Arcadian Times

Founded May 8th, 2009



King Manuel II the last King of Portugal

A poignant piece of history that links the area to Portugal is the story of King Manuel II (Manuel Maria Filipe Carlos Amélio Luís Miguel Rafael Gabriel Gonzaga Francisco de Assis Eugénio de Saxe-Coburgo-Gotha e Bragança).

The last King of Portugal, born in Lisbon on November 15th 1889, the son of Don Carlos King of Portugal and Marie Amelie of Orleans, King Manuel was resident in the area from 1911 until his death in 1932.

On February 1st 1908, the Portugese royal family were returning to Lisbon and as they travelled by carriage through the Terreiro do Paço they were ambushed and fired at by members of the Portugese Republican Party. The King and the Crown Prince Luis Felipe were assasinated whilst Queen Amelie and the then Prince Manuel survived.

The unprepared Manuel was now the King of Portugal and he ruled through a tempestuos period of Portugese history between 1908 up until the start of the revolution in October 4th 1910. As the revolution took hold Manuel was forced to flee Portugal and arrived in England via Gibraltar. He intitially stayed in Richmond at Abercorn House.

On 4 September 1913, he married Princess Augusta Victoria of Hohenzollern-Sigmaringen (1890–1966) and after returning from honeymoon in 1913 moved to Fulwell Park. It is understood that in 1914 Queen Alexandra, Princess Victoria and the Empress Marie of Russia all attended a garden party at Fulwell Park.

He became an active member of the community and contributed to local events. He was with his wife a regular worshipper at St. James Parish Church. He was also very keen on tennis and would regularly visit the Wimbledon lawn championships.

He died suddenly in 1932 on July 2nd, the cause of death was an odema of the throat.

The sudden death has been regarded as suspicious as the previous day he had been reported playing tennis and by all accounts he had been considered to be in good health. There had been an incident the previous year at Fulwell Park where an intruder had been discovered in the grounds of Fulwell Park, who was later identified as a member of the Portugese republican terrorist group the "Carbonária" and deported to Lisbon.

In 1934 the King's home at FulwellPark was sold and later on demolished and redeveloped for housing. The connection to the King of Portugal can be seen in road names such as Manoel Road, Lisbon Avenue and Portugal Gardens.

There was a mass for King Manuel II of Portugal at Westminster Abbey. His body was then taken to Weybridge Mausoleum where it remained until the eventual return to Portugal where he is buried at the Bragança family mausoleum.

An interesting short tribute to the last royal family of Portugal


Article: Arcadian Times