Luís I of Portugal

Luís I

Photograph of King D. Luís I;
Augusto Bobone, 1885.
King of Portugal and the Algarves
Reign 11 November 1861 –
19 October 1889
Acclamation 22 December 1861
Predecessor Pedro V
Successor Carlos I
Prime Ministers
Born (1838-10-31)31 October 1838
Necessidades Palace, Lisbon, Portugal
Died 19 October 1889(1889-10-19) (aged 50)
Citadel of Cascais, Cascais, Portugal
Burial Pantheon of the Braganzas
Spouse Maria Pia of Savoy
Issue Carlos I
Infante Afonso, Duke of Porto
Full name
Luís Filipe Maria Fernando Pedro de Alcântara António Miguel Rafael Gabriel Gonzaga Xavier Francisco de Assis João Augusto Júlio Valfando
House House of Braganza[1]
Father Ferdinand II of Portugal
Mother Maria II of Portugal
Religion Roman Catholicism

Dom Luís I (31 October 1838 in Lisbon  – 19 October 1889 in Cascais) was a member of the House of Braganza,[1] and King of Portugal and the Algarves from 1861 to 1889. The second son of Maria II and Ferdinand II, he acceded to the throne upon the death of his brother Pedro.


King Luís I and Queen Maria Pia of Savoy at a masquerade ball, 1865.

Luís was a cultured man who wrote vernacular poetry, but had no distinguishing gifts in the political field into which he was thrust by the deaths of his brothers Pedro V and Fernando in 1861. Luís's domestic reign was a tedious and ineffective series of transitional governments called Rotativism formed at various times by the Progressistas (Liberals) and the Regeneradores (Conservatives – the party generally favoured by King Luís, who secured their long term in office after 1881). Despite a flirtation with the Spanish succession prior to the Franco-Prussian War of 1870–71, Luís's reign was otherwise one of domestic stagnation as Portugal fell ever further behind the nations of western Europe in terms of public education, political stability, technological progress and economic prosperity. In colonial affairs, Delagoa Bay was confirmed as a Portuguese possession in 1875, whilst Belgian activities in the Congo (1880s) and a British Ultimatum in 1890 denied Portugal a land link between Portuguese Angola and Portuguese Mozambique at the peak of the Scramble for Africa.

Personal interests

Luís was mostly a man of the sciences, with a passion for oceanography. He invested a large portion of his fortune in funding research boats to collect specimens in the oceans of the world, and was responsible for the establishment of one of the world's first aquariums, the Aquário Vasco da Gama in Lisbon, which is still open to the public with its vast collection of maritime life forms, including a 10 meter long squid. His love for sciences and things new was passed to his two sons.

Marriages and descendants

Luís married Princess Maria Pia of Savoy, daughter of Victor Emmanuel II of Italy and Maria Adelaide of Austria. They both had a deep love at first, but Luis's countless mistresses led Maria Pia to depression. Together they had two sons who survived childhood, and a stillborn son in 1866. The King also fathered one illegitimate child, born in 1874 in Lisbon, a son named Carlos Augusto.

By Princess Maria Pia of Savoy (16 October 1847 – 5 July 1911; married on 6 October 1862)
Dom Carlos, Prince Royal of Portugal28 September 18631 February 1908Who succeeded him as Carlos I, the King of Portugal, murdered in 1908 by the Carbonária.
Dom Afonso, Prince Royal of Portugal31 July 186521 February 1920 Infante of Portugal, Duke of Porto, Viceroy of India, and after 1908 Prince Royal.

Titles, Honours, and Styles

Royal styles of
King Luís I of Portugal
Reference style His Most Faithful Majesty
Spoken style Your Most Faithful Majesty
Alternative style Sire

Titles and Styles

Luís I's official styling as King of Portugal:
By the Grace of God and by the Constitution of the Monarchy, Luís I, King of Portugal and the Algarves, of either side of the sea in Africa, Lord of Guinea and of Conquest, Navigation, and Commerce of Ethiopia, Arabia, Persia, and India, etc.



  1. 1 2 "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"
Luís I of Portugal
Cadet branch of the House of Aviz
Born: 31 October 1838 Died: 19 October 1889
Regnal titles
Preceded by
Pedro V
King of Portugal and the Algarves
Succeeded by
Carlos I
Portuguese royalty
Preceded by
Maria II
Duke of Porto
Succeeded by
Afonso Henriques
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