Prince Miguel, Duke of Viseu

Not to be confused with Infante Miguel, Duke of Viseu.
Prince Miguel
Duke of Viseu
Born (1878-09-22)22 September 1878
Reichenau an der Rax, Austria–Hungary
Died 21 February 1923(1923-02-21) (aged 44)
New York City, New York, United States
Spouse Anita Stewart
Issue Nadejda de Bragança
John de Bragança
Miguel de Bragança
Full name
Miguel Maria Sebastiao Maximiliano Rafael Gabriel Gonzaga Francisco D'Assis e de Paula Eustachio Carlos Afonso José Henrique Alberto Clemente lgnacio Martinho Antonio Gerardo Jorge Emmeric Mauricio de Bragança
House House of Braganza
Father Miguel, Duke of Braganza
Mother Princess Elisabeth of Thurn and Taxis

Prince Miguel of Braganza, Duke of Viseu (Portuguese: Príncipe Miguel de Bragança, Duque de Viseu; 22 September 1878 21 February 1923)[1] was a member of the exiled branch of the House of Braganza. The eldest son of the Miguelist pretender to the throne of Portugal he married an American heiress in 1909 and in 1920 renounced his rights to the throne. His full given names were Miguel Maria Sebastião Maximiliano Rafael Gabriel Gonzaga Francisco D'Assis e de Paula Eustachio Carlos Afonso José Henrique Alberto Clemente lgnacio Martinho Antonio Gerardo Jorge Emmeric Mauricio.[2]

Early life

Prince Miguel (far right) with his father, brother Francis Joseph and sister Maria Theresia

Miguel was born in Reichenau an der Rax, Austria-Hungary the eldest son and heir of the Miguelist pretender to the Portuguese throne Miguel, Duke of Braganza and his first wife Princess Elisabeth of Thurn and Taxis. Prince Miguel's father was the head of the non reigning branch of the Portuguese Royal House that had been exiled from Portugal. The exile was the result of the Portuguese law of banishment of 1834 and the constitution of 1838 which was brought about because in 1828 his grandfather Miguel usurped the throne of Portugal from his niece Queen Maria II. His grandfather reigned as king until 1834 when Maria II was restored.

Like his father Miguel pursued a career in the Army and served in a Saxon cavalry regiment. On 16 September 1900 Miguel was riding back into town in a Phaeton after having attended a dinner at a country house, when he caught his wheels in the carriage of Prince Albert of Saxony the son of Prince George, and nephew of the reigning king Albert. The collision was so great the Prince Albert's carriage overturned into a ditch, with Prince Albert dying a few hours after. Because it could not be determined whether it was an accident or intentional Miguel escaped a court martial but he was forced to give up his commission in the Army and leave the country.[3]

A year later he caused more controversy when it was discovered that while King Carlos I of Portugal was visiting the United Kingdom Miguel had entered Portugal with the aim of assisting an uprising against the king. After this was discovered he effectively became a social outcast.[4]


On 9 July 1909 Miguel's engagement to the American heiress, Anita Stewart was announced in London.[5] Stewart was the daughter of William Rhinelander Stewart and Annie Armstrong.[1] After her parents divorced in August 1906, her mother married the millionaire James Henry Smith.[5]

Miguel and Anita Stewart were married at Tulloch Castle near Dingwall in Scotland on 15 September 1909.[1] This was the first royal wedding in Scotland since the days of the Stuarts.[6] Shortly before the wedding Stewart was created Princess of Braganza by the Austrian Emperor Francis Joseph.[7] Upon his marriage Miguel was able to keep his place in the line of succession as morganatic marriages did not exist in Portuguese law.[8]

From their marriage Miguel and his wife had three children; Nadejda, John and Miguel.[1] The children were styled Prince and Princess until 1920 when Prince Miguel's marriage was declared non dynastic.[9]

Later life

After his marriage Miguel was granted the title Duke of Viseu by his father, though the reigning Portuguese King Manuel II did not recognise this and claimed the title for himself.[10] Shortly after his marriage, Miguel faced legal action from a syndicate who had lent him money a few years before his marriage when he was in financial difficulties. After promising to pay the syndicate one-fifth of any dowry he received as a result of contracting a marriage he later tried to pay back only what he had originally borrowed.[11] Although he paid off the majority of his creditors after his wedding some were unhappy and seized his furniture and other items and took them to an Auction house.[12]

In 1911-1912 Miguel took part in the monarchist uprisings in Portugal led by Henrique Mitchell de Paiva Couceiro, in an unsuccessful attempt to overthrow the First Portuguese Republic.[13] He was also active in raising money to fund the uprisings.[14]

Miguel later found work in London where he was employed as a Broker's clerk for the city firm Basil Montgomery, Fitzgerald and co.[10] After originally being forced to resign from the Army, he returned to serve in the German automobile corps during the First World War reaching the rank of Captain.[15]

After the war on 21 July 1920 Miguel renounced for himself and his descendants, his rights of succession to the Portuguese throne.[1] His father also renounced his rights ten days later which resulted in the Miguelist claim passing to his younger half brother Duarte Nuno.

Prince Miguel later moved to New York City where he sold life insurance before dying of pneumonia following an influenza attack.[16][17]


Name Birth Death Notes
Nadejda de Bragança 28 June 1910 13 June 1946 She was married firstly in 1930 to Wlodzimierz Dorozynski with whom she had one son before divorcing in 1932. She was married for a second time in London on 29 January 1942 to René Millet. She died after fall which was later ruled to be suicide.
John de Bragança 7 September 1912 12 March 1991 A Harvard graduate he served in the US Navy during World War II, later becoming vice president and treasurer of the Rhinelander Real Estate Company and an investment banker.[18] He was married firstly in New York City on 21 May 1948 to Winifred Dodge Seyburn (granddaughter of Detroit Auto Pioneer John Dodge) with whom he had one son, Miguel, before divorcing in 1953. He was married secondly on 15 May 1971 to Katherine King.
Miguel de Bragança 8 February 1915 7 February 1996 He worked as a civil airlines pilot and was married in Miami on 18 November 1946 to Anne Hughson with whom he had two daughters.

Titles and styles

See also



  1. 1 2 3 4 5 Pike, Charlotte (1998). Almanach de Gotha (182nd ed.). Almanach de Gotha. p. 186. ISBN 0-9532142-0-6.
  2. Resenha das familias titulares e grandes de Portugal. F.A. Silva. 1883. pp. XLII.
  3. A Veteran Diplomat (1909-07-18). "Where Americans Lose Caste". New York Times. p. SM2.
  4. "Dom Miguel. The Throne of Portugal". Evening Post. 21 September 1907. p. 12.
  5. 1 2 "Anita Stewart Will Wed Prince Miguel". New York Times. 1909-09-07. p. 1.
  6. "Portuguese Prince Married". Evening Post. 17 September 1909. p. 71.
  7. "Miss Stewart A Princess". New York Times. 1909-07-10. p. 1.
  8. "Miss Stewart Weds; Holds To Her Faith". New York Times. 1909-09-16. p. 1.
  9. Sainty, Guy Stair. "Genealogy of the Royal House of Portugal". Chivalric Orders. Retrieved 21 August 2009.
  10. 1 2 "Braganza A Broker's Clerk". New York Times. 1911-01-17. p. 1.
  11. "Braganza Sued For Million". New York Times. 1909-12-07. p. 1.
  12. "Braganza's Effects Seized". New York Times. 1910-02-09. p. 1.
  13. de Saisseval, Guy Coutant (1966). Les Maisons Impériales et Royales d'Europe. Éditions du Palais-Royal. p. 427.
  14. "Braganza Gets $10,000,000". New York Times. 1911-11-14. p. 6.
  15. "Prince Miguel Promoted". New York Times. 1917-05-20. p. 11.
  16. "Royal Prince Sells Life Insurance Here". New York Times. 1923-01-03. p. 1.
  17. "Prince Miguel Dies From Pneumonia". New York Times. 1923-02-22. p. 15.
  18. "John de Braganca, Investment Banker, 79". New York Times. 1991-03-15. Retrieved 2008-07-07.
Prince Miguel, Duke of Viseu
Born: 22 September 1878 Died: 21 February 1923
Portuguese nobility
Title last held by
Manuel I of Portugal
Duke of Viseu
Title next held by
Infante Miguel, Duke of Viseu
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