Originally Posted by Regina
Princess Maria Francisca's father (Dom Pedro de Alcântara Orleans Bragança) died in 1940. In 1945, 5 years later, D. Amelia told to Salazar "How can the Princes live? Dom Duarte Nuno has nothing and his wife has something of her own, but not much at all." (Book Salazar, Vol. IV by Franco Nogueira, pg 137). So, if D. Duarte Pio inherited something, it was not much.
Remember that Francisca's mother, Elisabeth, countess Dobrzensky de Dobrezenicz (a Czech) came to live in Portugal till her death in 1951. If her mother had properties in Brazil, why would they need the help of Dª Amelia? And why would Duarte Pio wait till 1975 to buy his first house (in Sintra, where he lives now with his wife and children)?.
In this interview
, he tells that when he arrived to Portugal, all the family went to live in Gaia, to a friend's house. After that, the Government allowed them to live in a house bought by Fundação de Bragança. After the Revolution of 1974, they moved out. His father went to live to an aunt's house, in Algarve and D. Duarte bought his house in Sintra. Let me just add that his house is an aristrocratic and very big one, but in 1974/75 (during the Verão Quente
)many, many palaces and mansions were sold by a very low
price. I simply don't believe that in 1975
he bought his house by a large ammount of money.
The Miguelist side of the family was "poor as a Church mouse"
Remember that when D.Miguel was forced to leave the country
, he left empty hands, with no money or jewels (even those inherited from his Mother) and survived thanks to the generousity of the Pope and the Austrian Emperor.
He even refused the allowance his brother D.Pedro offered him.
Better or worst he survived in central Europe until he got married to Pss. Adelaide of Loewenstein-Wertheim-Rosenborg, who bore him a son and many daughters.
Most surprisingly all the daughter married far better than her cousins daughters of Queen D.Maria II
The Bragança family was sort of protégé by the Emperor and D.Miguel (II) took advantage of the situation.
First he married the wealthy Pss of Thurn un Taxis, Sissi's niece.
When she died, he proposed to Sissi's own daughter but she preferred her Tuscany cousin.
By then the family was very well connected to some of the richest princes such as the Bourbon-Parma, the Liechtensteins and the Thurn und Taxis.
WW1 came to put an end to this situation, reversing the tables of the Braganças, among many others.
Remember that at the time the Heads of Royal Families did not work
Either they lived on rent or have joined the army (as D.Miguel and his sons have done).
For worst, when Portugal joined the war in 1916, they were on the wrong side and D.Miguel had to step down from his post.
In the period between the wars, the family was very much helped by the Liechtensteins and the T&Taxis.
They lived in a Liechtenstein castle in the outskirts of Vienna.
On what concerns D.Duarte Nuno and his wedding.
The Petrópolis branch of the Brazilian IF was indeed the rich one.
I will not elaborate on how D.Pedro cheated on his nephew
and got the "cut of the line" from the family inheritance.
But the wealth was mainly on Land, and in a regime simillar to a trust - enfiteuse - where you can take the profits from the land, but you cannot dispose of the land for sale.
It took years until they could sell parts of the vast lands they had around Petrópolis.
And this caused a rift between D.Duarte Pio and his uncle D.Pedro-Gastão, who, like father, like son
, wanted to cheat on his nephews and sister D.Teresa.
The matter was only solved in the late 1980s/90 when D.Duarte finally could have access to his Mother's inheritance.
As to D.Amélia's inheritance.
The already mentioned book "Salazar e a Rainha" is a wonderful document on the process.
It was not the Queen who decided to appoint D.Duarte Pio (her godson) as her universal heir.
It was Salazar
that, knowing that the Queen did not like very much her Portuguese relatives, and fearing that she might appoint as heirs her french cousins
, leaving them her estates, with a foxy diplomacy, induced the Queen to appoint D.Duarte as heir.
In a way it was a poisonned present.
Urban rents in Lisbon were frozen since the 1940's so D.Duarte inherited a vast but impoverished asset.
The houses were ancient and needed constant repairs and many rents until the 80's were of mere 10-20 for huge houses in one of the best neighbourhoods in Lisbon.
I know since an aunt of mine lived in a grand house, just facing the Political Police PIDE building paying a symbolic rent.
There was a major controversy when D.Duarte decided to sell the PIDE building to a constructor in order that a luxury hotel would be built.
Socialists and communists wanted to make there a Museum to the resistance and that the building was expropriated
As to D.Duarte's house in Sintra.
D.Duarte has told the story several times.
After the 1974 revolution many people left the country and others simply were not confortable leaving in huge palatial houses, being called "fascists" .
A friend of D.Duarte offered him to buy the house at a very easonable price which he accepted.
Yet again, the house was in a very poor state.
It was an old house, and Sintra is a very damp town - a very unpleasant combination.
When D.Duarte got married, some friends teamed together and, as a wedding gift, they promoted a repair of the house, roofs, central heating, double-glazed windows, etc making of it today a very attractive house fit for a family and children.