Biography of King of Portugal Manuel II (1889-1932)

Last King of Portugal, born in the Palacio de Belem (Lisbon) on 9 March 1889 and died at Twickenham (England) on July 2, 1932. He/She reigned only two years, after which the Republic in Portugal was proclaimed.

Belonging to the dynasty of Braganza, was second son of Carlos I of Portugal and Amelia Orleáns. He/She began his studies under the direction of the German Professor Franz Kerausch. Prince Manuel accompanied his mother and his brother Luis Felipe in 1903, on a journey which included Jerusalem, Egypt and Greece. He/She received a military education from an early age, laying aspirant to the marina square in 1904, and starting a course at the Naval school three years later.

In 1908, as Duke of Beja, became King of Portugal, once an anarchist attack on Lisbon levied the lives of his father and of his brother the heir (1 February), resulting the own Manuel wounded. The death of Carlos brought the fall of the dictatorial regime of Joao Franco, which had been held by the deceased monarch and February 3, Manuel II entrusted to Admiral Ferreira do Amaral to form a new Government, in which representatives of the main political forces in the country joined, and made a proclamation that stated its intention to maintain a rigid observation of the Constitution. Declared an amnesty for political prisoners, and elections were called for April 5. During the celebration of the same occurred serious altercations in Lisbon between the municipal guard and the town, which killed 14 people and injured more than a hundred; This was only one of the manifestations of the boom experienced at the time by the Republican movement in Portugal, pushed by the secret association "Carbonária", which intensified the Republican propaganda; at the same time were intrigues and personal clashes between politicians from Parties royalists. The result of the elections nor left doubts, being elected to Parliament several members of Republican ideology and the Republicans winning municipal elections in Lisbon.

Manuel II was crowned in Lisbon on May 6, 1908, and thereafter was devoted in full to the Affairs of the State, leaving to attend any of the meetings of the Council. The main internal problem they had to face the young King was derivative of the financial scandal surrounding the monopoly of the sugar and alcohol on the island of Madeira, in which characters very close to the King were involved. In November, Manuel made a visits scheduled by the country, visiting Porto, Braga, Viana do Castelo, Guimares, Santo Tirso and other places, visiting factories and maintaining contacts with the Socialists. In December the Government of Ferreira do Amaral fell and was replaced by the of the Campos Henriques regeneracionista, he/she held a fierce defense of the monarchy. Meanwhile, the King became interested in Social Affairs, discussed with the President of the Council.

In February 1909, Manuel II held a meeting with the Spanish monarch Alfonso XIII in Vila Viçosa, which triggered protests from an increasingly broader Republican sector. The clash between royalists and Republicans was reflected in the tumultuous parliamentary session and the fall of Campos Henriques and his replacement by Sebastiao Teeles, Venceslao of Lima and Veiga Beirão, on. They began to produce attacks against the society of Jesus. In November the King made official trips to Spain and England, interviewing with their respective Kings; in Windosr, where the objective was to establish an alliance with the British in order to protect the precarious throne, he/she was decorated with the order of the Garter.

In the general election of 28 August 1910 the Republican representation doubled; on October 3 of that year broke out in Lisbon a Republican revolution. The danger, Manuel left Lisbon and embarked on the Amelia heading to Ericeira. The Republic was proclaimed on October 6 and the King traveled to Oporto, where waited for the arrival of the Royal family. They then sailed to Gibraltar, being received with full honours by order of the British Government. In mid-October they travelled to Plymouth and from there to Woodorton, Palace of the Duke of Orleans, to finally settle in Richmond.

On November 13, 1913 Manuel II married Princess Augusta Victoria of Hohenzollern and both set up residence in Twickenham. The deposed King played a key role for his country to enter into world war I on the side of the allies. During your stay at Twickenham devoted his time to the enjoyment of music (became a good organist) and to the study of literature. He/She kept frequent correspondence with the doctors José Maria Rodrigues and Antonio Baião, demonstrating a keen interest in the history of Portuguese literature. He/She wrote a treatise on ancient books entitled Livros Antigos Portuguese, 1489-1600, Sua Majestade Fidelissima Da library, described by S. M. del-Rey, published in Cambridge.

Manuel II died of an edema of throat, without leaving offspring. His mortal remains were transferred to Portugal, where they were buried with an impressive funeral.


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