Both Sides to October 5th in Portuguese History

  October 7, 2011 at 7:35 am by

The fifth of October is a national holiday in Portugal, for most people it’s the day that in 1910 King Manuel II was deposed and the Portuguese republic was proclaimed. But for Portuguese Monarchists, October fifth is a holiday because it is the day that in 1143, Portugal was officially recognized as an independent country with the treaty of Zamora.

On that day at the Cathedral of Zamora, King Alfonso VII of Leon and Castile signed a treaty with King Afonso I of Portugal stating that Portugal was an independent country and that both kings would respect and be peaceful towards each other.

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On this day, all the Portuguese monarchists led by Dom Duarte, Duke of Bragança went to Coimbra to celebrate this important day, the founding of Portuguese Nationality. First the Duke and Duchess went to the Monastery of Santa Cruz where they visited the tombs of King Afonso I and King Sancho I. A wreath was laid and homage paid to these two kings. Then, there was a mass held in the same monastery in remembrance of “the founding kings.” Dom Duarte also gave a speech in which he said it makes no sense to celebrate this day as a day when Portuguese where fighting against Portuguese, the military bombed the capital, and a military coup stole the democratic regime. Dom Duarte also said, “without the 5th of October in 1143, there would have never been a 5th of October, 1910.

In 1910, during a State Visit from the President of Brazil, King Manuel II was officially deposed. There had been many days of political unrest in the country, but the King did not want to cancel the visit. On the night of the grand banquet, many of the guests did not even come to the Royal Palace as most politicians had already fled into exile. Later that night, the Royal Palace was bombed and King Manuel first went to the Royal Palace in Mafra, on the outskirts of Lisbon, where he met his mother, Queen Amelia and his grandmother, Queen Maria Pia.

From there they fled into exile. Manuel and his mother went to England, later his mother would go to Versailles, France, and his grandmother went to Stupinigi, Italy. Manuel later died in exile without ever having stepped back onto Portuguese soil.

And that is both sides of the 5th of October, the day that started the monarchy, and the day that ended it.

Filed under Historical Royals, Portugal
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