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Pedro was a conscientious and hard-working monarch who, under the guidance of his father, sought radical modernisation of the Portuguese state and infrastructure. Under his reign, roads, telegraphs, and railways were constructed and improvements in public health advanced. His popularity increased when, during the cholera outbreak of 1853–1856, he visited hospitals handing out gifts and comforting the sick.
The House of Saxe-Coburg and Braganza was not a recognized house in the former Kingdom of Portugal and monarchs following Maria II and Ferdinand II officially continued to be members of the House of Braganza