Henrique of Litoral

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Henrique
King of Litoral
Reign 25 May 1974 – 21 November 2010
Coronation 25 May 1974
Predecessor Kingdom established
Successor Fernando
Consort Catarina
Issue
Infante Fernando Benedito
House Braga
Father Henrique Rodrigues Braga
Mother Ana Soares Maia
Born 15 August 1920
Ponte da Barca, Portugal
Occupation Lecturer
Religion Christian (Roman Catholic)

Henrique (born Henrique Alexandre Duarte Maia Braga; 15 August 1920 – 21 November 2010), nicknamed "the Founder" (Portuguese: "o Fundador") or "the Great" ("o Grande"), was the first King of Litoral from 1974 until his death in 2010.

Henrique, a lecturer in early Portugese literature, founded Litoral on 25 May 1974 in the aftermath of the Carnation Revolution in Portugal. Inspired by the literature he taught, Henrique modelled Litoral on the romantic medieval poetry of the troubadours. He claimed the islands of Boega and Amores on the Portuguese–Spanish border as its territory. The charters and ordinances he passed, which became known later as the Articles of Henrique (Artigos de Henrique), played a pivotal role in establishing the character and customs of the kingdom, and many of them remain in effect today.

Career commitments eventually required Henrique to move away from the area and the territory he claimed as Litoral, leading to a prolonged period of dormancy. Despite this, he never formally surrendered his claim or dissolved the kingdom. Some years after his death in 2010, his son, Fernando, and grandson, Cristóvão, rediscovered artifacts relating to Litoral among Henrique's possessions and restored the kingdom into being.

Early life

Henrique Alexandre Duarte Maia Braga was born on 15 August 1920 in Ponte da Barca in northern Portugal to Henrique Alexandre Duarte Rodrigues Braga (1901–1921) and Joana Maria Soares Maia (1900–1978). His father died when Henrique was only eight months old and, unable to support her son alone, he was sent to live with his grandmother, Isabel, in Vila Nova de Cerveira. Henrique first discovered his passion for history at this time and described this part of his childhood as his favourite. His mother remarried when he was 8 and went on to have a second son, Carlos. The marriage was an unhappy one and ended in divorce some years later. Carlos joined Henrique living with his grandmother and the two brothers became inseparable.

Academically gifted and passionate about writing from a young age, Henrique excelled at school. He eventually attended and graduted from the pretigious University of Coimbra, Portugal's oldest university and where he would lecture at the end of his career.

King of Litoral

An admirer and supporter of António de Oliveira Salazar and his conservative corporatist Estado Novo regime, Henrique was dismayed by the Carnation Revoluion that took place on 25 April 1974. At this time, a common pasttime during summers for the family and their friends was to picnic on the islands of the Minho River. While at such a picnic, Henrique, his brother and their friends joked that as the islands lay between Portugal and Spain they were part of neither. Exactly one month after the Carnation Revolution, on 25 May 1974, Henrique proclaimed the islands independent, naming them Litoral after their position on the shoreline of the river.

Henrique based his kingdom on medieval Portugal, even adopting a similar flag. With himself as king, he appointed his younger brother Carlos as Constable of Litoral and other officers of the court as and when needed. He passed a series of charters that established the political, social, and military structures of the kingdom. These became known in later years as the Articles of Henrique (though they were not known as this at the time).

For the first several years, Henrique and his supporters met regularly and would still picnic on the island in summers. However, the collective interest and energy eventually diminished and in 1978, Henrique accepted a position lecturing at his alma mater, the University of Coimbra. The move away effectively ended anybody but Henrique's involvement in Litoral.

After Henrique's relocation to Coimbra, the kingdom of Litoral fell into dormancy. It remained so for the rest of Henrique's life. Despite this, he never formally surrendered to the throne or otherwise dissolved the kingdom and would mention it in conversation from time to time. Henrique even dreamt up a series of short stories for his grandchildren based on Litoral as if it was a magical kingdom. Therefore, the current government of Litoral still considers its date of foundation to be 25 May 1974.

Death and restoration

After a short illness Henrique died aged 90 on 21 November 2010; his son Fernando's 56th birthday. It took some years before Fernando sold his father's house and, in doing so, was required to sort his possessions. When he sorted these possessions, he rediscovered artifacts relating to Litoral. These artifacts especially piqued the interest of Fernando's own children, Cristóvão and Ana, who both urged Fernando to proclaim himself King of Litoral.

Marriage

Henrique married Catarina Maria Andrade Oliveira in 1951 and they had two children together, Renata and Fernando. Upon the foundation of Litoral in 1974, Catarina was declared Queen consort of Litoral while Fernando was proclaimed Prince of Amores. Renata was made Princess Royal.

Issue

Name Birth Death Marriage Children
Date Spouse
Fernando 21 November 1954 1985 Diana of Litoral Cristóvão of Litoral
Ana, Princess Royal

Titles, styles, honours and arms

Royal Styles of
Henrique of Litoral
Cifra real de Henrique.png
Reference style His Majesty
Spoken style Your Majesty
Alternative style Sir

Titles and styles

  • 15 August 1920 – 25 May 1974: Henrique Alexandre Duarte Maia Braga
  • 25 May 1974 - 21 November 2010: His Majesty The King (Portuguese: Sua Majestade o Rei)

Arms

As king, Henrique bore the royal arms undifferenced:

Brasao do Litoral.png