Infanta Maria Francisca de Bragança, Duchess of Coimbra, the only daughter of the Duke and Duchess of Braganza, married Duarte de Sousa Araújo Martins at the Basílica Palácio de Mafra inside the Palácio Nacional de Mafra on October 7th, which is the first Portuguese Royal Wedding in over a quarter of a century. The Wedding was followed by a Gala Dinner hosted by the Duke and Duchess of Braganza in the grounds of their House in São Pedro de Sintra.
The Royal Watcher was represented by the lovely Seth Leonard and his mother at the Wedding in Mafra. You can see their photos in this article:
Infanta Maria Francisca arrived in a carriage with her father, Dom Duarte Pio, the Duke of Bragança, at the Palácio de Mafra, who led her down the aisle of the Basílica Palácio de Mafra.
The Wedding of Infanta Maria Francisca de Bragança and Duarte de Sousa Araújo Martins was celebrated in a Roman Catholic Service, which was held in the Basílica Palácio de Mafra:
Like the ancestral royal weddings that heralded the 800 years of the Portuguese monarchy, this great solemnity will gather at that monument erected by Dom John V, more than a thousand and two hundred guests, with prominent personalities from social and political life from the four corners of the world, including members of families foreign reals
Following the Wedding Ceremony, Infanta Maria Francisca de Bragança and Duarte de Sousa Araújo Martins, who can now use the title of Duke Consort of Coimbra, exited the Basílica Palácio de Mafra to cut the cake, and greet members of their families, ahead of the cocktail reception inside the Palace.
In the evening, several Royal and Noble Guests joined the Duke and Duchess of Braganza as they hosted a Gala Dinner for Infanta Maria Francisca de Bragança and Duarte de Sousa Araújo Martins in the grounds of their House in São Pedro de Sintra.
Infanta Maria Francisca wore a gown created by Luzia do Nascimento, along with Queen Amélie’s Diamond Tiara, a pair of Diamond Earrings from her mother and grandmother, and a loaned Bracelet from Queen Amélie that belongs to a Family Friend who purchased the piece at Auction.
Infanta Maria Francisca wore another gown by Luzia do Nascimiento with a pair of Emerald and Diamond Earrings from her late grandmother and an heirloom Emerald and Diamond Brooch. She described the outfit a few weeks ago:
The dress for the reception will be “lighter, it doesn’t have a train” and also focuses on simplicity with the aim of allowing the bride freedom of movement. “You can dance. It was one of my requirements, I really have to dance all night.”
For the reception, after the wedding, at the family home in Sintra, the bride has some earrings from her grandmother Francisca, Dom Duarte’s mother, in reserve. It was from these jewels that the central diamond of the engagement ring came out, a project that brought together the groom, Duarte de Sousa Araújo Martins, and the Dukes of Bragança with the aim of surprising the bride. The groom later replaced the diamonds in the earrings with two emeralds. “Both in the ring and in the earrings, I have my grandmother Francisca and Duarte represented”, summarizes the infanta.
The Duke and Duchess of Braganza are close to reigning and former royalty from around Europe, and around 1200 Guests attended the Wedding of Infanta Maria Francisca, including the President of Portugal.
Princess Miriam al-Ghazi of Jordan, Dowager Princess of Turnovo with Prince Boris and Prince Beltran pf Bulgaria
Prince Louis and Prince Sebastien of Luxembourg
The Count and Countess of Paris
Dowager Duchess Marie, the Duke of Württemberg
The Duke and Duchess of Calabria
Princess Maria Isabella of Savoy-Genoa
Princess Christine of Ligne, Princess Imperial of Brazil with the Prince of Grão-Pará and Princess Maria Gabriela
The Duke and Duchess of Angoulême
Prince João of Orleans-Braganza
The Duke of Croÿ with Prince Marc and Princess Delia of Croÿ
Prince David Bagration
The President of Portugal
Royal Guests at the Gala Dinner:
Prince Sebastien of Luxembourg
The Count and Countess of Paris
On the evening before the Wedding, the Duke and Duchess of Braganza hosted a Festival at their home, for which Infanta Maria Francisca wore the Noiva do Minho (bride of Viana), a traditional regional bridal attire. There will be a Gala held at their home this evening.