Pedro V, king

   Of all Portuguese kings in the 18th and 19th centuries, Pedro V was the best educated and most intellectually talented. Pedro was the firstborn son of Queen Maria II and Prince Ferdinand of Saxe-Coburg-Gotha. Exceptionally well-educated, Prince Pedro traveled extensively abroad, which was unusual for a Portuguese royal heir in that day, and was tutored under his mother's watchful eye. He was blessed with a brilliant memory, a fine imagination, shrewd political judgment, and a fund of learning. Pedro demonstrated a keen interest not only in the common political affairs such as fell within a constitutional monarch's concerns, but with a variety of subjects including science, emigration, diplomacy, and the African colonies. He carried on a lively correspondence with royal relatives abroad, including Queen Victoria of England to whom he was related through his father.
   When his mother Queen Maria II died tragically at age 34 in childbirth, 16-year-old Pedro became regent. He ascended the throne at age 18 and was a model monarch. He ruled formally from 1855 to 1861, when he died of typhus. His brief but significant appearance as an enlightened ruler was a sad case of unfulfilled promise.

Historical dictionary of Portugal 3rd ed.. . 2014.

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