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Infante Afonso
Duke of Porto
Prince Royal of Portugal
Viceroy of the Portuguese State of India
PredecessorRafael Jácome de Andrade
SuccessorJoão António das Neves Ferreira
Born(1865-07-31)31 July 1865
Ajuda Royal Palace, Lisbon, Portugal
Died21 February 1920(1920-02-21) (aged 54)
Naples, Italy
SpouseNevada Stoody Hayes
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[1]
FatherLuis I of Portugal
MotherMaria Pia of Savoy

Infante Dom Afonso of Braganza, Duke of Porto (Portuguese pronunciation: [ɐˈfõsu]; 31 July 1865 in Palace of Ajuda, Lisbon – 21 February 1920 in Naples, Italy) was a Portuguese Infante of the House of Braganza,[2] the son of King Luis I of Portugal and his wife, Maria Pia of Savoy. From 1908 to the abolition of the Portuguese monarchy in 1910 he was the Prince Royal of Portugal as heir presumptive to his nephew, King Manuel II.

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 marry 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.)

Afonso of Braganza at the steerwheel (late 1900s).

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.


Suffering, like his mother, the dowager Queen Maria Pia of Savoy, from debilitating mental and emotional health after the Regicide of 1908, Afonso de Bragança married, in Rome on 26 September 1917, a twice-divorced, and once-widowed, American heiress Nevada Stoody Hayes. This was a politically significant event, at least to those Portuguese royalists who clung to the hope of a restoration of the House of Braganza: as significant funding for any power grab was urgently needed.

As of 1917, the Portuguese pretender, Manuel II, was living in England with his wife of four years, the Princess Augusta Victoria of Hohenzollern-Sigmaringen, but they had no children. The royalists were apprehensive about the prospects for a legitimate Braganza heir, and their anxiety redoubled at the news of Afonso's marriage to a commoner, especially one of such a dubious reputation.

In Portugal, morganatic marriage was not forbidden. Any legitimate child of Afonso and Nevada could become the lawful heir to the Portuguese throne. Nearly as disturbing was the prospect that both Manuel and Afonso would fail to produce an heir. In this event, the claimant to the Portuguese throne would be a descendant of Miguel I, the absolutist king who, in 1834, lost the Portuguese War of the Two Brothers to the liberal line of constitutional monarchs.

D. Afonso of Braganza

Dom Afonso was the fourth husband of Nevada Stoody Hayes. They were unable to marry religiously in Italy, where the king of Italy, Victor Emmanuel III, like the Pope, chose not to recognize the validity of a previous trial marriage in Rome. She convinced Afonso to marry her again at a Madrid hotel, where a consular officer of the Portuguese Republic performed the civil ceremony, with no family or friends as witnesses. Some believe that the Portuguese consul in Madrid was as cooperative as he was because the Republican government in power at Lisbon was delighted to see one of the last of the Braganzas do such an unpopular thing.[citation needed] A religious marriage ceremony was performed in Madrid on 23 November 1917.[1]

The Prince had previously tried to get the king's approval for his marriage, but he found that his nephew and the rest of the royal family were vehemently opposed to it. After his marriage, his pension was cut by Manuel II, and Dom Afonso, also rejected by his relatives in the Italian royal family, began to live in obscurity and sickness during his final days. He finally died alone, in Naples, on 21 February 1920. Only one Portuguese servant remained with him until the end.

Even though the terms of a morganatic marriage exclude the surviving spouse from inheriting any of the titles or privileges that are the prerogatives of royalty, they do not exclude the survivor from inheriting property. In his will, Dom Afonso left his entire estate to Nevada Stoody Hayes.

After he and Manuel II had both died (1932), his widow demanded that the Portuguese government recognize her rights to a substantial part of the House of Braganza's patrimony. Her husband had named her his sole legal heir in his last will. As the marriage, and the will, was legally disputed in Lisbon, Nevada was briefly arrested shortly after she arrived at Lisbon to claim her inheritance. Eventually, however, she proved a substantial portion of her claim, and she was officially granted the right to remove many objects of art and expensive goods from the Portuguese royal palaces.

The 35-year-old former Duchess of Porto traveled to Portugal from Italy with the body of her late husband, and she arranged for its installation in the Braganza pantheon in Lisbon.


Parade during D. Afonso's Prince Royal swearing-in

He received the following awards:[3][4]


See also


  1. ^ a b Montgomery-Massingberd, Hugh (ed.) Burke's Royal Families of the World (1977), volume 1, page 449
  2. ^ a b "While remaining patrilineal dynasts of the duchy of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha according to pp. 88, 116 of the 1944 Almanach de Gotha, Title 1, Chapter 1, Article 5 of the 1838 Portuguese constitution declared, with respect to Ferdinand II of Portugal's issue by his first wife, that 'the Most Serene House of Braganza is the reigning house of Portugal and continues through the Person of the Lady Queen Maria II'. Thus their mutual descendants constitute the Coburg line of the House of Braganza"
  3. ^ Marquis of Ruvigny, The Titled Nobility of Europe (Harrison and Sons, London, 1914) p. 120
  4. ^ Albano da Silveira Pinto (1883). "Serenissima Casa de Bragança". Resenha das Familias Titulares e Grandes des Portugal (in Portuguese). Lisbon. p. xv.((cite book)): CS1 maint: location missing publisher (link)
  5. ^ "A Szent István Rend tagjai" Archived 22 December 2010 at the Wayback Machine
  6. ^ Staatshandbücher für das Herzogtum Sachsen-Coburg und Gotha (1890), "Herzogliche Sachsen-Ernestinischer Hausorden" p. 43
  7. ^ Italia : Ministero dell'interno (1898). Calendario generale del Regno d'Italia. Unione tipografico-editrice. p. 54.
  8. ^ Royal Thai Government Gazette (11 June 1899). "พระราชทานเครื่องราชอิสริยาภรณ์ที่ประเทศยุโรป (ต่อแผ่นที่ ๑๐ หน้า ๑๓๖)" (PDF) (in Thai). Archived from the original (PDF) on 4 March 2016. Retrieved 8 May 2019. ((cite journal)): Cite journal requires |journal= (help)
  9. ^ "Caballeros de la insigne orden del Toison de Oro". Guía Oficial de España (in Spanish). 1887. p. 147. Retrieved 21 March 2019.
  10. ^ "Real y distinguida Orden den Carlos III". Guía Oficial de España (in Spanish). 1887. p. 157. Retrieved 21 March 2019.
  11. ^ Sveriges statskalender (in Swedish), 1905, p. 440, retrieved 6 January 2018 – via
  12. ^ Shaw, Wm. A. (1906) The Knights of England, I, London, p. 426
Afonso, Duke of Porto House of BraganzaCadet branch of the House of Aviz and House of Saxe-Coburg and GothaBorn: 31 July 1865 Died: 21 February 1920 Portuguese royalty Preceded byPrince Luís Filipe Prince Royal of Portugal 1908–1910 Title abolished VacantTitle last held byKing Luís I Duke of Porto 1889–1920 VacantTitle next held byInfante Dom Dinis