Monday, February 1, 2010

A Sad Anniversary for Portugal

As a blog reader reminded me, today is the anniversary of the regicide of His Most Faithful Majesty King Carlos I of Portugal in 1908. His reign was troubled by a number of issues, one of the first of which was a colonial settlement with Great Britain which was practical but unpopular. There was also a rapidly worsening economic crisis for which the King was often unjustly blamed, mostly by rabble-rousers trying to gain power by turning public opinion against the monarchy. The Royal Family was returning home to Lisbon when they came under attack from two republican terrorists. One, a former sharpshooter in the army, had a rifle hidden under his coat and opened fire. The King was killed instantly, the Crown Prince Luis Filipe was mortally wounded and Prince Manuel was slightly wounded as well. Europe was shocked by the news. It had been hoped that the days of royal murders had ended with the start of the 20th Century but it was not to be. The throne passed to the young King Manuel II but the Portuguese monarchy was not to survive much longer. When neighboring Spain also fell to republicanism monarchy was all but gone from Iberia. Like other murdered monarchs before him, and others after, King Carlos I suffered unjustly at the hands of traitors with talent as propagandists who succeeded in making at least a large portion of the public blame the King for all of the ills Portugal was suffering which was actually the result of many mistakes by the ministers of many governments over a considerable period of time. Perhaps, one day, the truth will take the place of lies and baseless accusations in judging the case of King Carlos I of Portugal.


  1. I note with relief that according to the Wikipedia article on the Lisbon Regicide (not sure how much one can trust Wikipedia material), even the present horrible, socialist, pro-abort and pro-homosexual-"marriage" government of Portugal refused to let any officials participate in 2008 centenary glorifications of the killings.

  2. That's something I guess. I would be inclined to disbelieve it myself were it not for some evidence in recent times that the monarchy in Portugal may not be as unpopular as has usually been thought. It may not mean alot but it would be a good sign to disallow the celebration of a brutal murder. I find Bastille Day distasteful -I don't think I could remain peaceful if there were celebrations of regicides.

  3. Hi from Portugal.
    We are trying to restore the truth. D. Carlos and his wife Queen Amelia was the target of a vicious campaign of defamation during their life and even after their death. This year marks the 100th anniversary of the implementation of the republic that has made a propaganda and brainwashing in order to establish an official history on this centennial. From 1910 to 1926, the first republic, we had one of the worst periods of economic and social crisis and from 1926 to 1974 one of the longest dictatorships in the world. Our democracy was introduced by a king, D. Pedro IV in 1834, suspended in 1926 and resumed in 1974. The third republic in which we are just invested 10 million euro to clean up the image of the regime. Anyway, the monarchist movement in Portugal has managed to restore some dignity and is heard in Portuguese society.
    Congratulations on the blog. I am a careful reader. Nuno

  4. Thanks for reading and keep fighting the good fight in Portugal. I have one Portuguese cousin and have long admired the country. I have been very impressed by the committment and the energy of the monarchist movement there. Particularly how young many of the Portuguese monarchists are -that is very encouraging. Hopefully success will be forthcoming. It happened in Spain, it can happen in Portugal too! Long live the House of Braganza!

  5. In regards ot Portugal, a omon theme I harp on often is displayed perfectly, and mentioend above. Almost All Republics seem to arise form Violence, and nearly all of them have a tendancy to glorify their origins and demonise the system they overthrew, usually but not alwys a Monarchy, in order to make their own state legitimate. If Republicanism was self evidently superior, they'd not need ot agrandise the past as they do, but do because they know deep down is not .

  6. It's a pity (given how rare the ability to speak Portuguese is outside Portugal and its former empire) that so little information on Portuguese history is available in English.

    Fortunately we have H. V. Livermore's books on Portugal (though they're showing their age now) and recently an Irish-resident Lisbon-born academic, F. R. de Meneses, produced a full-length biography of Salazar. But other than that, I suspect that more of us will need to learn the Portuguese language if we want to find out more on the House of Braganza, its successes, and its weaknesses.

  7. Yes! I very much agree. When I was still a very young little lunatic I read a National Geographic that looked at the former Portuguese colonies all around the world and the traces that remained. I was really interested and then went looking for more only to discover that there was practically nothing to be had. Of course that is a constant complaint of mine about a number of countries and their royal histories.

  8. Thanks for thi post, MM.

    Robert, if what you say is true, and given the lack of information of portuguese history in Britain is that great, I might start a blog on portuguese monarchy written in english...

    maybe i'll call the place "O Monárquico Maluco"

  9. Oh, yes, MPR, it's not just the lack of information on Portuguese history in Britain (I'm not British). Also, it's the lack of information on Portuguese history in any English-speaking country.

    The French language does somewhat better (there are quite a few books on post-1910 Portugal written in French). But as far as English-language material on Portugal is concerned, well, until recently, it was just one long "whine whine whine" about the evils of Lisbon's "colonialism" and "fascism" and what totally awesome freedom-loving dudes all those commie revolutionaries in Angola and Mozambique were.

    Even the Reader's Digest 1968 Almanac (which I've loaned to a friend briefly, so I can't consult it right now) referred, if I remember aright, to King Carlos as "debauched and unscrupulous". "Debauched and unscrupulous" compared with whom? FDR? JFK? Clinton?

    Good luck with any blog you might produce.

  10. Should Brazil re unite with Portugal?


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