The Duke of Braganza and pretender to the Portuguese throne, Dom Duarte Pio, has said in an interview with Portuguese media that “all those who oppose bullfighting, oppose Portuguese traditions and culture” even though he “understands that for emotional and sentimental reasons” many people are ”shocked by some aspects of bullfighting”. This is reported by the International Monarchist Conference and various Portuguese media.
It was during the celebrations of the centenary of Amália Rodrigues that Dom Duarte Pio spoke to the media about the increasing controversy with bullfighting as a sport in Portugal. The Duke says that bullfighting is a secular tradition that comes from the times of the Portuguese monarchy. The Portuguese pretender also said: “Of course there are people, who I understand, who for emotional, sentimental reasons are shocked by some aspects of bullfighting, I understand and respect those feelings. On the other hand, there are other aspects that are also very shocking, such as raising captive chickens, raising pigs for slaughter”.
Dom Duarte Pio, Duke of Braganza, is a claimant to the defunct Portuguese throne, as the head of the House of Braganza. Duarte Pio is a figure within the European network of royal houses, often being invited to various foreign royal events. Despite his support for a monarchical government and widespread recognition as pretender to the throne, there are no major movements or parties that support restoration of the monarchy in Portugal, at the moment. The Portuguese royal family has nevertheless become more prominent in the recent years and with an increase in its popularity. It is, however, unclear how the majority of Portuguese view the Duke’s statements about the bullfighting.
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.