Friday, 26 August 2011

Manuel II ... The Last King of Portugal.

Young Manuel was born in the last year of the reign of his grandfather, King Luís I; he was the third child, and last son, born to Carlos I of Portugal and Amélie of Orleans in the Palace of Belém, Lisbon, seven months before his father ascended the Portuguese throne. He was baptized a few days later, with his maternal grandfather as godfather, while former Emperor Pedro II of Brazil attended, recently having abdicated the throne of Brazil.

He received the traditional education bestowed on a member of the monarchy, without the political preoccupations that befell his older brother, who was destined by birth to become King. Although he was raised as member of the upper classes, and had tendencies towards arrogance, it is known that after ascending the throne he took a more public tone, and abandoned many of the customary protocols of the monarchy. At the age of six, he already spoke and wrote in French, as well as studying languages, history and music (under his teacher Alexandre Rey Colaço). From the beginning he demonstrated an inclination to literature and reading, which contrasted with his older brother, who was more interested in physical activities. In the style imposed by his great-grandparents (Queen Maria II and King Fernando II), Manuel received a proper education that included horse riding, fencing, rowing, tennis and gardening. He was a great admirer of music, listened to Beethoven and Wagner, and played the piano.

As a youngster, the Infante would play with the children of Count of Figueiró, the children of Count of Galveias and with the rest of the families of the Court in pleasant and cordial relations. In 1902, he was taught by Franz Kerausch (in literature Latin and German), later by Father João Damasceno Fiadeiro (in Portuguese history); Marques Leitão (in Mathematics); M. Boeyé (in French and French literature); Alfredo King (in English and English literature), Father Domingos Fructuoso (in Religion and Morals) and Alexandre Rey Colaço (his piano teacher).

He travelled in 1903 with his mother, Queen Amélie of Orleans and his brother to Egypt, on-board the royal yacht Amélia, expanding his understanding of ancient civilizations. Later in 1907, he began his studies in order to enter the Portuguese Naval Academy, in preparation to follow a career in the Navy.

Lisbon regicide
His future career in the Navy was abruptly shelved on February 1, 1908. On this day, the royal family returned from the palace of Vila Viçosa to Lisbon, travelling by coach to Barreiro and from there took a boat across the Tagus River and disembarked in Cais do Sodré, in central Lisbon. On their way to the royal palace, the carriage carrying King Carlos and his family passed through the Terreiro do Paço. While the royal family was crossing the square, shots were fired from the crowd by at least two men: Alfredo Costa and Manuel Buiça. It wasn't clear if the assassins were attempting to kill the King and Crown Prince, or King Carlos' prime minister, João Franco, who had dissolved Parliament and was ruling as a dictator. The murderers were shot on the spot by members of the royal bodyguard and later recognized as members of the Portuguese Republican Party. The King was killed; his heir, Crown Prince Luís Filipe, Prince Royal of Portugal was mortally wounded; Infante Manuel was hit in the arm and Queen Amélie of Orleans was miraculously unharmed. It was Amélie's quick thinking that saved her youngest son. About twenty minutes later, Prince Luis Filipe died, and days later Manuel was acclaimed King of Portugal. The young King, who had not been groomed to rule, sought to save the fragile position of the Braganza monarchy by dismissing the dictator João Franco and his entire cabinet in 1908. The ambitions of the various political parties made Manuel's short reign a turbulent one. But, even so, in free elections held on 28 August 1910, the republicans only won 14 seats in the legislature.

His first act was to meet with his Council of State, and request the resignation of João Franco, whose politics may have been responsible for the tragedy. He immediately appointed a government of national unity, presided by Admiral Francisco Joaquim Ferreira do Amaral. This quieted the republican momentum, but in retrospect was seen as weakness by the same republicans.

He solemnly opened the Royal Court Assembly on 6 May 1908 in the presence of national representatives, and invoked his support of the constitution: he would continue to remain faithful to the constitution, even in exile, when he was pressured to support other forms of government as part of a possible restoration. The King received general sympathy from the public, owing to the deaths of his father and older brother, and his ascendency to the throne under these tragic circumstances. Consequently, he was always protected by his mother, D. Amélia, and sought out the support of the experienced politician José Luciano de Castro. Judging that the direct intervention of King Carlos was a principal reason for the events of 1908, he declared that he would reign, but not govern.

For his part, the new King regularly attempted to increase the monarchy's connection with its subjects. The King visited several areas of the country: on the 8 November 1908 the King Manuel travelled to Oporto accompanied by his mother and other members of the Cortes. His trips also included stops in Braga, Viana do Castelo, Oliveira de Azeméis, Santo Tirso, Vila Nova de Gaia, Aveiro, Guimarães, Coimbra and Barcelos. During these visits his subjects were captivated by the young monarch, and the circumstances of his enthronement, and was received with sympathy. On 23 November he travelled to Espinho in order to attend the inauguration of the Vale do Vouga Railway, and seized the opportunity to visit the Royal Factory of Canned Food, Brandão Gomes Inc. Between 8 November and 4 December he had visited several populations, received various requests and ingratiated himself with the people for his candour and pious character.

The warm welcomes he received during his visits were countered by republicans. One republican, João Chagas, the anti-monarchist journalist and propagandist of the Republican Party, warned the King of the problems that would develop when he declared:

"...your Highness arrives too young into a very old world...!"

The "Questão Social
"During the 19th Century, many of the intellectuals and politicians were preoccupied with the growth of the urban proletariat as a consequence of the Industrial Revolution. In Portugal, owing to lower levels of industrialisation, this was not an important question, but it was exacerbated by an economic crisis and the interventions of Republican Party, who believed a Republic would resolve the problems. The reaction taken to analyze and find solutions to this phenomenon was the Questão Social (English: Social Question) of the times.

The Socialist Party was one of the main proponents, and had existed since 1875, but it never had representation in Parliament. This was not only because it was not popular, but also because the Republican Party was the principal body to channel radical discontent within the political system. The King made some initiatives that did not necessarily infringe his constitutional restrictions, but which created incentives for the Socialist Party to retract or diminish their support for the Republican Party. In 1909, D. Manuel invited the French sociologist, Léon Poinsard, to travel the country, examine the social environment, and report back to him. In his document, Léon defended that the only way to combat clientelism, created by the system of rotational governments, would be a reorganisation of the work and duties of the local administrations. Enthusiastic, the King wrote, on June 1909, to the President of the Council of Ministers (the Prime Minister) Wenceslau de Sousa Pereira de Lima, to make him aware of the reorganisation of the Socialist Party (under Alfredo Aquiles Monteverde) and to remind him of the importance of collaborating with the Socialists, " that, we will empty their supporters from the Republican Party, and orient them into a useful and productive force." Notwithstanding the contacts made by the government of Artur Alberto de Campos Henriques with the Socialist Azedo Gneco, Venceslau de Lima considered this difficult after the Congresso Nacional Operário, which was boycotted by anarchists and republicans. For their part, the Socialists were enthusiastic about Royal support between D. Manuel and Aquiles Monteverde. Monteverde would later inform the King of the failure of the October 1909 trade union congress, but little was formalised between the socialists and the government, although they supported the work of Poinsard. During the government of António Teixeira de Sousa, in July 1910, that the government created a commission to study the establishment of an Instituto de Trabalho Nacional (English: Institute of National Work), that had three socialists and included Azedo Gneco. However, Aquiles Monteverde would complain that the commission lacked the resources to be effective: specifically that permanent members and unlimited transport, in order for the Socialists to promote their propaganda. Manuel II informed the government, through the Minister of Public Works, that he agreed with the establishment of the Instituto de Trabalho Nacional, but by September, it was too late for the constitutional monarchy.

During his reign he visited many parts of northern Portugal, in addition to Spain, France and the United Kingdom, where he was appointed Knight of the Order of the Garter, in November 1909. He cultivated a foreign policy that was close to Great Britain, which was not only the geo-political strategy that his father maintained, but it also reinforced his position on the throne by having a strong ally. The court also considered the marriage of a King of the House of Braganza to an English princess would secure the protection of the United Kingdom in any impending conflict. But, the country's instability, the assassination of the King and Crown Prince, and the drawn-out negotiations that were ended with the death of Edward VII, ended these pretensions. The old British monarch, personal friend of D. Carlos, would have been the great protector of the House of Braganza, and without him, the liberal government of Britain had no interest in maintaining the monarchy in Portugal. He also received King Alfonso XIII of Spain in 1909, and Hermes da Fonseca, President-elect of Brazil in 1910.

Republican revolution
The stability of the government deteriorated; seven governments were established and fell in a period of 24 months. The monarchist parties continued to fragment, while the Republican Party continued to gain ground. The legislative elections on August 28, 1910 had elected 14 new representatives (resulting in an assembly that was divided: 9% Republican, 58% Government and 33% Opposition) which helped the revolutionary cause, but which made little importance since the Setubal Congress (on 24–25 April 1909) had determined that the Republicans would take power by force. The murder of a prominent republican precipitated the coup d'etat that had been so long in coming.

Between 4–5 October 1910, the Republican Revolution erupted in the streets of Lisbon. What started as a military coup commenced by soldiers, was joined by some civilians and municipal guards attacking the loyal garrisons and the royal palace, while the guns from a warship added to the cannonade. The Palace of Necessidades (then official residence of the young King) was bombarded, forcing D. Manuel to move to the Mafra National Palace, where he rendezvoused with his mother, Queen D. Amélia and his grandmother, the Queen Mother Maria Pia of Savoy. Strangely, popular reaction to the events did not materialize: pictures from the square in front of the City Hall in Lisbon (where the declaration of the Republic occurred) did not show an overwhelming multitude, and even some in the military were fearful that their actions would not be successful. One day later, once it was clear that the Republicans had taken the country, D. Manuel II decided to embark from Ericeira on the royal yacht Amélia IV for Oporto. It is unclear whether officials of the monarchy motivated D. Manuel to change his intentions,[8] or whether he was forced to change his destination en route: the Royal Family disembarked in Gibraltar shortly later, after they received notice that Oporto had fallen to the Republicans. The coup d'etat was complete, and the Royal Family departed for exile,[10] arriving in England, where he was received by King George V.

During a visit to Paris in July 1909, the monarch met Gaby Deslys, the actress, and immediately began a relationship that would last until the end of Manuel II's reign. It was thought that after this first meeting the King sent Deslys a pearl necklace worth $70,000: more gifts soon followed, including a diamond necklace with black and white pearl drops set in a platinum band. Their relationship was anything but discreet (she would arrive before night at the Palácio das Necessidades and would pass through Portugal unnoticed); abroad, meanwhile, they were on the front pages of newspapers in Europe and North America, especially after he was deposed. In public interviews, usually on trips, Gaby Deslys never negated the obvious, but always refused to comment on her relationship with the King. After his exile, they would continue to meet, especially while she had stage engagements in London. When Gaby moved to New York, in the summer of 1911, their relationship cooled off; Gaby became involved with a fellow stage actor, and Manuel married in 1913 (although the actress would maintain her contacts with the ex-King's personal secretary, the Marquês do Lavradio.

In the spring of 1912, Manuel visited Switzerland, where he met Princess Agusta Victoria (his cousin) and was deeply impressed by her. In the following year, on September 4, 1913, D. Manuel married D. Augusta Vitória, Hohenzollern-Sigmaringen Princess (1890–1966), his cousin (she was the grand-daughter of the Infanta D. Antónia de Bragança), and daughter of Prince William, Prince of Hohenzollern. During the mass, which was celebrated in the Chapel of Sigmaringen Castle, D. Manuel, while wearing his Order of the Garter medallion and the sash of the Three Portuguese Orders, he stood on a crate containing soil imported from Portugal. The ceremony was presided by D. José Neto, Cardinal of Lisbon, then exiled in Seville, who had baptized the Prince Royal and assisted the Prince of Wales (Edward VIII) and King Afonso XIII of Spain, as well as representatives of the Royal Houses of Europe (including Spain, Germany, Italy, France and Romania, in addition to the principalities and German kingdoms). After festivities which lasted two days, the couple went on their honeymoon to Munich, where the Princess fell ill and withdrew from the public. The marriage, a calm and serene union, lasted until the death of the former King, but the couple did not have any children.

D. Manuel remained in his residence in Fulwell Park, Twickenham, near London and his English properties (and where his mother had been born). At Fulwell Park he tried to recreate a Portuguese environment, as the attempts to restore his throne (1911, 1912 and 1919) kept on failing. He remained active in the local community, attended services at the Catholic Church of St. James, and became godfather to several children. His influence in the area is recalled by a number of toponymic references: Manuel Road, Lisbon Avenue and Portugal Gardens. He followed political events of Portugal, while in the circle of familiars, such as local monarchist associations, and showed strong concern with the anarchy of the First Republic, fearing that it could provoke a Spanish intervention and risk the country's independence. Although considered exaggerated, one could not say that this concern was without foundation.

While in exile, there was one case where the former King's direct intervention had an effect[when?]. After the overthrow of the government of Gomes da Costa, by General Óscar Fragoso Carmona, Costa was appointed Ambassador to London. Due to the continued instability and rapid succession of ambassadors during this period, the British government refused to recognize the new official's credentials. As the ambassador was to negotiate the liquidation of the Portuguese debt to England, which was of great importance, the Minister of Foreign Affairs asked D. Manuel II to exercise his influence to clarify the situation. The former monarch was charmed by the opportunity to help his homeland and contacted many of his English contacts (including, probably, King George V) in order to resolve the dispute. Even in exile D. Manuel continued to be a patriot, going as far as declaring in his 1915 testament his intention to transfer his possessions to the Portuguese State, for the creation of a Museum and showing his interest in being buried in Portugal.

In the spring of 1912, Manuel visited Switzerland, where he met Princess Agusta Victoria (his cousin) and was deeply impressed by her. In the following year, on September 4, 1913, D. Manuel married D. Augusta Vitória, Hohenzollern-Sigmaringen Princess (1890–1966)

The ex-Monarch in the robes of a Knight of the Garter. Taken while he lived in Great Britain

The Last King of Portugal in The Pena Palace with his mother Queen Amélia

The Return of The Exiled King in 1933 to Portugal after his death in 1932 in England

He died unexpectedly in his residence on July 2, 1932, suffocated by an abnormal swelling in the vocal folds of his larynx, or tracheal oedema.[14] The Portuguese government, at that time led by António Oliveira de Salazar, authorized his burial in Lisbon, after a state funeral. His body arrived in Lisbon on 2 August 1932, on-board the British cruiser HMS Concord which had made the journey from England and sailed into the Tagus River to deliver the coffin of the former King. The body was received at Praça do Comércio, where a crowd of people had gathered to follow the coffin to São Vicente de Fora and the roads were inundated with people interested in seeing the funeral procession. His body was interned in the Royal Crypt of the Braganza Dynasty in the Monastery of São Vicente de Fora. By some he was given the nickname O Patriota (English: The Patriot), for his preoccupation with the national identity; O Desventurado (English: The Unfortunate), because he lost his throne to the Republic; and O Estudioso or O Bibliófilo (English: The Studious or The Bibliophile) due to his love for Portuguese literature. Monarchists, also referred to him as O Rei-Saudade (English: The Missed King), for the longing that was felt when the monarchy was abolished.

His death has been regarded as suspicious by some because of the fact that he had been playing tennis on 1 July and was apparently in excellent health. An incident surrounding his sudden death was mentioned in the autobiography of Harold Brust, a member of Scotland Yard Special Branch in charge of protecting public figures. In his memoirs, Brust speaks of an incident which probably occurred in 1931 in which he mentions an intruder in the grounds of Fulwell Park who, when arrested, the Police confirmed as being a prominent member of Portuguese republican terrorist group known as the Carbonária and was subsequently deported to Lisbon. To date the identity of the intruder has not been confirmed. Questions remain as to the reason for the man's intrusion.

Since both the Dover and Paris Pacts did not resolve the issue of succession, the lack of a direct heir and owing to the abolition of the monarchy, the Portuguese monarchy ended with Manuel's death. Manuel also made it clear that the branches of the Portuguese monarchy (including the Imperial family of Brazil, the Braganza-Orleans, and the descendants of the Duke of Loulé) ended with the last direct male heir to the House of Braganza. Still, the monarchist Integralismo Lusitano movement acclaimed Duarte Nuno, Duke of Braganza as King of Portugal, since Miguel I of Portugal, on the death of his grandchild lead the Portuguese Royal Family. Their justification, ironically, included the fact that both branches had met to determine the line of succession in Dover and Paris, even though those accords where both later repudiated.

After his death, Oliveira Salazar founded, with the sale of his London estate for development and from the proceeds of his remaining personal possessions and those of the House of Braganza, the Foundation of the House of Braganza.

Carlos I
King of Portugal and the Algarves

Reign 19 October 1889—1 February 1908

Carlos was born in Lisbon, Portugal, the son of King Luís and Queen Maria Pia of Savoy, daughter of Victor Emmanuel II, King of Italy. He had a brother, Infante Afonso, Duke of Porto. He was baptised with the names Carlos Fernando Luís Maria Víctor Miguel Rafael Gabriel Gonzaga Xavier Francisco de Assis José Simão.

His paternal first cousins included Frederick Augustus III of Saxony, Princess Maria Josepha of Saxony, Prince Wilhelm of Hohenzollern-Sigmaringen and Ferdinand I of Romania.

His maternal first cousins included Napoléon Victor Bonaparte, Victor Emmanuel III of Italy, Emanuele Filiberto, 2nd Duke of Aosta, Vittorio Emanuele, Count of Turin, Luigi Amedeo, Duke of the Abruzzi, Umberto, Count of Salemi.

He had an intense education and was prepared to rule as a constitutional monarch. In 1883 he traveled to Italy, England, France and Germany where he increased his knowledge of the modern civilization of his time. In 1883, 1886 and 1888 he ruled as regent as his father was traveling in Europe, as it became tradition among the Portuguese constitutional kings. His father Luis I advised him to be modest and to study with focus.

His first bridal candidate was one of the daughters of Frederick III, German Emperor, but the issue of religion presented an insurmountable problem and the pressure of British diplomacy prevented the marriage. He then met and married Princess Amélie of Orléans, eldest daughter of Philippe, comte de Paris, pretender to the throne of France.

1908 Lisbon Regicide

The King, Queen and Prince Royal had been on a month-long[26] retreat in Vila Viçosa, in the Alentejo, where they routinely spent time hunting during the winter. Ironically, the Infante D. Manuel, the youngest son, had returned to Lisbon days earlier, in order to complete his studies. The previous events had forced King Carlos to cut his retreat short and return to Lisbon: the Royal Family caught the train from Vila Viçosa on the morning of February 1. During their trip, the train was temporarily derailed at the loop near Casa Branca, resulting in a delay of an hour. The royal carriage arrived in Barreiro at the end of the afternoon, whereby the Royal Family sailed on the D. Luís to the Terreiro do Paço in the center of Lisbon. On disembarking at the Estação Fluvial Sul e Sueste, around 5:00 in the afternoon, they were met by various members of the government, including Prime Minister João Franco, the Prince D. Manuel, and the King's brother, Afonso, Duke of Oporto. Even in a climate of tension, the monarch opted to travel by open-carriage, wearing his ceremonial uniform as Generalíssimo of the Army, in order to present an air of normality. By protocol, the carriage was accompanied by armed officers and a mounted cavalryman (Francisco Figueira Freire).

At the time, there were few people in the Terreiro do Paço as the carriage rounded the eastern part of the square when the first shot rang out. As reported later, a bearded assassin had walked into the middle of the road after the carriage had passed, removed a Winchester carbine rifle hidden in his cloak, knelt on one knee and fired at the King from 8 meters distance. The shot hit the King's neck, killing him immediately, while other gunmen in the square began to fire on the carriage from various points in the square as onlookers ran in panic. The driver, Bento Caparica, was hit in one hand. The original assassin, later identified as Manuel Buíça, a teacher expelled from the Army, continued to fire: his second shot clipped the shoulder of the monarch, who slumped to the right, his back lying to the left-side of the carriage. Taking advantage of this situation, a second assassin, Alfredo Costa (a clerk and editor), jumped onto the carriage rail and, standing at the height of the passengers, fired on the slumped body of the King. The Queen, then standing, attempted to strike back with the only available weapon, a bouquet of flowers, yelling: "Infames! Infames!"(English: Infamous! Infamous!].

The assassins then turned their attentions on the Prince Royal, Luís Filipe, who had stood to remove and fire his hidden revolver, but was quickly hit in the chest. The bullet, from a small-caliber revolver, did not exit his sternum nor was it fatal, and the Prince, without hesitation fired four rapid-shots at his attacker, who fell from the carriage-rail. But, as Luís Filipe stood to repel his attacker, he was visible to the attacker with the carbine rifle and was hit by a large-caliber shot that exited the top of his skull. The young Prince D. Manuel, protected by his mother during the events, tried to stop the bleeding using a handkerchief, but it quickly became soaked with his brother's blood.

As shots continued to cris-cross the square, Queen Amélia returned to her feet to yell for assistance. The Countess Figueiró, Viscount Asseca and Marquis Lavradio jumped on the landau to support the Crown Prince. The young Prince Manuel was hit in the arm, while the coach-driver was hit in the hand. The original assassin, Buíça, then attempted to fire another round, although it is unclear whether he was aiming for the Queen, Prince Manuel or other officials of the government. Regardless, he was stopped by the intervention of Henrique da Silva Valente, a soldier of the 12th Infantry, who had appeared in the square during the commotion. During his brief confrontation with Buíça, Silva Valente was shot in the leg, but was able to distract the assassin. The cavalry-officer, Francisco Figueira, remounted his horse and fired on Costa who, wounded by the Prince Royal, was arrested by officers. Moving on to Buíça, he wounded the assassin in the leg, who attempted to escape but was quickly immobilized.

The Lisbon Regicide as depicted in the French Press, showing that attackers and Queen Amelias response (February 1908)

The great States and Kingdoms of Europe were revolted, partly due to King Carlos's popularity, as much as the manner in which the assassination was planned and orchestrated. Newspapers around the world published images, some based on false descriptions and exaggerations, but all with the defiant Queen Amélia wielding a bouquet of flowers. In London, the newspapers exhibited photographs of the coffins covered in flowers, with the headline: "Lisbon’s shame!" The English monarch, Edward VII, a friend of the assassinated monarch and heir was known to have uttered:

"They murdered two gentlemen of the Order of the Garter in the street like dogs and in their own country no one cares!"
The new monarch requested the resignation of João Franco's government for not safeguarding the Royal Family, in context of the previous elevator conspiracy and the unpopular policies of his government. Although the Prime Minister had realized that his policies had made him a target, he was never aware the monarch was also targeted by dissidents. Presiding over the Council of State on the afternoon of January 2, with his hand on his chest and in wearing his military uniform, the young monarch confessed his inexperience and lack of preparation requesting aid from his loyal ministers.

The young King voted from the resignation of the João Franco and the formation of coalition government, later referred to as the Acclamation Government, presided by the independent Ferreira do Amaral. The new Prime Minister included in his cabinet members of the Regenerator and Progressive Parties, that formally ended the administrative dictatorship and reverted parliament to normalacy. In fact, Ferreira do Amaral completely abandoned the positions of the former-King: he annulled the dictatorial measures published earlier, liberated political prisoners, provided an amnesty for marines involved in the 1906 revolt, but also going as far as consenting to some Republican demands, including permission for pilgrimages to the tombs of the assassins (at one point about 22,000 people), an event organized by the Associação do Registo Civil (English: Association of the Civil Registry).

The King was also present at the Council Minister's meeting that enacted these measures, and which acclaimed the Marquês de Soveral as Ambassador to England. Close to the Royal Family, the marques also voted for the resignation of João Franco's government. But later, resuming his functions in England, he encountered the British monarch Edward VII in London, to which he stated:

"Well, what kind of country is that, in which you kill the King and Prince and the first thing to do is ask for the resignation of the Prime Minister? The revolution has triumphed, isn't it true?"
Later, the Marques would note: "It was then that I understood the error that we had committed."

Ironically, at his resignation João Franco gave the Republicans the argument that only they were responsible for the collapse of the administrative dictatorship. Initially hesitant, the Republicans proposed a cooperation pact between themselves and the regime, but later at their national Congress in Setúbal (April 24-25, 1909) they quickly decided on forcibly taking power. The initial hesitation was due to the party's structure; the Republican Party was a collection of disenfranchised interests, political movements and dissident groups. Some Republicans were sincerely shocked by the regicide, even if it meant regime change. Rural conservatives were afraid of the effects that such actions would have with their English allies. But the Republican party could not turn their backs on their supporters, the youth of Lisbon, already indoctrinated by the party's propaganda. Consequently, although the Party condemned the act publicly (as if obligated to), its leadership continued to support its base. Magalhães Lima would later declare to the public press in Paris: "I am pleased; yes, very well pleased, for my country, to which a little calm will be restored," repudiating any responsibility for the assassinations on the part of the Republican Party.

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