Sunday, 5 January 2014

Two young kings: A 1909 photograph of King Alfonso XIII of Spain and King Manuel II of Portugal

You might think that this is an old picture of an early gay couple. However, the two elegantly dressed young gentlemen in the photograph from 1909 are King Alfonso XIII of Spain (1886 - 1941) and King Manuel II of Portugal (1889 - 1932).

The photo was published in the Swedish weekly Hvar 8 Dag in 1909 with the subtitle "Faithful Friends and Good Neighbours".  In the 19th century and the early 20th century it was not at all uncommon for men to show friendship and pose in this way.

Hvar 8 Dag also mentions that there were rumours about a planned revolutionary uprising in Portugal.

The rumours proved to be true. The reign of Manuel II ended with the dissolution of the monarchy with the 5 October 1910 revolution. Manuel lived in exile the rest of his life.

Alfonso's reign lasted longer - until 1931 - after which he fled the country as the Second Spanish Republic was proclaimed.

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