Tuesday, 31 January 2012

A Portuguese Infanta's 100th birthday

She is living history: Infanta Dona Maria Adelaide de Bragança van Uden was born on 31st January 1912 as the youngest daughter of [King] Miguel (II), Duke of Bragança and Princess Maria Theresa of Löwenstein-Wertheim-Rosenberg in Saint-Jean-de-Luz, France, and is the last surviving granddaughter of a Portuguese monarch, King Miguel I of Portugal and his wife Princess Adelaide of Löwenstein-Wertheim-Rosenberg. Her godparents were King Manuel II, the last reigning King of Portugal, and his mother, Queen Amélia of Portugal, née Princess of France of the House of Bourbon-Orléans.

Dona Maria Adelaide's siblings were Dona Isabel Maria of Bragança, Infanta of Portugal (1894–1970) who married Franz Joseph, 9th Prince of Thurn and Taxis, Dona Maria Benedita of Bragança, Infanta of Portugal (1896–1971), Dona Mafalda of Bragança, Infanta of Portugal (1898–1918), Dona Maria Anna of Bragança, Infanta of Portugal (1899–1971) who married Karl August, 10th Prince of Thurn and Taxis, Dona Maria Antónia of Bragança, Infanta of Portugal (1903–1973), Dona Filippa Maria of Bragança, Infanta of Portugal (1905–1990) and Dom Duarte Nuno, Duke of Bragança (1907–1976), father of the current head of the Portuguese Royal Family, Dom Duarte Pio.

Infanta Maria Adelaide is a cousin (among others) of Princess Elisabeth Amalia of Liechtenstein, Queen Elisabeth of the Belgians, grandmother of the present King of the Belgians, Albert II, Crown Princess Marie Gabrielle of Bavaria, Grand Duchess Marie-Adélaïde of Luxembourg, Grand Duchess Charlotte of Luxembourg, Crown Princess Antoinette of Bavaria, Duke Xavier of Parma and not to forget: Empress Zita of Austria, crowned Queen of Hungary.

She was educated in the Sacré Coeur College in Riedenburg, Austria, married in Vienna, 13th October 1945, Dr. Nicolaas van Uden (Venlo, 5th March 1921 – Lisbon, 5th February 1991) a medical biochemist and a great scientific authority in the field of yeast development.

Infanta Maria Adelaide lived in Vienna, Austria, working as a nurse and social assistant. During World War II, when there were bombardments, she was travelled at night to the place to provide aid to the victims. She was part of the Nazi resistance movement, caught by the Gestapo and sentenced to death. Portugal's dictator António de Oliveira Salazar intervened with the Germans, claiming that Infanta Maria Adelaide was a "national heritage". The intervention of the Portuguese diplomacy resulted in the release and her immediate deportation, which settled in Switzerland. It was there that her brother Dom Duarte Nuno, Duke of Bragança, and sister-in-law Dona Maria Francisca , Duchess of Bragança, lived. After the war, the family finally returned in Austria. In 1949, Dona Maria Adelaide could return to her ancestors' home country, Portugal.

According to the official succession list Infanta Maria Adelaide is 6th in line to the Portuguese throne.

The blog Família Real Portuguesa, always a valuable source of information, published today’s programme for Her Royal Highness’ birthday celebrations.

Feliz aniversário, Sua Alteza Real!

1 comment:

Maria Menezes said...

Thanks very much for the news about our dear Infanta Dona Maria Adelaide de Bragança van Uden and also to mention my blog.
Today it's a happy day for Portugal!