VISTA ALEGRE launches a commemorative plate to celebrate the 650th anniversary of the Anglo-Portuguese Alliance the oldest diplomatic alliance, still in force, celebrated with a porcelain piece.
Vista Alegre, a brand that for almost two centuries has been innovating in the manufacture and design of porcelain, glass and crystal, launches a commemorative plate celebrating the 650th anniversary of the oldest alliance still in force, the Anglo-Portuguese Alliance.
This plate was inspired by the coat of arms found in the Queen’s Chapel, St James’ Palace in London, where the launch event for Portugal-UK 650 took place. The Queen’s Chapel was the private Chapel of Queen Catherine of Braganza, wife of King Charles II of the United Kingdom. The coat of arms on this plate combines the arms of Portugal and the United Kingdom surrounded by white and red roses, and Tudor roses. The Tudor Rose (with five red and five white petals) is the heraldic floral emblem of England, used by the Monarchs of the United Kingdom, and its name derives from the Tudor Dynasty which united the House of Lancaster (whose emblem is the Red Rose) and the House of York (whose emblem is the White Rose), putting an end to the ‘War of the Roses’.
Vista Alegre certifies that Aliança 650, a 30 cm x 23.3 cm plate, with hand-painted elements, is a special edition limited to 195 copies.
The launch of the plate “Aliança 650” took place at an event held this Wednesday at the British Ambassador’s Residence in Lisbon, which was attended by the Deputy Ambassador Ross Matthews, as well as other Portuguese and British individuals resident in our country.
This event is part of the Portugal-UK 650 commemorations, which aim to celebrate the 650th anniversary of the Anglo-Portuguese Alliance in Portugal and the United Kingdom, and includes a vast commemorative programme until mid 2023, in partnership with over 100 Portuguese and British institutions.
The formal start of the Anglo-Portuguese Alliance dates back to the second half of the 14th century. The Anglo-Portuguese friendship precedes it by at least two centuries. From the 12th century is the well-known episode of the Second Crusade. In 1147, a group of crusaders from England and Northern Europe, on their way to the Holy Land, docked in Porto and went to help King Afonso Henriques reconquer Lisbon. After the city was recaptured, most of the crusaders went on to the Holy Land, while others stayed in Portugal. This was the case with a group of Englishmen, one of the most important being Gilbert of Hastings, who would become the new Bishop of Lisbon.
It was in the second half of the 14th century that relations between the two countries became more stable. The legal foundations of the Anglo-Portuguese Alliance can be found in three treaties from this period: the Treaty of Tagilde (10th July 1372), the Treaty of London (16th June 1373) and the Treaty of Windsor (9th May 1386).
For Nuno Barra, director of Vista Alegre “tradition is part of our DNA, celebrating these historical moments through our pieces gives us immense pride. The artistic work of our manufacture combined with the history that marked this Alliance makes this commemorative plate a unique piece of immeasurable wealth.”
Maria João Rodrigues de Araújo, President of Portugal-UK 650 recalls that “Vista Alegre had already created a piece for the 600th anniversary of the Anglo-Portuguese Alliance and has kept the tradition by designing a beautiful plate that expresses, through the decorative elements, the alliance of perpetual peace and friendship that 650 years ago was established between both nations.”
Chris Sainty, UK Ambassador to Portugal commented “it is with enormous pride that we celebrate the launch of this piece commemorating the 650th anniversary of the bilateral relationship and friendship between the Portuguese and British. I congratulate Vista Alegre and the Portugal- UK 650 organisation on the initiative which so sublimely immortalises the true essence of this ancient alliance, which we wish to continue to deepen in the future.”
About Vista Alegre
Founded in 1824, Vista Alegre has an unparalleled cultural and artistic heritage, guided by creative freedom and innovative spirit. The exceptional manufacturing quality, supported by a unique manual skill consolidated over generations of craftsmen, and the collaboration with the most prestigious and inventive contemporary creators make the brand a worldwide reference. In developing its table, decoration and lifestyle collections, Vista Alegre crosses multiple arts, giving rise to unique and timeless pieces, internationally recognized for their design excellence.
In 2021, Vista Alegre received 19 awards, including the German Design Awards, the EPDA – European Design Awards, the IDA (International Design Awards), in Los Angeles, United States. It is also worth mentioning the Costumer’s Friend – an award that recognizes the shopping experience – which awarded Vista Alegre with the distinction of Winner, in the Superior Excellence category.
Great names in contemporary design, painting, sculpture, architecture, literature and other forms of art have lent their talent to many of the brand’s creations. Siza Vieira, Joana Vasconcelos, Patrick Norguet, Ross Lovegrove, Marcel Wanders, Jaime Hayon, Malangatana, Sempé, Brunno Jahara, Sam Baron, the French brand Christian Lacroix and the Oscar de la Renta insignia are some of the artists and designers who have associated themselves with Vista Alegre. Vista Alegre services are officially used by the President of the Portuguese Republic, the White House, several Royal Houses and many personalities from all over the world. Vista Alegre also supplies the official crockery of several embassies around the world, namely those of Brazil, Spain and Morocco, as well as other national and international public and private institutions. In October 2018, Vista Alegre was distinguished by the European Commission with the “Regiostars” award, an award that rewards the best cohesion policy projects in the European Union, favouring innovative projects and best practices in regional development. Learn more at: www.vistaalegre.com .
About Portugal-UK 650
Portugal-UK 650 aims to celebrate and make known the common history, to write new chapters of friendship, cooperation and trade, to develop scientific research on the Anglo-Portuguese Alliance, and to promote the values of the Alliance’s founding Treaty in today’s world – peace, friendship, truth, fidelity, constancy, solidarity, sincerity and kindness – “. …there shall henceforth be a true, faithful, constant, mutual and perpetual peace and friendship, union and alliance and a league of sincere affection” (Article I, Treaty of the Alliance, London 16 June 1373) – appealing to the responsibility and commitment of each one.
In the long term, Portugal-UK 650 hopes to contribute to a safer and more fraternal society, with greater knowledge of its historical and cultural heritage, more international solidarity and a strengthened dialogue, cooperation and friendship between the citizens of both countries.
The programme for the commemorations of the 650th anniversary of the Anglo-Portuguese Alliance can be consulted on the website https://portugal-uk650.com
Besides the celebration of the most important dates – the 650 years of the Treaty of Tagilde (July 10, 2022) and the Treaty of London (June 16, 2023) ̶ it includes other initiatives, in the scope of research, education, culture, trade, cooperation and social.
About the Treaties
The Treaty of Tagilde was signed on 10 July 1372 , in the Church of S. Salvador de Tagilde (municipality of Vizela, district of Braga), between King D. Fernando I of Portugal and the representatives of João de Gante, Duke of Lencastre and fourth son of King Edward III of England. This treaty sealed the alliance between these two pretenders to the Castilian throne and is considered to be the preamble to the alliance that is still in force today .
The background to the Treaty of Tagilde was the Hundred Years’ War and the dispute between two brothers for the throne of Castile. On the one hand, Dom Pedro had been deprived of the Castilian crown by Henry of Trastâmara, an illegitimate brother, and had enlisted English support to regain it. On the other hand, Henry of Trastamara, later Henry II, who had secured the support of France. At the Battle of Montiel (March 1369), Pedro was killed and Ferdinand I of Portugal, who was the legitimate great-grandson of Sancho IV of Castile, declared war on Henry II.
It was in these circumstances that an embassy arrived in Portugal from John of Gante, who had married Constance, daughter of Pedro, in 1371 and therefore had claims to the Castilian throne. The Duke of Lencastre’s ambassadors were João Fernandes Andeiro and Roger Hoor. This treaty essentially stipulated that the King of Portugal and the Duke of Lancaster were true friends and that they would simultaneously wage war against Castile and Aragon on two fronts: the English on the north and the Portuguese on the west .
Shortly after the signing of this treaty, Ferdinand sent two ambassadors, Vasco Domingues and João Fernandes Andeiro, to the Duke of Lencastre, so that he would swear and sign the Treaty of Tagilde . The same ambassadors also carried a power of attorney with powers to make complementary alliances with Edward III of England and the Prince of Wales . The negotiations facilitated by this power of attorney resulted in the Treaty of London of 16 June 1373.
Treaty of London
The Treaty of Peace, Friendship and Alliance agreed upon in perpetuity on June 16th 1373 in St. Paul’s Cathedral, between King Ferdinand I and Queen Leonor of Portugal and King Edward III of England, is considered the main legal foundation of the Anglo-Portuguese Alliance . This Treaty cites the Treaty of Tagilde as a precedent. The content of its four clauses includes the declaration of mutual and perpetual peace, friendship, union and alliance between the two parties; the commitment of neither party to establish friendship with the enemies, emulators and persecutors of the other party; the reciprocal obligation of help with military aid or any other kind of aid for the need of defence of the kingdom, provinces, domains and places in case of offence, oppression or invasion by land or sea . Since then this treaty has never been revised and has subsequently been confirmed on several occasions .
Treaty of Windsor
On 9 May 1386, the Treaty of Windsor was signed between John I of Portugal and Richard II of England. This agreement ratifies the “league, friendship and perpetual confederation” between the two monarchs with the obligation of mutual aid, and is also signed in perpetuity . It was a treaty with a greater breadth of content than the two previous ones, as it enshrined in its articles the freedom of trade and transit of the nationals of each party in the territory of the other party .
One of the first practical consequences of this treaty was to lead to the start of diplomatic negotiations for the marriage between João I of Portugal and Filipa de Lencastre, daughter of João de Gante . The marriage, which took place on 2 February 1387, initiated a period of great proximity between the two ruling houses . This alliance became even closer when João de Gante’s son, who was brother-in-law of John I of Portugal, became Henry IV of England.
Santarém tells us that the alliance between England and Portugal was so close during the period between the last half of the 12th century and the end of the 15th century that in sixteen treaties that the English sovereigns concluded with other nations, Portugal was always included as an ally and confederate of England . The fact that João I of Portugal was the first foreign monarch to become a Knight of the Garter (1400) supports the thesis of those who see Portugal as England’s first political ally .
The War of the Roses initiated a new period in the relationship of the parties. However, this pact of “[…] true, faithful, constant, mutual and perpetual friendship, unions, alliances and acts of sincere affection […]”, described in Article I of the Treaty of London, was maintained. Since then, this alliance has been confirmed in a considerable range of Anglo-Poruguese treaties, the last formal confirmation dating from 1914.
With the benefit of hindsight, we agree with the statement of the English historian Richard Lodge when he writes that “there is no state in Europe with which our relations have been on the whole so continuously intimate and friendly”  and also with Winston Churchill when he describes this alliance as being “without parallel in world history” . During its more than six centuries of existence, the Anglo-Portuguese Alliance has overcome the most challenging historical contingencies, including two world wars, the rise and fall of empires, revolutions and decolonisation, multilateralisation of international relations, European integration and the end of the Cold War. Today, we wish the Alliance to continue to inspire new chapters of friendship to be celebrated for another 650 years.
Source regarding the Treaties: Alexandra M. Rodrigues Araújo
For further information about Vista Alegre, please contact:
Public Relations and Institutional Communication Department of the Visabeira Group firstname.lastname@example.org
José Arimateia: 968 042 547; Fernando Correia: 967 025 132;
For information about Portugal-UK 650, please contact
Francisco Mendia: email@example.com (919 780 360);
Maria João Quintela: firstname.lastname@example.org (92 763 89 43)
 The National Archives (TNA): DL34/1/30.
 Cf. S. Pinto, Tratado de Tagilde de 10 de julho de 1372, [Scientia Iuridica, Separata, Year II, 6], Braga 1952, pp. 1-18.
 Cf. P. E. Russell, British Intervention in the Iberian Peninsula during the Hundred Years’ War, Lisbon 1955, pp. 221-222.
 Cf. TNA: DL34/1/29.
 Santarém, Quadro elementar das relações políticas e diplomáticas de Portugal com as diversas potencias do mundo: desde ó princípio da monarchia portugueza até aos nossos, v. XIV, Lisbon 1842, p. 55.
 TNA: E30/275.
 Cf. M. Caetano, Aliança Inglesa, [Enciclopédia Luso-Brasileira de Cultura 1], Lisbon 1963, p. 1262.
 Statement by Mr. Anthony Nutting in the House of Commons on May 12, 1952. https://www.theyworkforyou.com/debates/?id=1952-05-12a.845.1
 TNA: E30/310.
 It should be noted that the trade treaty of 20 October 1353 between King Edward III of England and King Alfonso IV of Portugal already enshrined this free trade clause for people and goods. However, this treaty was valid for 50 years. Cf. T. Viúla de Faria and F. Miranda, Pur Bonne Alliance et Amiste Faire: Diplomacy and Commerce between Portugal and England in the Late Middle Ages, [Cultura, Espaço & Memória 1], Porto 2010, p. 111.
 Cf. Baquero Moreno, H. (1988). The Treaty of Windsor of 1386 in the Context of Anglo-Portuguese Relations: Coloquio Comemorativo do VI Centenário do Tratado de Windsor, 1986. Porto: University of Porto. Faculty of Letters. pp. 213-219: 216-217.
 Cf. H. Baquero Moreno, O Tratado de Windsor de 1386 no conspecto das relações Luso-Inglesas, [Coloquio Comemorativo do VI Centenário do Tratado de Windsor], Oporto 1988, pp. 216-217.
 Cf. Santarém, Quadro elementar das relações políticas e diplomáticas de Portugal com as diversas potencias do mundo: desde ó princípio da monarchia portugueza até aos nossos, V. XIV, 2nd ed.
 Cf. V. Shillington and A. Chapman, The Commercial relations of England and Portugal, London 1907, pp. 18-19.
 Translation by the author; R. Lodge, The English factory at Lisbon: some chapters of its history, Transactions of the Royal Historical Society 16] London 1933 p. 211.
 Translation by the author; Cf. Speech, House of Commons Debate, 12 October 1943 http://hansard.millbanksystems.com/commons/1943/oct/12/agreement-with-Portugal