Yesterday, 4 July 2018, Her Highness Infanta Maria Francisca of Portugal was made Duchess of Coimbra by her father, HRH the Duke of Braganza, the current pretender to the throne of Portugal. She was also, by her mother, the Duchess of Braganza, proclaimed Dame of the Order of Saint Isabel. At the ceremony, the new Duchess was accompanied by Mr Johannes Pedro de Jong, son of HRH Princess Maria Teresa of Brazil and Mr Johannes Hessel de Jong who is a Dutch nobleman and husband of Princess Maria Therez of Brazil.
The news was published via the Facebook page to the Portuguese Royal Family.
Duchess Maria Francisca was born on 3 March 1997, in Lisbon, as the second child of D. Duarte Pio and D. Isabel Inês, Duke and Duchess of Braganza. She is third in the line of succession to the throne of the Kingdom of Portugal and the Algarves, after her older brother, the Prince of Beira, and her younger brother, the Duke of Porto.
The House of Braganza was founded by Afonso I, first Duke of Braganza, illegitimate son of King John I of Portugal. The house came to rule the Kingdom of Portugal and the Algarves following the successful deposition of the Philippine Dynasty by John IV of Portugal, in 1640. With the creation of the United Kingdom of Portugal, Brazil and the Algarves, in 1815, and the subsequent independence of the Empire of Brazil, in 1822, the Braganzas came to rule as the monarchs of Brazil.
The constitutional branch died out with the death of King Manuel II in 1932, passing its claim to the Portuguese throne to the Miguelist Branch, by way of Duarte Nuno, Duke of Braganza. The claim to the Portuguese Crown, and thus to the leadership of the House of Braganza, passed to Duarte Nuno’s son, Duarte Pio, Duke of Braganza, who is currently the most recognised pretender to the Portuguese throne.