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Maria Pia de Saxe-Coburg-Gotha-Braganca
Maria Pia of Braganša also known as Hilda Toledano (March 13 1907 - 1995) began claiming, in the 1930s, to be an illegitimate child of King Carlos of Portugal, by Amelia Laredo e Murca. She further claimed that she had been 'recognized' by her father (ie, accepted as one of his children with the inheritance and status rights due the child of a Portuguese monarch). The claim that she was the king's child was made after the death of her supposed half-brother, Manuel II, the last King of Portugal.
She asserted, following the death of Manuel II, that she was head of the Royal House and was supported by some Portuguese royalists. This is a unique claim based on a letter by king Carlos, signed in March 14 1907, and in the documents of the Baptism Acts, registered in the archives (n░ 21, sheet q7 vt░) of the Archbishop's Palace in Madrid AlcalÓ, conferring upon his natural daughter Dona Maria Pia Saxe Coburgo Braganša all honours, prerogatives, privileges, obligations and advantages that belong to the Infants of the Braganša House, with the power of succession to the Portuguese Crown. Controversially the documents conflict with the rules of succession in Portugal which exclude children born as a result of adultery.
Her claims relating to the restitution of the private real property of the Royal House were rejected by the Supreme Tribunal of Justice at Lisbon on 14 April 1983, since the Court in this sentence found that Maria Pia had not established the identity of her father, despite the definitive verdict in 1982 of the Ecclesiastical Court of Sacra Romana Rota confirming the validity of the baptismal certificate which included his name.
She "abdicated" her claim to the throne in 1987, passing her claim to Rosario Poidimani (called therein Rosario of Braganša), claiming that he was a blood relative of Maria Pia.
While Maria Pia, if she had actually been the daughter of Carlos, would be entitled by the document signed by king Carlos to be a claimant, she would be excluded from succeeding by other rules banning those conceived in adultery. The head of the Royal House of Portugal, Duke of Braganša, while recognized by many legitimate related European Royal Houses also falls foul of Portuguese rules for succession which, before the establishment of the Republic in 1910, excluded the collateral line of the king Miguel of Portugal and all his descendants, of which Duarte Pio of Braganša is one. Most agree that Duarte Pio rather than Mia Pia would have the stronger claim, or rather the less weak one, due to the legitimacy of his birth and that of his ancestors. On May 17 1950,in Salazar's regime, the Ban Law which excluded the Dukes of Braganza from Portuguese soil was repealed, recognizing the status of the line of Duarte Nuno, as it repealed the laws of October 1910 and the law of December 19 1834 (which repealed the collateral line of Miguel I). Such a discussion is however academic, as Portugal has for nearly a century been a republic and shows no evidence of changing that status.
See also: Duchy of Braganša
- Claim supporters website 1 (Constitutional Line)
- Claim supporters website 2 (Constitutional Line)
- Maria Pia: The Pretender,part I and Maria Pia: The Pretender,part II
- A response to the supporters of Maria Pia, her grandson, and her alleged cognate Rosario Poidimani. Rosario Poidimani has sued the owner of this site alleging libel. The court's initial ruling holds there was no libel, and refuses to grant the restraining order requested by Poidimani. Litigation is expected to continue.
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