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José, Prince of Brazil

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Prince of Brazil,
José while Prince of Beira,
by do Amaral, 1773; age 12.
Born(1761-08-20)20 August 1761
Real Barraca, Ajuda, Kingdom of Portugal
Died11 September 1788(1788-09-11) (aged 27)
Real Barraca, Ajuda, Portugal
SpouseInfanta Benedita of Portugal
Full name
José Francisco Xavier de Paula Domingos António Agostinho Anastácio de Bragança
HouseHouse of Braganza
FatherPedro III of Portugal
MotherMaria I of Portugal
ReligionRoman Catholicism

Infante José of Portugal, Prince of Brazil, Duke of Braganza (20 August 1761 – 11 September 1788) was the heir apparent to the Kingdom of Portugal until his death in 1788, as the eldest child of Queen Maria I of Portugal and King Pedro III of Portugal. He was also the Prince of Beira but better known as the Prince of Brazil.

José died of smallpox at the age of 27, causing his younger and ill-prepared brother, Infante João, to become heir-apparent and eventually King. João's reign would be a turbulent one, seeing Napoleonic invasion of Portugal and the loss of the Portuguese Empire's largest and wealthiest colony, Brazil.

Early life[change | change source]

José was born at the Real Barraca where the Palace of Ajuda in Lisbon stands today. He was named after his grandfather who was the ruling King of Portugal at the time of his birth. His grandfather created him "Prince of Beira", this being the first time when the title was given to a male.

At the time of his birth, his parents were the Prince and Princess of Brazil, his mother the Heir presumptive of the king.

Marriage[change | change source]

On 21 February 1777, he married his 30-year-old aunt the Infanta Benedita of Portugal. José was 15 years old. Benedita was an attractive woman and the main candidate for the wife of José. The marriage was the great wish of king José.

They had no children. Benedita miscarried twice, in 1781 and in 1786. Three days after their wedding, José's grandfather and Benedita's father the old King José died, and his mother succeeded as queen in her own right. Infante José became the new crown prince, being accorded the titles Prince of Brazil and 14th Duke of Braganza.

Death and legacy[change | change source]

José died at the age of 27 of smallpox. Upon José's death, his younger brother Infante John became heir-apparent to the throne and thus the new Prince of Brazil. José died on the Ajuda Royal Complex in Lisbon. His mother and wife were very badly affected by his death. His wife would be known as the "Dowager Princess of Brazil" till her death in 1829.

Burial[change | change source]

José is buried in the Royal Pantheon of the House of Braganza in Lisbon, the resting place for most of the members of the House of Braganza.

Titles, styles, and honours[change | change source]

Titles and styles[change | change source]

  • 20 August 1761 – 24 February 1777 His Royal Highness The Prince of Beira, Duke of Barcelos.
  • 24 February 1777 – 11 September 1788 His Royal Highness The Prince of Brazil, Duke of Braganza.

Other websites[change | change source]

Media related to José, Prince of Beira and Brazil at Wikimedia Commons