branches of the family. Because of the use of the dragon in heraldry by the Braganza and Pedro IV's link with Porto, a dragon was added to the old coat of arms of the municipality of Porto and is still a part of F.C. Porto's coat of arms, who are nicknamed "the dragons".
See also 
- Line of succession to the Portuguese throne
- Descendants of John VI of Portugal
- Descendants of Miguel I of Portugal
- Kings of Portugal family tree
- List of Portuguese monarchs
- There is some controversy regarding the ancestry of Inês Pires (born in Borba, c. 1350). She was the daughter of Pedro Esteves (for that she is sometimes called Inês Pires Esteves) and Maria Anes ("Grande Enciclopédia Portuguesa e Brasileira", Editorial Enciclopédia, Lisboa, vol. 4, pp. 172; António Caetano de Sousa, "História Genealógica da Casa Real Portuguesa", Atlântida Ed., Coimbra, 1946, vol. 2, pp. 25). Some historians and genealogist claim that her father was a converso - a Jew converted to Catholicism (Augusto Soares d' Azevedo Barbosa de Pinho Leal, "Portugal Antigo e Moderno", Cota d' Armas, Lisboa, 1990; Isabel Violante Pereira, "De Mendo da Guarda a D. Manuel I", Livros Horizonte, Lisboa, 2001), while the majority of sources give her a long and well attested noble Christian ancestry (Felgueiras Gayo, "Nobiliário das Famílias de Portugal", Carvalhos de Basto, Braga, 1989).
- Title currently held by Duarte Pio, Duke of Braganza
- Title currently held by Afonso, Prince of Beira
- Title currently disputed between Prince Bertrand of Orléans-Braganza and Prince Pedro Thiago of Orléans-Braganza
- Titles currently held by Duarte Pio, Duke of Braganza and Afonso, Prince of Beira
- Title currently held Infante Dinis, Duke of Porto
- Title currently held by Infante Miguel, Duke of Viseu
- Title currently held by Infante Henrique, Duke of Coimbra
- CONSTITUIÇÃO POLITICA DA MONARCHIA PORTUGUEZA p. Title 1, Chapter 1, Article 5.
- McMurdoh 1889, p. 363.
- Barbosa 1860, p. 167
- Berry 1828, article: America, Independent States of (Note: English translation of a decree of Emperor Dom Pedro I of Brazil)
- Brazil 1890, p. 3 (Portuguese Royal decree signed by Prince Regent Dom João on January 20, 1813)
- Sousa 1736, p. 28
- Barbosa, Ignacio de Vilhena (1860). As cidades e villas da Monarchia portugueza que teem brasão d'armas: Volume I. Lisboa: Typographia do Panorama.
- Berry, William (1828). Encyclopaedia Heraldica or Complete Dictionary of Heraldry: Volume I. London: Sherwood, Gilbert and Piper.
- Brazil (1890). Collecção das leis do Brazil de 1812. Rio de Janeiro: Imprensa Nacional.
- Leal, Augusto Soares de Azevedo Barbosa de Pinho (1882). Portugal Antigo e Moderno; Diccionario: Volume X. Lisboa: Mattos Moreira.
- McMurdo, Edward (1889). History of Portugal: Volume 3. London: S. Low, Marston, Searle, & Rivington.
- Nicolas, Sir Nicholas Harris (1841). History of the orders of knighthood of the British Empire; of the order of the Guelphs of Hanover; and of the medals, clasps and crosses, conferred for naval and military services; Volume I. London: Pickering, Rodwell.
- Sousa, D. Antonio Caetano de (1736). Historia Genealogica da Casa Real Portugueza: Tomo II. Lisboa: Joseph Antonio da Sylva.
- Dukes of Braganza genealogy in a Portuguese genealogical site
- Family tree of the kings of the House of Braganza
House of Braganza
Cadet branch of the House of Aviz
Ruling House of the Kingdom of Portugal
See Portuguese First Republic
House of Braganza-Saxe
-Coburg and Gotha
Ruling House of the Empire of Brazil
See República Velha