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Duarte Pio, Duke of Braganza

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Duarte Pio of Bragança

Duarte Pio of Bragança (born May 15 1945) is the 24th Duke of Bragança and the presumptive heir to the throne of Portugal. He is the eldest son of Duarte Nuno of Bragança (1907-1976) by his wife Maria Francisca de Orleans e Bragança, princess of Brazil. His baptismal godfather was Pope Pius XII. Although Portugal is currently a Republic, the Portuguese cherish the Duke of Bragança, whom they see as the living representative of their history. Monarchy supporters give the Duke the style SAR O Duque de Bragança (equivalent to HRH THe Duke of Bragança).

Duarte Pio was born during his father's exile in Switzerland, in the Portuguese Embassy in Bern. In 1950 Portugal abolished the Ban Law, which excluded the Royal Family from the country, allowing the duke and his family to return. Duarte was educated in the Military College and graduated in Agronomic Sciences.

During the Portuguese Wars in Africa, Duarte Pio served as an Air Force Lieutenant in Angola from 1968 to 1971. Later he was connected with Angolan nationalist leaders, a fact that got him into trouble with the Portuguese Fascist regime. However, he proceeded with his contacts with local population, including ethnic and religious leaders.

He inherited the Duchy of Bragança and the claim to the Portuguese throne in 1976, when his father died.

Duarte Pio is internationally respected for his efforts on behalf of East Timor. Formerly a Portuguese colony, it was forcibly occupied and subsequently ruled as an oppressed province by Indonesia. Even before the political leaders of the world considered Timor an issue, Duarte Pio organized several national and international campaigns for the cause of Timor.

In May 13 1995, Duarte Pio married Isabel de Herédia, a Portuguese businesswoman. The ceremony, celebrated in the Monastery of Jerónimos in Lisbon, was attended by the principal Portuguese political figures, including the Prime Minister and the President of the Republic, and representatives of most European Royal Houses.

Three children have been born from this marriage:

  • Afonso of Bragança, Prince of Beira, Duke of Barcelos and future Duke of Bragança (born 1996)
  • Maria Francisca of Bragança, princess of Portugal (born 1997)
  • Dinis of Bragança, Duke of Porto (born 1999)

See also: Duchy of BragançaPortuguese monarchs

External Links

pt:Duarte Pio, Duque de Bragança

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