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Jenifer Roberts

Since two earthquakes destroyed the cathedral and much of central Christchurch in September 2010 and February 2011, the city is slowly recovering. Jenifer Roberts recalls the city’s first settlers.

As the marriage of Prince William and Kate Middleton approaches, Jenifer Roberts looks at the series of 18th-century weddings which led the Portuguese royal family into dynastic crisis.

In the late 18th century, a French invasion force marched into Portugal. Napoleon was insisting that Portugal must close its ports to British shipping. When it failed to comply, the invading army was given orders to march on Lisbon and seize the royal family. The Queen and her family fled to Brazil, and by this time, Maria I of Portugal had been insane for more than fifteen years. 

Allegory of the 1755 Earthquake, by João Glama Strobërle

Jenifer Roberts recalls the impact of a tidal wave that brought chaos and disaster to Portugal.