Carlos I of Portugal

Dom Carlos I (Portuguese pronunciation: [ˈkaɾluʃ]; Charles; 28 September 1863 – 1 February 1908), known as the Diplomat (Portuguese: o Diplomata), the Martyr (Portuguese: o Martirizado), and the Oceanographer (Portuguese: o Oceanógrafo),[2] among many other names, was King of Portugal from 1889 until his assassination in 1908. He was the first Portuguese king to die a violent death since King Sebastian in 1578.

Carlos I
King Carlos I of Portugal - National Portrait Gallery.png
Photograph c. 1907
King of Portugal
Reign19 October 1889 –
1 February 1908
Acclamation28 December 1889
PredecessorLuís I
SuccessorManuel II
Prime Ministers
Born28 September 1863
Ajuda Palace, Lisbon, Portugal
Died1 February 1908 (aged 44)
Terreiro do Paço, Lisbon, Portugal
(m. 1886)
Carlos Fernando Luís Maria Victor Miguel Rafael Gabriel Gonzaga Xavier Francisco de Assis José Simão
FatherLuís I
MotherMaria Pia of Savoy
ReligionRoman Catholicism
SignatureCarlos I's signature

Early lifeEdit

The baptism of Dom Carlos, c. 1863
Carlos I of Portugal on a 20 Reis coin, 1891

Carlos was born in Lisbon, Portugal, the son of King Luís and Queen Maria Pia, daughter of King Victor Emmanuel II of Italy, and was a member of the House of Braganza.[1] He had a brother, Infante Afonso, Duke of Porto. He was baptised with the names Carlos Fernando Luís Maria Víctor Miguel Rafael Gabriel Gonzaga Xavier Francisco de Assis José Simão.[3][4]

He had an intense education and was prepared to rule as a constitutional monarch. In 1883, he traveled to Italy, the United Kingdom, France and Germany, where he increased his knowledge of the modern civilization of his time. In 1883, 1886 and 1888, he ruled as Regent as his father was traveling in Europe, as had become traditional among the Portuguese constitutional kings. His father Luis I advised him to be modest and to study with focus.[citation needed]

His first bridal candidate was one of the daughters of German Emperor Frederick III, but the issue of religion presented an insurmountable problem, and diplomatic pressure from the British government prevented the marriage. He then met and married Princess Amélie of Orléans, eldest daughter of Philippe, comte de Paris, pretender to the throne of France.[5]


Photograph of Infante Carlos, c. 1886

Carlos became king on 19 October 1889. After the 1890 British Ultimatum, a series of treaties were signed with the United Kingdom. One signed in August 1890 defined colonial borders along the Zambezi and Congo rivers, whereas another signed on 14 October 1899 confirmed colonial treaties dating back to the 17th century. These treaties stabilised the political balance in Africa, ending Portuguese claims of sovereignty on the Pink Map, a geographical conception of how Portuguese colonies would appear on a map if the territory between the coastal colonies of Angola and Mozambique could be connected with territory in central Africa. These central African territories became part of the British Empire with the Portuguese concession becoming a source of national resentment in the country.[citation needed]

Domestically, Portugal declared bankruptcy twice – on 14 June 1892, then again on 10 May 1902 – causing industrial disturbances, socialist and republican antagonism and press criticism of the monarchy. Carlos responded by appointing João Franco as prime minister and subsequently accepting parliament's dissolution.[5]

As a patron of science and the arts, King Carlos took an active part in the celebration of the 500th anniversary of the birth of Prince Henry the Navigator in 1894. The following year he decorated the Portuguese poet João de Deus in a ceremony in Lisbon.[citation needed]

Carlos took a personal interest in deep-sea and maritime exploration and used several yachts named Amélia on his oceanographical voyages. He published an account of his own studies in this area.[5]


Portrait of Carlos I by Alfredo Roque Gameiro, c. 1902

On 1 February 1908, the royal family was returning to Lisbon from the Ducal Palace of Vila Viçosa in Alentejo, where they had spent part of the hunting season during the winter. They traveled by train to Barreiro and, from there, they took a steamer to cross the Tagus River and disembarked at Cais do Sodré in central Lisbon. On their way to the royal palace, the open carriage with Carlos I and his family passed through the Terreiro do Paço fronting on the river. In spite of recent political unrest there was no military escort.[6] While they were crossing the square at dusk, shots were fired from amongst the sparse crowd by two republican activists: Alfredo Luís da Costa and Manuel Buíça.[7]

Buíça, a former army sergeant and sharpshooter, fired five shots from a rifle hidden under his long overcoat. The king died immediately, his heir Luís Filipe was mortally wounded, and Prince Manuel was hit in the arm. The queen alone escaped injury. The two assassins were killed on the spot by police; an innocent bystander, João da Costa, was also shot dead in the confusion. The royal carriage turned into the nearby Navy Arsenal, where, about twenty minutes later, Prince Luís Filipe died. Several days later, the younger son, Prince Manuel, was proclaimed king of Portugal. He was to be the last of the Braganza-Saxe-Coburg and Gotha dynasty and the final king of Portugal.[citation needed]

Marriage and childrenEdit

Carlos I and Dona Maria Amélia with their firstborn son, 1888

Carlos I was married to Princess Amélie of Orléans in 1886. She was a daughter of Philippe, Count of Paris, and Princess Marie Isabelle of Orléans. Their children were:

A woman known as Maria Pia of Saxe-Coburg and Braganza[8][9] claimed to be the illegitimate daughter of King Carlos I of Portugal with Maria Amélia Laredó e Murça. Maria Pia claimed that King Carlos I legitimized her through a royal decree and placed her in the line of succession with the same rights and honours as the legitimately-born princes of Portugal;[clarification needed] however, no undisputed evidence was presented to demonstrate this, and the king did not, constitutionally, have the personal authority to do so. Maria Pia's paternity was never proven and her claim not widely accepted.





  1. ^ 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"
  2. ^ Saldanha, Luiz (1997). One Hundred Years of Portuguese Oceanography: In the Footsteps of King Carlos de Bragança. Setúbal: Museu Bocage, Museu Nacional de História Natural. p. 196.
  3. ^ "Carlos I (Rei D.)". Centro de Estudos de Sociologia e Estética Musical. Fundação da Casa de Bragança. Retrieved 20 February 2022.
  4. ^ Newton, Michael (2014). Famous Assassinations in World History: An Encyclopedia. Santa Barbara, California, USA: ABC-CLIO. p. 73. ISBN 978-1610692861. Retrieved 20 February 2022.
  5. ^ a b c Chisholm, Hugh, ed. (1911). "Carlos I." . Encyclopædia Britannica. Vol. 5 (11th ed.). Cambridge University Press.
  6. ^ Newitt, Malyn (12 November 2019). The Braganzas. p. 284. ISBN 978-1-78914-125-2.
  7. ^ de Castro, Anibal Pinto (2008). O Regicidio de 1908. pp. 111 & 120. ISBN 978-972-26-2677-4.
  8. ^ "Princess Maria Pia of Saxe-Coburg, Duchess of Braganza" in CHILCOTE, Ronald H.; The Portuguese Revolution: State and Class in the Transition to Democracy, page 37. Rowman & Littlefield Publishers; Reprint edition (31 August 2012).
  9. ^ "...Her Royal Highness D. Maria Pia of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha Braganza, the Crown Princess of Portugal" in Jean Pailler; Maria Pia of Braganza: The Pretender. New York: ProjectedLetters, 2006;
  10. ^ a b Albano da Silveira Pinto (1883). "Serenissima Casa de Bragança". Resenha das Familias Titulares e Grandes des Portugal (in Portuguese). Lisbon: Lisboa F.A. da Silva. p. xv.
  11. ^ "A Szent István Rend tagjai" Archived 22 December 2010 at the Wayback Machine
  12. ^ Jørgen Pedersen (2009). Riddere af Elefantordenen, 1559–2009 (in Danish). Syddansk Universitetsforlag. p. 468. ISBN 978-87-7674-434-2.
  13. ^ "Schwarzer Adler-orden", Königlich Preussische Ordensliste (in German), vol. 1, Berlin, 1886, p. 9
  14. ^ Staatshandbücher für das Herzogtum Sachsen-Coburg und Gotha (1890), "Herzogliche Sachsen-Ernestinischer Hausorden" p. 43
  15. ^ "Ludewigs-orden", Großherzoglich Hessische Ordensliste (in German), Darmstadt: Staatsverlag, 1907, p. 7
  16. ^ Staatshandbuch für das Großherzogtum Sachsen / Sachsen-Weimar-Eisenach Archived 6 September 2020 at the Wayback Machine (1900), "Großherzogliche Hausorden" p. 16
  17. ^ Sachsen (1901). "Königlich Orden". Staatshandbuch für den Königreich Sachsen: 1901. Dresden: Heinrich. p. 4 – via
  18. ^ Italia : Ministero dell'interno (1898). Calendario generale del Regno d'Italia. Unione tipografico-editrice. p. 54.
  19. ^ a b Justus Perthes, Almanach de Gotha (1908) p. 66
  20. ^ 刑部芳則 (2017). 明治時代の勲章外交儀礼 (PDF) (in Japanese). 明治聖徳記念学会紀要. p. 149.
  21. ^ "Ordinul Carol I" [Order of Carol I]. Familia Regală a României (in Romanian). Bucharest. Retrieved 17 October 2019.
  22. ^ Royal Thai Government Gazette (11 June 1899). "พระราชทานเครื่องราชอิสริยาภรณ์ที่ประเทศยุโรป (ต่อแผ่นที่ ๑๐ หน้า ๑๓๖)" (PDF) (in Thai). Retrieved 8 May 2019. {{cite journal}}: Cite journal requires |journal= (help)
  23. ^ "Caballeros de la insigne orden del toisón de oro", Guía Oficial de España (in Spanish), 1908, p. 152, retrieved 15 December 2019
  24. ^ "Real y distinguida orden de Carlos III", Guía Oficial de España (in Spanish), 1908, p. 156, retrieved 15 December 2019
  25. ^ Sveriges statskalender (in Swedish), 1905, p. 440, retrieved 6 January 2018 – via
  26. ^ Norges Statskalender (in Norwegian), 1890, pp. 595–596, retrieved 6 January 2018 – via
  27. ^ Shaw, Wm. A. (1906) The Knights of England, I, London, p. 70
  28. ^ Shaw, p. 416

General referencesEdit

  • Jean Pailler: D. Carlos I – Rei de Portugal: Destino Maldito de um Rei Sacrificado. Bertrand, Lisbon, 2001, ISBN 978-972-25-1231-2
  • Jean Pailler: Maria Pia: A Mulher que Queria Ser Rainha de Portugal. Bertrand, Lisbon, 2006, ISBN 972-25-1467-9
  • Manuel Amaral: Portugal – Dicionário Histórico, Corográfico, Heráldico, Biográfico, Bibliográfico, Numismático e Artístico, Volume II, 1904–1915, págs. 759
  • Rui Ramos: D. Carlos, Temas e Debates, Lisbon, 2007.
Carlos I of Portugal
Cadet branch of the House of Aviz
Born: 28 September 1863 Died: 1 February 1908
Regnal titles
Preceded by King of Portugal
19 October 1889 – 1 February 1908
Succeeded by
Portuguese royalty
Preceded by Prince Royal of Portugal
28 September 1863 – 19 October 1889
Succeeded by
Duke of Braganza
28 September 1863 – 19 October 1889