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Afonso, Duke of Oporto : biography

31 July 1865 - 21 February 1920

Infante Dom Afonso, Duke of Oporto ( 31 July 1865, in Palace of Ajuda, Lisbon – 21 February 1920, in Naples, Italy) was a Portuguese Infante of the House of Braganza, the son of King Dom Luis I of Portugal and his wife, Dona Maria Pia of Savoy.

Early life

Dom Afonso had a military career. In fact, he was a general of some considerable competence in the Portuguese Army, where, previously, he had been the inspector-general of artillery. His exemplary military background allowed him to be chosen to command military forces at Goa, at the end of the nineteenth century, when he was, concurrently, Viceroy of India. His performance in India motivated his nomination to be Constable of Portugal. In the early months of 1890, his engagement to Archduchess Marie Valerie of Austria was publicised, but later she refused to married him, under the influence of her aunt by marriage, Archduchess Maria Theresa of Austria, of the Miguelist branch of the Braganza Dynasty.

When threats on the life of his brother, Carlos, became known to him, he adopted the habit of arming himself with a revolver, night and day, making himself ready to defend his family whenever it might be necessary. He urged his nephew, the Prince Royal, Luís Filipe, to carry a weapon as well.

Dom Afonso was a lady's man, known for his kindness, simplicity, and bon-vivant lifestyle. For instance, he liked to act as a fireman with the Ajuda Fire Corps near the Palace of Ajuda, which he patronized as honorary commander-in-chief. He lived at the Palace of Ajuda with the Queen Mother, Maria Pia of Savoy, after King Luis's death. (His brother, the king, Carlos, and, later, his nephew, the king, Manuel II, both lived at the Palace of Necessidades during their reigns.)

Dom Afonso was also a lover of automobile races, and he was responsible for the first motor races in Portugal, where he was one of the first drivers. After the proclamation of the Portuguese First Republic in 1910, Afonso went into exile abroad, first at Gibraltar with his nephew, the deposed king, Manuel II, and afterwards to Italy with his mother, Queen Maria Pia. He lived with her at Turin, and, after her death, he moved to Rome, and, finally, to Naples.

Name, titles, and honors

His full name was Dom Afonso Henrique Maria Luís Pedro de Alcântara Carlos Humberto Amadeu Fernando António Miguel Rafael Gabriel Gonzaga Xavier Francisco de Assis João Augusto Júlio Volfando Inácio de Saxe-Coburgo-Gotha e Bragança.

Insofar as titles are concerned, Afonso was, first and foremost, Infante of Portugal. The Infante Afonso was born during the reign of his father, Luis I, and, at birth, he was granted the title, Duke of Porto. He became Prince Royal of Portugal under unfortunate circumstances. His brother, Carlos I, and his nephew, were assassinated in 1908, whereupon Manuel II became king and Afonso was acknowledged as the heir to the throne, a position that takes the title, Prince Royal.

Before becoming Prince Royal, Afonso fulfilled the charges of 51st Viceroy of Portuguese India and 24th Constable of Portugal. He was the 109th and last Governor of Portuguese India to receive the title of viceroy, which is reserved, as a high personal reward for service to Portugal, to aristocracy of the highest standing and royalty only.

He was also Knight Grand Cross of the Portuguese Order of the Immaculate Conception of Vila Viçosa and the Spanish Order of Charles III. He was Knight of the Portuguese Orders of Christ and Aviz, the Italian Order of the Most Holy Annunciation, the Spanish Order of the Golden Fleece, the Swedish Order of the Seraphim, the Prussian Order of the Black Eagle, and the Saxon Order of the Rue Crown.Marquis of Ruvigny, The Titled Nobility of Europe (Harrison and Sons, London, 1914) page 120

Marriage

Suffering, like his mother, the dowager Queen Maria Pia of Savoy, from debilitating mental and emotional health after the ferocious 1908 attack on their family, Afonso de Bragança married, in Rome on 26 September 1917, a twice-divorced, and once-widowed, American heiress Nevada Stoody Hayes.

Living octopus

Living octopus

In countries which are located near sea coasts, sea food is an important part of national cuisine