On 13 May 1995 Dom Duarte Pio married Dona Isabel de Herédia. The wedding was a state occasion, attended by the President of the Republic, Mário Soares, the Prime Minister, Cavaco Silva, and members of the cabinet, the Diplomatic Corps and representatives of thirty-five Royal Houses, as well as leading personalities in the Portuguese life. The wedding ceremony was conducted by His Beatitude the Patriarch Cardinal of Lisbon, assisted by several Archbishops and Bishops, in the Basilica of Jerónimos, in Lisbon:
H.R.H. Dona Isabel de Herédia was born in Lisbon, on the 22th November 1966. Up to 1975, she lived between Portugal and Angola, having studied in the Colégio das Doroteias. In 1975, her family moved to Brazil, where she made her studies in the School of S.Luís, in São Paulo. In 1990 she took her graduation in Business Administration, in the Getúlio Vargas University. That year she returned to Portugal and started her professional activity in a financial company, the BMF (Sociedade de Gestão de Patrimónios, s.a.) where she worked until 1995. On the 13th May 1995 she married H.R.H. Dom Duarte, Duke of Bragança, with whom she has three children. Afonso de Santa Maria (the Heir Apparent and Prince of Beira, whpo was born on 25th March 1996) Maria Francisca (born on the 3rd March 1997) and Dinis (born on the 25th November 1999).
Duarte Pio João Miguel Gabriel Rafael de Bragança, Duke of Bragança, Guimarães and Barcelos, Marquis of Vila Viçosa, Count of Arraiolos, Ourém, Barcelos, Faria and Neiva, is the son of T.R.H. D. Duarte Nuno de Bragança, and D.ª Maria Francisca de Orleans e Bragança, and is godson of His Holiness the Pope Pius XII, Queen D.ª Amélia and Princess Aldequndes of Liechtenstein.
Here's the official photo of Dom Duarte's parents, on the occasion of their wedding. The marriage united the two branches, the descendants of Dom Pedro IV and Dom Miguel:
D. Duarte was born on the 15th May 1945, in the Portuguese Embassy in Bern, Switzerland, due to the Law of Banishment (Lei do Banimento) then still in effect in Portugal. Upon its revocation by the Portuguese Parliament in the 1950s, the Royal Family was presented with a residence in Portugal by the Fundação Casa de Bragança. Dom Duarte continued his primary education in Porto (which he had started in Bern), and his secondary education took place in the Nuno Álvares (Santo Tirso), and later at the Military College in Lisbon. Subsequently he attended the superior course of Agronomic Engineering, at the Agronomic Institute of the Technical University of Lisbon (Instituto de Agronomia da Universidade Técnica de Lisboa) and the Institute for Development of the University of Geneva, Switzerland.
Here are D. Duarte Nuno and D.ª Maria Francisca, with their three sons. From left to right, D. Henrique, D. Duarte Pio and D. Miguel.
His military service took place between 1967 and 1971 in Angola, as a helicopter pilot, with the rank of Lieutenant, where he made many contacts with the local population, and learned local dialects. He was expelled from Angola in 1973, escorted out by the political police, for having challenged the dictatorial regime by helping to organize an opposition for the next elections.
In 1987 he completed the course of the Institute of National Defence and qualified as a Pilot Captain Aviator in the Portuguese Air Force Reserve. He remembers his military services as one of the most fulfilling periods of his life, especially because of his contacts maintained with the local peoples, who always received him very warmly.
But his feeling of love and obligation to the people of the former Portuguese colonies is not confined to Africa. Dom Duarte has taken a keen interest in East Timor, since its annexation by Indonesia, and has been a determined fighter for the freedom of this martyred people. Even before the Portuguese Government took up a strong pro-Timor stance, Dom Duarte was already active in his support. As President of ‘Timor 87’, Dom Duarte promoted a campaign to support Timor and the Timorese residents in Portugal and elsewhere, which has been supported by Maria Cavaco Silva (wife of the then Portuguese Prime Minister), João Soares (son of the then President of the Republic), the Commander in Chief of the Portuguese Air Force and representatives of the two major Portuguese Trade Unions (Intersindical and UGT), which built a block of forty houses for Timorese refugees.
For the past thirty years, one of D. Duarte’s more passionate struggles is the apparently lost fight for the preservation and development of Portuguese agriculture, about which he once said: "Agriculture continues to play a fundamental part in the lives of the nations. Apart from the production of essential food products, it is also the only activity responsible for the humanisation and permanent occupation of the rural areas". He has been an active member of the League for the Protection of Nature and of various other organizations with ecological objectives and working, towards the preservation of natural resources.
Dom Duarte is also a past President of the National Federation of Mutual Agricultural Credit (Federação Nacional de Crédito Mutuo), and a member of the Council of CONFAGRI (the National Confederation of Agricultural Co-operatives); he is President of the Dom Manuel II Foundation, which was founded in 1966 to aid Portuguese emigrants, through help in housing, integration into the local community and teaching (and has over the years sent hundreds of thousands of dollars’ worth of aid to East Timor), while the Portuguese Heritage Foundation, based in North America, has the aim of preserving and disseminating the history and cultural heritage of Portugal throughout the world.
Elsa.. Thanks for the great pics and the biography of the Duke of Braganca.
Although one of the lesser-known Royals (at least in TRF) years ago I noticed he was always popping up at all the major Royal events. I always assumed that this was a measure of the high regard in which he was (is) held within European Royal society.
I had read that he was a friend of the Prince of Wales and had been invited to Highgrove; reading your bio with regard to Dom Duarte's interest in agricultural issues I can understand why these two men have a connection.
Everyone seemed so delighted when he married Dona Isabel, and he looks the doting father, with that smile of satisfaction he always seems to have.
The Portuguese succession seemed assured with the three sons of Dom Duarte II, but none were married until the surprise engagement/wedding of the Duke of Braganca in 1995 at the age of 50.
And now he has two sons and a daughter. No wonder he looks so proud. He has served his dynasty well.
The article was cover of the magazine and included a special photo shot, with the Duchess of Bragança.
I've just translated some passages of it.
She was that six-years-old-girl that D. Duarte taught to swim in Africa. Later, D.ª Isabel remembers well the day when she (on her 16 years old), made him a certain repair. He thanked her and confessed there were few people with courage of criticising himself. "You know, there always had been many things that none ever told him, they were all praising in front of him and critical on his backwards", says the duchess, still resented. The union with the family friend, twenty and one years older than her, was not predictable, not even by the Paulo Cardoso, author of the astral map that was offered to her by one of her aunts.
The marriage seems to have brought an addition of popularity and credibility to D. Duarte. D.ª Isabel is sincere and contained in her reply: "the recovery of the monarchic cause may have had its explosion with the marriage but it was the result of the work of an entire life of my husband, of his service to some causes. Not only Timor, the most well-known, but many other ones related to the former colonies, our language and patrimony. One thing is certain, thanks to the pink side of the marriage, that did not leave anybody indifferent, the interest for his positions and activities has increased".
Publicly, her actions have been deliberately sent for backgrounds, sine "it is part of my own personality", she justifies. That doesn't mean however that the duchess does not intervene in the most decisions, by the constant interchange of ideas with her husband, fact that brought her some hostilities, next to some of D. Duarte's council members, who expected a more passive attitude from her.
The duchess thinks for herself, thanks God. And she interprets the general empathy she's presented, including from the republicans: "our country lives a certain anguish with this entrance in the European Union, we can feel the fear of the country vanishing itself and therefore the people grasp us, as they feel some identify with this family where there is the mother, the father, the princes." To this popularity it is not indifferent the regular presence on popular magazines, causing surprise to some monarchists, as the duchess thinks that "the king is king of all the Portuguese people and not only of the elites".
The representation of the country also seems to be well assured by D. Duarte and his wife, since D.ª Isabel frequented the best European society, before marring and both the Dukes have had trainings difficult to equal. Strangely, while the support of the people to the dukes has not stopped to grow, since the royal fiancé was showed to the multitude, the Portuguese lefty parties have been particularly kind to the royal couple: "our neutral position above makes that the parties have not fear to support us. Even the communist chambers kindly host us, holding the monarchy flag".
The life of the duchess, is the life of a mother and a working woman, although she had left the offices of the company of financial management, where she collaborated until shortly afterwards of the marriage. It was a decision she decided to take, as soon as she understood how important it was important to reorganize the office of her husband, to command the woks of the house of São Pedro and to deal with the considerable royal patrimony.
Another evidence is that the duchess chose another way of influence that does not consist on clothes and social columns: "I don't like to be always changing clothes and when I find something that I like and fits me well, I use it many times, to the very sadness of journalists and some people. But the truth is that I have a very complicated life and I have little time to dedicate to these subjects." In fact, the duchess does not have an image consultant, although she has the advice of D.ª Laurinda, who made her wedding dress.