Assassination, Carlos of Portugal, House of Braganza, King Manuel II of Portugal, Lisbon, Louis Philippe, Luís Filipe of Portugal, Prince Royal, Terreiro do Paço
Carlos I (September 28, 1863 – February 1, 1908), known as the Diplomat and the Martyr was the King of Portugal from 1889 until his assassination in 1908. He was the first Portuguese king to die a violent death since Sebastian in 1578.
Carlos, King of Portugal
Carlos was born in Lisbon, Portugal, the son of King Luís and Queen Maria Pia, daughter of King Victor Emmanuel II of Italy and his wife Archduchess Adelaide of Austria, daughter of Archduke Rainer of Austria and his wife Princess Elisabeth of Savoy. and was a member of the House of Braganza. He had a brother, Infante Afonso, Duke of Porto. He had an intense education and was prepared to rule as a constitutional monarch. In 1883, he traveled to Italy, the United Kingdom, France and Germany, where he increased his knowledge of the modern civilization of his time. In 1883, 1886 and 1888, he ruled as regent as his father was traveling in Europe, as had become traditional among the Portuguese constitutional kings. His father Luis I advised him to be modest and to study with focus.
Maria Pia of Savoy, mother of King Carlos
Dom Carlos had quite a few choices in selecting a royal spouse. His main options were the Archduchess Marie Valerie of Austria, Princess Mathilde of Saxony, Princess or Princess Victoria of Wales. Another bridal candidate was Viktoria of Prussia daughter of German Emperor Friedrich III. However, Don Carlos was Catholic and any Prussian princess would have been Protestant therefore the issue of religion presented an insurmountable problem, and the pressure of British diplomacy prevented the marriage.
He then met and married Princess Amélie of Orléans, eldest daughter of Philippe, comte de Paris, pretender to the throne of France, and his wife, Princess Marie Isabelle d’Orléans. At first, the marriage was not popular, however, Amélie and Don Carlos came to live quite harmoniously with each other.
Princess Amélie of Orléans
On February 1, 1908, the royal family returned from the Ducal Palace of Vila Viçosa in Vila Viçosa to Lisbon, where they spent time hunting in Alentejo in the hunting season during the winter. They travelled by train to Barreiro and, from there, they took a steamer to cross the Tagus River and disembarked at Cais do Sodré in central Lisbon. On their way to the royal palace, the open carriage with Carlos I and his family passed through the Terreiro do Paço fronting on the river.
There were only a few people in the Terreiro do Paço as the carriage rounded the eastern part of the square and the first shot rang out. As reported later, a bearded man had walked out into the road after the carriage had passed; he removed a Winchester carbine rifle hidden under his overcoat, knelt on one knee and fired at the King from a distance of about 8 metres (8.7 yd). The shot struck the king’s neck, killing him instantly.
Prince Royal, Luís Filipe of Portugal
The assassins then turned their attention to the Prince Royal, Luís Filipe, who had stood to draw and fire a hidden revolver but was hit in the chest. The bullet (from a small-caliber revolver) did not exit his sternum nor was it fatal; the prince reportedly fired four quick shots at his attacker, who fell from the carriage step. However, when Luís Filipe stood up he became more visible to the attacker with the rifle; the prince was struck by a large-caliber shot which exited from the top of his skull.
Luís Filipe lived for another twenty minutes. Manuel survived the attack, having only been shot in the arm, while the queen was unharmed. Had automatic ascension to the throne been the law, Luís Filipe would have been one of the shortest-reigning monarchs in history, with a reign of just twenty minutes.
The queen alone escaped injury. The two assassins were killed on the spot by police and bodyguards; an innocent bystander was also killed in the confusion. Several days later, the younger son, Prince Manuel, was proclaimed king of Portugal; as Manuel II and he was the last of the Braganza-Saxe-Coburg and Gotha dynasty and the last king of Portugal as well.