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The Order of Vila Viçosa Commander Cross Set

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1 pieces
900,00 EUR
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The Order  of Vila Viçosa Commander Cross Set
Number of awards: R
manufactured: _________

Product Code:




Constitutor: König Johann VI
Foundation date: 18.2.1818
Year award:
Origin / Provenance: -
Material: Silbe gilt + Emaille
Weight in (g). 37,7 / 27,8
Size in (mm). 92 x 64
68 x 47
Condition: II

The Order of the Immaculate Conception of Vila Viçosa (also known as The Order of Our Lady of Conception of Vila Vicosa) (in Portuguese: Ordem de Nossa Senhora da Conceição de Vila Viçosa) is an dynastic order of knighthood of the House of Braganza, the former Portuguese Royal Family. The current Grand Master of the Order is Duarte Pio, Duke of Braganza, the Head of the House of Braganza.

Breast Star of the Grand Cross and sash insignia of the Order of the Immaculate Conception of Vila Viçosa
The order was created by King John VI of Portugal in Rio de Janeiro on 6 February 1818, the date of his acclamation, in recognition for the efficient protection of the Kingdom's Spiritual Sovereign (Portugal is known as the Land of Santa Maria since its foundation). The Blessed Virgin Mother under the invocation of the Immmaculate Conception (venerated in the Ducal Chapel of the Palace of Vila Viçosa) had earlier been acclaimed "Queen" and Patroness of the kingdom by King John IV on March 25, 1646 following a referendum of the Empire that lasted 6 years and asked subjects: 1. If they believed the Blessed Virgin Mary to have been conceived without sin, and 2. If they believed that the Blessed Virgin Mary was the physical reigning Queen of Portugal and not just symbolically the Patroness. The people answered affirmatively and since the Coronation that took place at Vila Viçosa, the Kings of Portugal never again wore a crown.
This order distinguished those who proved their loyalty to the Portuguese Royal House in the war against the Bonapartist occupying forces. Later, in 1818, a royal decree stated that the Order would be given as a military award in four (4) classes of Grand Cross, Commander, Knight, and Servant. Knighthood was given to those who were servants to the king and devoted Catholics to the pope and the Holy Mother. The Order was originally limited to twelve Grand Crosses, forty Commanders and one hundred Knights, with the provision for the award of supernumerary Grand Crosses. Grand Crosses were usually given to higher nobles who had positions in the Royal Household. Lower grades (Commander and below) were granted to lesser nobles who had provided personal service to the King.
Unlike the earlier Religious-Military Orders, the Order of Christ, the Order of St. Benedict of Aviz, and the Order of St. James of the Sword, Vila Viçosa was more aligned to the Order of the Tower and Sword which had been re-established by King John VI. Late into the 19th century, the constitutional sovereigns were inclined to treat the Order of Vila Viçosa as the paramount award given by the sovereign for services rendered to the Royal House.
In 1910, a revolution installed a Republican government that took over all State Orders except the Order of the Immaculate Conception of Vila Viçosa; as a result, King Manuel II of Portugal in exile and, after his death, the Dukes of Braganza continued to use the order's insignia and to bestow it as they considered the Order to belong to their dynasty rather than the state. Just after the Second World War, it was bestowed on Prime Minister António de Oliveira Salazar by Queen Amelia when she visited Portugal for the last time.


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