Dom Duarte Pio

H.R.H., Dom Duarte Pio João

Duke of Bragança | President of the King Manuel II Foundation

H.R.H. Dom Duarte Pio is the Duke of Bragança and titular King of Portugal. He is a strong supporter of families, and the organizers of the GHEC 2016 are delighted to welcome him to the Rio conference.  

Dom Duarte Pio João was born on 15 May 1945 in Bern, Switzerland, as the first of three sons of Dom Duarte Nuno, Duke of Braganza, and Maria Francisca of Orléans-Braganza. His father was the grandson of King Miguel I, while his mother was the great-granddaughter ofEmperor Pedro I of Brazil, who was King Miguel I's older brother. Dom Duarte Pio's godparents were Pope Pius XII,Queen Amélie (the mother of King Manuel II, the last monarch of Portugal). From his birth, Duarte Pio has held the honorific styling of Dom (Lord) and the styling of His Royal Highness and, until the death of his father, he held the titles of Prince of Beira.

At the time of his birth, Duarte Pio and the rest of the Royal Family were banned from entering Portugal, by the laws of exile. On 27 May 1950, the Portuguese National Assembly revoked both the laws of exile from 19 December 1834, which banned the “Miguelist” Braganzas, and the laws of exile from 15 October 1910, which banned the “Liberal” Braganzas. In 1951, Dom Duarte visited Portugal for the first time, accompanied by his aunt, Infanta Filipa. In 1952, he moved to Portugal permanently with his parents and brothers.

From 1957 to 1959, Duarte was enrolled in the Colégio Nun'Álvares in Santo Tirso. In 1960, he entered the Colégio Militarin Lisbon.He attended the Instituto Superior de Agronomia (now part of the Technical University of Lisbon) and later the Institute of Development Studies of the University of Geneva. From 1968 to 1971, Dom Duarte fulfilled his military service as a helicopter pilot in th ePortuguese Air Force in Portuguese Angola at the time of the War opposing Portugal to the pro-independence Guerrilla. In 1972, he participated with a multi-ethnic Angolan group in the organization of an independent list of candidates to the National Assembly. This resulted in his expulsion from Angola by order of the Prime Minister Marcelo Caetano. In 1995, the Duke married Dona Isabel Inês de Castro Curvello de Herédia. Their marriage was the first marriage of a Portuguese royal to happen in Portuguese territory since the marriage of King Carlos I, Duarte Pio's second cousin once removed, and Princess Amélie of Orléans, in 1886. The Duke and Duchess have three children: Afonso, Prince of Beira, born on 25th March of 1996, Infanta Maria Francisca, born on 3rdMarch of 1997, Infante Dinis, Duke of Porto born on 25th November 1999.

Dom Duarte was a major campaigner for the independence of Timor-Leste, a former Portuguese colony which was forcibly annexed by Indonesia in 1975. Before the issue's global popularity from the 1990s onward, the Duke contributed with several national and international campaigns for the political self-determination of the territory, includingTimor 87 Vamos Ajudar.In 1997, Dom Duarte also suggested a referendum on the independence of East Timor to the Indonesian Vice-President Jusuf Habibie. After Habibie became president of Indonesia in 1999, a referendum was held that resulted in the independence of the country.

In December 2010, Timor-Leste President José Ramos-Horta expressed his interest in making Duarte Pio a Timorese citizen, by which the Duke accepted, because of the"profound and spiritual relations of the Timorese people with Portugal", continuing by saying that the symbols of the House of Braganza have a"great significance"in Timor-Leste.In February 2012, with final approval and support of Timor-Leste parliament, President Ramos-Horta conferred Timorese citizenship unto Duarte Pio, along with the Order of Merit.President Ramos-Horta stated that these honours were given because of Duarte Pio's"dedication of a large part of his life to defending justice and liberty for the Timorese people".

In his capacity as the President of the King Manuel II Foundation, Duarte Pio is often involved with the Community of Portuguese Language Countries, intergovernmental organization for economic, political, and cultural friendship between Portugal and many of its former territories. The Duke often represents Portugal in cultural matters outside of the country, and has been received by foreign heads of state. Duarte Pio is also a figure within the European network of royal houses, often being invited to various foreign royal events.

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