H.R.H. Dom Duarte, Duque of Braganza


>> The Royal House of Portugal by Guy Stair Sainty and some contributions by other scholars and specialists, here.
>> A brief response to statements made by the supporters of the late Maria Pia de Saxe-Coburg-Bragança, her grandson
     Carlos Miguel Berrocal y Blais, and her alleged cognate Rosario Poidimani in respect of their claims to the throne of
     Portugal, here.
>> Portugal's King in waiting: Dom Duarte Pio (Blog Radical Royalist)

Dom Duarte Pio João was born on 15 May 1945 in Bern, Switzerland, as the first of three sons of Dom Duarte Nuno, Duke of Braganza, and Maria Francisca of Orléans-Braganza. His father was the grandson of King Miguel I, while his mother was the great-granddaughter ofEmperor Pedro I of Brazil, who was King Miguel I's older brother. Dom Duarte Pio's godparents were Pope Pius XII,Queen Amélie (the mother of King Manuel II, the last monarch of Portugal). From his birth, Duarte Pio has held the honorific styling of Dom (Lord) and the styling of His Royal Highness and, until the death of his father, he held the titles of Prince of Beira.

At the time of his birth, Duarte Pio and the rest of the Royal Family were banned from entering Portugal, by the laws of exile.On 27 May 1950, the Portuguese National Assembly revoked both the laws of exile from 19 December 1834, which banned the “Miguelist” Braganzas, and the laws of exile from 15 October 1910, which banned the “Liberal” Braganzas.In 1951, Dom Duarte visited Portugal for the first time, accompanied by his aunt, Infanta Filipa. In 1952, he moved to Portugal permanently with his parents and brothers.

From 1957 to 1959, Duarte was enrolled in the Colégio Nun'Álvares in Santo Tirso. In 1960, he entered the Colégio Militarin Lisbon.He attended the Instituto Superior de Agronomia (now part of the Technical University of Lisbon) and later the Institute of Development Studies of the University of Geneva.

From 1968 to 1971, Dom Duarte fulfilled his military service as a helicopter pilot in th ePortuguese Air Force in Portuguese Angola at the time of the War opposing Portugal to the pro-independence Guerrilla. 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.

In 1995, the Duke marriedDona Isabel Inês de Castro Curvello de Herédia. Their marriage was the first marriage of a Portuguese royal to happen in Portuguese territory since the marriage of King Carlos I, Duarte Pio's second cousin once removed, and Princess Amélie of Orléans, in 1886. The Duke and Duchess have three children:

Afonso, Prince of Beira, born on 25th March of 1996,

Infanta Maria Francisca, born on 3rdMarch of 1997,

Infante Dinis, Duke of Porto born on 25th November 1999.

Dom Duarte was a major campaigner for the independence of Timor-Leste, a former Portuguese colony which was forcibly annexed by Indonesia in 1975. Before the issue's global popularity from the 1990s onward, the Duke contributed with several national and international campaigns for the political self-determination of the territory, includingTimor 87 Vamos Ajudar.In 1997, Dom Duarte also suggested a referendum on the independence of East Timor to the Indonesian Vice-President Jusuf Habibie. After Habibie became president of Indonesia in 1999, a referendum was held that resulted in the independence of the country.

In December 2010, Timor-Leste President José Ramos-Horta expressed his interest in making Duarte Pio a Timorese citizen, by which the Duke accepted, because of the"profound and spiritual relations of the Timorese people with Portugal", continuing by saying that the symbols of the House of Braganza have a"great significance"in Timor-Leste.In February 2012, with final approval and support of Timor-Leste parliament, President Ramos-Horta conferred Timorese citizenship unto Duarte Pio, along with the Order of Merit.President Ramos-Horta stated that these honours were given because of Duarte Pio's"dedication of a large part of his life to defending justice and liberty for the Timorese people".

In his capacity as the President of the King Manuel II Foundation, Duarte Pio is often involved with the Community of Portuguese Language Countries, intergovernmental organization for economic, political, and cultural friendship between Portugal and many of its former territories.

The Duke often represents Portugal in cultural matters outside of the country, and has been received by foreign heads of state. Duarte Pio is also a figure within the European network of royal houses, often being invited to various foreign royal events.


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 Our Lady of Conception of Vila Viçosa.

As Head of the House of Braganza, Duarte Pio holds the following positions:

· Grand Master and Sovereign of the Order of the Immaculate Conception of Vila Viçosa

Dom Duarte Pio has also been decorated with a number of other honours:

· Bailiff Grand Cross of Honour and Devotion of the Sovereign Military Order of Malta

· Grand Cross of the Order of the Holy Sepulchre

· Knight of the Order of Calatrava

· Knight of the Austrian Order of the Golden Fleece

· Knight of the Order of the Most Holy Annunciation

· Grand Cross of the Order of Saints Maurice and Lazarus

· Knight of the Order of Saint Januarius

· Bailiff Grand Cross with Collar of Justice of the Sacred Military Constantinian Order of Saint George


Succession to the Crown of Portugal *

On December 24, 1976 Dom Duarte's father, Dom Duarte Nuno died. Dom Duarte Pio succeeded as claimant to the Portuguese throne, thus becoming the 24th Duke of Braganza.

Dom Duarte Pio is the closest male-line relative to Dom 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.


The Succession as Head of the Royal House of Portugal happened as follows:
  1. Dom Pedro IV of Portugal, I of Brazil and brother of Dom Miguel, abdicated the Throne.
  2. Dona Maria II, next in line of succession, succeeded to the Crown of Portugal. This line maintained the Throne until the 5th of October 1910, the date the Republican Regime was implemented in Portugal.
  3. Dom Manuel II, last reigning King of Portugal died in exile without issue or legitimate brothers or sisters (+ 2 July 1932).
  4. The closest collateral line was that of Dom Miguel, brother of King Dom Pedro IV. Thus, Dom Miguel’s son, Miguel Maria de Assis Januario became the legitimate successor in the Royal House of Portugal, by succession mortis causa of King Manual II.
  5. While in exile, Dom Duarte Nuno, only male descendant of Dom Miguell II (Miguel Maria de Assis Januario) succeeded his father.
  6. Upon Dom Duarte Nuno’s death in 1976, his son Dom Duarte Pio succeeded as Head of the Royal House of Portugal.
  7. Because some considered that the line of Dom Miguel in exile was excluded by the Constitution of 1838, Dom Miguel II (Miguel Maria de Assis Januario) and King Manuel II signed an agreement known as the Pact of Dover by which the King recognised the line of Dom Miguel as legitimate in the succession to the Crown of Portugal.
  8. However, this pact was totally unnecessary, because the Republican Constitution of 1911 revoked the Legal Order of the Monarchy in its entirety.

The Assessment concludes that:

  1. Notwithstanding Portugal being a Republic, the rights of succession as Head of the Royal House of Portugal continue to be governed by International Customary Law.
  2. The Portuguese State recognises that, according to the aforementioned rules of succession, the Royal House of Braganza and its Head, Dom Duarte Pio, Duke of Braganza are the legitimate successors of the Kings of Portugal.


On the 13th of May 1995, Dom Duarte of Braganza married Dona Isabel Ines de Castro Curvelo de Heredia. The royal couple have three of a family; Dom Afonso of Braganza, Prince of Beira, Dona Maria Francisca, Infanta of Portugal and Dom Dinis, 4th Duke of Porto.


The Legal Assessment of the Department of Legal Affairs of the Portuguese Foreign Office, dated 17 April 2006, established the rules of succession according to Customary International Law and Portuguese Constitutional Law, namely the Constitutional Chart of 1826, which governed succession until the fall of the Monarchy in 1910.
* Source: Burke’s Peerage & Gentry International Register of Arms
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