Thursday, February 2, 2012

Royal Profile: Infanta Maria Adelaide de Bragança, Dom Duarte de Bragança

Infanta Maria Adelaide de Bragança, Dom Duarte de Bragança is a Royal Princess of Portugal, and is 6th in line for the pretending throne of Portugal. She was born 31 January 1912, and she marked her 100th birthday on Tuesday. Her father was pretender to the Portugese throne from 1866-1920, and her mother was Princess Maria Theresa of Löwenstein-Wertheim-Rosenberg. She had two half-brothers and a half sister-Doms Miguel & Francis, and Dona Maria Teresa; she had six younger half sisters- Donas Isabel, Maria Benedita, Mafalda, Maria Anna, Maria Antónia, Filippa Maria, and Maria Adelaide, and one younger half brother Dom Duarte Nuno. Infanta Maria Adelaide was cousins with numerous other royal houses, including Princess Elisabeth Amaliaof Liechtenstein, Elisabeth, Queen of the Belgians, Marie Gabrielle, Crown Princess of Bavaria, Marie-Adélaïde, Grand Duchess of Luxembourg, Charlotte, Grand Duchess of Luxembourg, Antoinette, Crown Princess of Bavaria,Xavier, Duke of Parma, Zita, Empress of Austria and Queen of Hungary and Felix of Bourbon-Parma.

The young Infanta was educated in Germany at Sacre Coeur College.

She married in Vienna, Austria on 13 October 1945, to Dutchman Dr. Nicolaas van Uden, who became a naturalized Portugese citizen upon their marriage. The Infanta & Doctor had several children, four sons and two daughters-Adriano Sergio, Francisco Xavier Damiano, Filipa Teodora, Miguel Inacio, and Maria Teresa.

During World War II, she worked as a social worker and nurse's assistant and provided aid to victims in Austria. She was part of the Nazi resistance movement, and the Gestapo sentenced her to death. The Portuguese President of the Council of Ministers, António de Oliveira Salazar intervened with the Germans, claiming that Infanta Maria Adelaide was a national heritage. This intervention of the Portuguese diplomacy resulted in the release and her immediate deportation, which settled in Switzerland, where her brother Dom Duarte Nuno, Duke of Braganza lived. After the war, the family finally returned in Austria. She returned to Portugal in 1949, where soon after she married the newly claimed Doctor Nicolaas van Uden. However, upon his arrival, his qualifications earned in Switzerland, were not equal to the ones required in Portugal, this resulted in him taking a research job in Portugal.

The Princess died 24 February 2012, a few weeks after her 100th birthday.

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