The Duke of Bragança Turns Seventy
Dom Duarte Pio, the Duke of Bragança today celebrates his seventieth birthday. The Duke is the head of the defunct Portuguese Royal Family.
He was born in 1945 in Bern, Switzerland as the eldest son of Duarte Nuno, Duke of Bragança and his wife, Princess Maria Francisca of Orléans-Braganza. Born while his family were living in exile, Duarte Pio first set foot in Portugal in 1951, the year after the laws of exile were revoked by the Portuguese National Assembly.
At the age of seven, Duarte Pio and his family moved back to Portugal and set up residence. He was educated in Santo Tirso and Lisbon before attending university in Switzerland. After spending time at the Colégio Militar earlier in his life, Duarte Pio trained as a helicopter pilot with the Portuguese Air Force to complete his military service in the late 1960s.
In 1995, he married the Portuguese noblewoman Dona Isabel Inês de Castro Curvelo de Herédia in what was the first royal wedding held in Portugal since 1886. Their wedding, taking place on May 13, was attended by a number of European royals, as well as the then-President of the Portuguese Republic, Mário Soares.
The couple has three children: Infante Alfonso, Infanta Maria Francisca and Infante Dinis.
Upon the death his father in December 1976, Duarte Pio became the Duke of Bragança. Although there is no strong movement to return the monarchy in Portugal, the Duke often makes visits – both within Portugal and internationally – to promote the country and its culture. He is the current President of the King Manuel II Foundation.Filed under Portugal
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