Erection of a Statue of King Manuel II of Portugal in London

royal_coat_of_arms_of_portugal King Manuel II of Portugal was exiled to England in 1910 after being deposed in a republican coup and took up residence in west London in Fulwell Park, Middlesex. Several roads in the London Borough of Richmond upon Thames today bear witness to this connection including Manoel Road, Lisbon Avenue, Augusta Road and Portugal Gardens.

King Manuel played an important part in maintaining the Anglo-Portuguese Alliance whilst on the Throne and when in exile. He supported Portugal’s alignment with the Allies in 1916. During this time, the King placed himself at the service of the British Red Cross and wearing the uniform of a British Army Officer, he started touring hospitals throughout the country. The deposed King was assiduous in his concern for the victims of the War. He visited the front and at home was responsible for the Orthopaedic Department in Shepherd’s Bush Hospital (now the Hammersmith Hospital), which cared for the war wounded and continued to function until 1925.

During his exile, King Manuel became a prominent parishioner of St James’s Church in Popes Grove, Twickenham where he worshipped with his wife, Queen Augusta Victoria. The royal couple were active members of the community both in a religious and secular sense. Their Majesties were generous benefactors of the parish and also acted as godparents to many local children. The King lived for 22 years in the Borough until his unexpected death in 1932 aged 42. His body was returned to Lisbon and was accorded a full State Funeral by the republican government in Portugal. The King’s mother, Queen Maria Amelia, born Princess Amélie of Orleans, was also born in Twickenham at York House in 1865 – which today serves as the town hall for the London Borough of Richmond upon Thames.

King George V of Great Britain invited the exiled King and Queen to share the victory podium in 1919. Dom Manuel II was also a Knight of the Most Noble Order of the Garter - the highest Order of Chivalry of the United Kingdom.

The proposed statue of King Manuel II, to be erected in Twickenham, will serve to promote his local and national connections in Britain. It will also offer public recognition for the significant contribution he played in the war effort and his care for the war victims. It will also serve to further celebrate and highlight yet another prominent player in the centuries old Anglo-Portuguese alliance.
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