I'm not sure which category this Portuguese king's case falls under; but it seems to be a combination of many (e.g. Mother Nature, fluke, etc). What was his exact position in the line to the throne, at birth?
The reason for my asking is that Queen Victoria was born fifth, yet eventually succeeded to the British throne. Her uncle Ernest Augustus, the Duke of Cumberland, was also born fifth in line -- to the thrones of both the UK and Hanover: although he never succeeded to the former, he did to the latter. He became the King of Hanover in 1837, and was heir presumptive to his niece in Great Britain until the birth in 1840 of her first child.
But like I said, had not Queen Adelaide earlier on (as the Duchess of Clarence) miscarried her twin boys, and had either managed to survive to adulthood, neither Victoria nor Ernest Augustus would have inherited any throne. So it had nothing to do with the succession law (i.e. male-preferred primogeniture in GB and semi-Salic in Hanover). Who knows? If both boys survived, the inheritance could have been split between Great Britain and Hanover, anyway ...
The fact is that the way Mother Nature operates is simply beyond rhyme, reason, or logic: for in theory, the children born to the Duchesses of Kent and Cumberland could have been the ones who died in infancy, while those born to the Duke of Clarence been the ones who survived to adulthood, married, and produced multiple heirs. The characterization of Queen Victoria as someone *born to succeed* is simply incorrect: it is based exclusively on hindsight. She was no more *born to succeed* than (say) cousin George of Cambridge (who was the same age).
True: the circumstances of her birth (her parents married in the wake of the tragic death of Princess Charlotte of Wales) pointed her toward the British throne in a way that ordinary persons born fifth do not expect. After all, Victoria was the highest-ranking dynast of her generation; but succession was by no means guaranteed. If I understand correctly, she had a near fatal bout with typhoid fever while in her teens.
In that case, Uncle Ernest Augustus would have inherited two thrones. What makes his case interesting is that he was already married, at the time of the death in 1817 of his niece Charlotte. It's just that the Duchess of Cumberland (born Princess Friederike of Mecklenburg-Strelitz) had yet to deliver an heir, although she most certainly was a fertile person in her earlier years.
As it was, a surprise pregnancy (when she was already 40 years old) resulted in the birth of a son (the future so-called "Blind King George V of Hanover") in 1819 -- the same year as Victoria. But his existence most certainly cannot be attributed to the tragedy of cousin Charlotte, in the same way that the existence of his Clarence, Kent, and Cambridge cousins could (a trio of royal weddings took place in 1818).
Go back earlier in history to royal France, and one notes that the man who became King Louis XV was actually born the THIRD son of the Petit Dauphin; it's just that his two older brothers died in infancy. So he was the first surviving son of the first son of the first son of the famous "Sun" King Louis XIV: both his father and grandfather, like his older brothers, predeceased his great-grandfather.
All that being said, none of these cases outlined (France, Great Britain, Hanover) compares to the twists and turns you outlined in Portugal.
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