Does Portugal have a King? What happened to the Portuguese monarchy?

Portugal had a royal family for 771 years, beginning in 1139.

The monarchy ended in 1910.

Portugal is now a democracy under the leadership of Prime Minister, António Acosta, who was appointed by a president that the people voted into office.

In 1139 Afonso Henriques declared himself king of Portugal after he united the counties Galicia and Portu Cale and reclaimed Lisbon from the Muslim Moors. 

Portugal went through the Golden Age of Exploration and became one of the world’s superpowers.

By 1889, Portugal was struggling under King Luís I. 

He was having difficulty managing the African colonies and seemed to always surround himself with his friends in positions of power. 

He was seen as incompetent and corrupt.

The British in 1898 demanded that Portugal hand over their colonies in Africa.

The next king, Carlos I, was willing to placate the British demands, and the citizens of Porto responded with a republican (for the republic, against the king) uprising in 1890.

Praça do Comércio,Lisbon
Praça do Comércio, Lisbon

These first uprisings were put down, but in 1908 King Carlos and his son Luís Filipe were assassinated at Praça do Comércio in Lisbon.

This event was known as the Regicide of 1908.  Regicide = Killing of the Rei (king)

The throne passed to Carlos’s next oldest son, Manuel II.

Manuel continued relations with England, even though the Portuguese people at this point saw England as an aggressor.

With a hot political climate, violent uprisings against the king broke out, and the military chose to side with the republican revolutionaries.

King Manuel II left to go live in exile in England, and Portugal was declared a republic in 1910.

The first years of the republic were uncertain.

Some of Manuel’s supporters attempted coups against the new government, but Manuel, who lived in exile until his death in 1936, condemned any violent attempts to restore the monarchy.

Loyal to Portugal until the end, Manuel II was known as “Manuel the Loyal,” and “Manuel the Unfortunate.”

Upon his death, Manuel’s remains were brought back to Portugal for burial.

Manuel did not have any descendants, so in the event that Portugal ever wants to reinstall the monarchy, Pio Duarte, the Duke of Braganza who is an heir of King Miguel (1628 – 1834), would have the strongest claim to the throne.

That Portuguese ship has sailed though, and the country is now a republic.

António Costa is now the Prime Minister of Portugal.

This is the XXII government that has been approved since the peaceful 1974 Carnation Revolution, which ended the dictatorial type governments of the Estado Novo.

Below is a list of Portugal’s kings:

NameYears on the throneNote
Afonso I1139-1185
Sancho I1185-1211
Afonso II1211-1223
Sancho II1223-1247unpopular and deposed by his younger brother Afonso III 1248-79 (Algarve becomes part of Portugal)
Afonso IV1325-1357
Pedro I1357-1367
Fernando I1367-1383Fernando supports John, Duke of Lancaster, in England’s attempts to seize the throne of Castilla.  England and Portugal ally.

Fernando’s half-brother, John, becomes King.  The House of Burgundy ends, The House of Avis is established.  It is John’s military order.  He is known as “The Good” because he kept Portugal independent from Spain.
Afonso V1432-1481
John II1481-1495signed Treaty of Tordesillas, his son died in an accident, so the throne went to his cousin Manuel.
Manuel I1485-1521
John III1521-1557outlived his son and passed the throne to his grandson, King Sebastian 1557-1578 who died in battle, passed to his uncle, Henry
Henry1578-80No heirs left.  Succession crisis. Throne passes to King Phillip of Spain, because his mother, Isabel I of Portugal was Manuel I’s daughter.  He is a Spanish Habsburg, and this creates the Iberian Union.
King Phillip II 1556-1598
Phillip III1598-1621
Phillip IV1621-1665After Phillip, the Portuguese House of Braganza takes the throne. King John’s father was Duke of Braganza.
John IV1640-1656John IV fought against Spain to restore independence from Spain.
Afonso IV1656-1683Was deposed for health reasons, and his brother became King Pedro II  1683-1706
John V1706-1750
Jose I1706-1750
Queen Maria I1777 -1816The first queen on the throne Maria was Queen of Portugal, Brasil, and Algarves. She and her husband, Pedro III, moved the court to Brasil, as Napoleon was wreaking havoc,
John VI1816-1826moved back to Portugal from Brasil in 1820. John’s son, Pedro I stayed on as emperor in Brazil while his father was king in Portugal.  Pedro I was briefly king of both Portugal and Brasil but abdicates as king of Portugal and gives the throne to his daughter 
Maria II1834-1853She marries a member of the house of Saxe, Coberg, and Gotha. Passes the throne to her son, Pedro V
Pedro V1853-1861
Carlos1889 – 1908Carlos and his first-born son, Luís Filipe are assassinated in Lisbon in 1908. His younger son, Manuel II assumes the throne.
Manuel II1908-1910Manuel II is run out of Portugal in the Revolution of 1910. He is the last King of Portugal
First Portuguese Republic: October 5, 1910 – coup d’etat May 28, 1926, creation of the National Dictatorship
Second Portuguese Republic: National Dictatorship and Estado Novo (The New State) under Prime Minister Antóno Oliveira Salazar
Third Portuguese Republic: A non-violent military coup grants freedom to Portugal’s African and Asian colonies in April of 1974 and Portugal chooses democracy moving forward.

The above chart is a quick summary of the information in this video below created by

If you find Portugal’s rich history to be interesting, you might want to read my article, The oldest buildings you can still see in Lisbon – Lisbon travel ideas,

or see what Lisbon’s historical shops are producing, Lisbon’s historical family-owned stores and craftsmen sell the best souvenirs – Lisbon travel ideas