Prince Charles Philippe d’Orléans, Duke of Anjou
Prince Charles Philippe d’Orléans, Duke of Anjou, is a direct descendent of King Louis Phillipe I of France, the last king of that country.
Born in March 1971, he spent his childhood and part of the adolescence in Spain, having completed part of his secondary studies in Madrid, which were then finished in France.
After his bachelor’s degree, Charles Philippe studied Political Science and International Relations in France and Switzerland. After concluding his superior studies, he started his professional career as the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) and his first mission was undertaken during the crisis in Ruanda, back in 1994. He was one of the people responsible for press services and for the creation of logistical infrastructures for the refugee camps in Kigali.
Through his military career he has dedicated part of his life to international relations and humanitarian causes. In 2006, Charles d’Orléans created the Saint-Lazare Foundation, an international “Think Tank” with the mission of rationalizing water usage, inspired by the Count of Paris.
In 21st June 2008, he married Diana Álvares Pereira de Melo, 11th duchess of Cadaval. Since then, and after carefully choosing between London, Paris or Cascais, the couple decided to fix their home in this town, where their daughter, Isabel d’Orléans, was born,.
In this interview, discover the prevailing reasons for this choice and the charm and endearment with which the Prince d’Orléans talks about his life in Cascais and in Portugal.
#1 What prompted you to move to Cascais?
“Before the wedding, I used to live in Paris and my wife in London. She also had a house in Cascais. We had to decide where to move after getting married and so we compared options between London, Paris or Cascais. The scale fell onto Cascais – due to living conditions, the climate, the people, life quality, safety… We have already been here for 8 years! It was a great decision!”
#2 What do you love the most about Cascais?
What I love the most is the quality of life I have here!
Well-being, working while still having a relaxed way of living, without the pressure of big cities and unpleasant people, like you may find in other countries…
Schools for the children – there is a great diversity of portuguese schools, catholic and non-catholic as well as a diverse offer of international schools. For us, as an international family – I am French but have lived all my life in Spain – it is important to have options regarding international schools, for our daughter Isabelle.
I also enjoy the climate and the range of sports I have in Cascais – at sea or on the green. Here, we have everything.
The fact that we can have a house with a garden and a pool is something we probably wouldn’t have in Paris or London.
Overall, this is what defines our life quality.
#3 Your favorite spot in Cascais?
We really enjoy walking in the town centre. Usually we go as a family, Isabelle, Diana and I, with a mandatory stop at the Visconde da Luz garden carrousel which Isabelle loves! … or to eat an ice-cream at Santini’s on the Avenida Valbom.
I am fond of golf and the different greens near Cascais. We deeply appreciate the beaches – our elected beach is Guincho and we also love having lunch in the Bar do Guincho.
For the evening meal, our choice must go to Porto de Santa Maria, Confraria and Furnas do Guincho.
There are many fascinating places to walk. The seashore area, close to Santa Marta lighthouse, the lovely Casa de Santa Maria, the Cascais Marina… and, of course, we enjoy taking a gin tonic at Hotel Palácio.
Our favourite spot is Praça da Câmara Municipal de Cascais (Cascais Town Hall Square). The pavement, with ancient portuguese pavement motives, the Chamber, the palms and the beach. Honestly, it’s Cascais’ postcard.
2.Visconde da Luz garden carrousel
3.Cascais Town Hall Square
#4 Anything bad?
We miss a bit of glamour and elegance… For example the restaurants, It would be good to see something different, maybe a bit more fashionable and trendy.
#5 Are there any specific tips you would like to give to those who are thinking about moving to Cascais?
There are many French people thinking about moving to Portugal and their main difficulty is to choosing between Lisbon and Cascais. I always advise people to come and live in Cascais, as deep down, if you want “city life” you can go to Lisbon, but the things you find in Cascais won’t be found anywhere in Lisbon or nearby.
#6 Things you will never forget about Cascais? Or What do you miss when you leave Cascais?
It is the “overall”… this means, a place where you find the balance of everything. There are no excesses… which up to a certain point might be criticised, but it’s also good, as every dimension of your life is in harmony: culture, safety, schools, climate and people. Deep down, we are neither in the city nor in the country… but we have everything we need from a city while feeling in the country! It’s that balance that makes Cascais a unique place to live in Europe.
#7 Define Cascais in one sentence
“Cascais, a dynamic and modern town that keeps the charm, elegance and tradition of a Royal Villa”.
#8 Why do you think that foreigners who consider living abroad, should choose Cascais?
Once again, it’s the balance of the different aspects and quality of life that you can get here in Cascais…
I’m lucky enough to travel a lot around Europe and I realise there has been a great evolution regarding Cascais image abroad. Ten years ago, conversation about Cascais and Estoril was limited to the Formula 1 Circuit. People’s enthusiasm for the matter would end there. Nowadays, I tell people that I live in Cascais/Estoril and I see the look in their eyes, they’re amazed because its incredibly trendy right now. People’s response when they hear about Cascais has changed dramatically. It’s really impressive!
This is also extremely positive for Cascais as it attracts not only the tourist who is looking to visit and discover this town, but also those who are thinking about moving here. Lisbon is fashionable for a younger segment, looking for something different, more bohemian. However, for those who want something else – more quality and superior services – Cascais is a reference. It’s amazing.