Antônio, Prince Imperial of Brazil

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Prince Imperial of Brazil (more)
D. Antônio in Beloeil, 2019
Born Prince Antônio of Brazil
(1950-06-24) 24 June 1950 (age 73)
Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
(m. 1981)
Full name
Antônio João Maria José Jorge Miguel Rafael Gabriel Gonzaga
House Orléans-Braganza
Father Pedro Henrique, Prince of Brazil
Mother Princess Maria Elisabeth of Bavaria
Religion Roman Catholicism

Dom Antônio, Prince Imperial of Brazil (born 24 June 1950) is the heir aparent to the Brazilian throne as brother of Bertrand, Prince of Brazil, pretender to the Brazilian throne according to the Vassouras branch claims. He is the seventh son of Prince Pedro Henrique, and Princess Maria Elisabeth of Bavaria. Antônio is the current holder of the title Prince Imperial of Brazil according to the disputed claims of the Imperial Family's Vassouras branch, being the first in the line line of succession to the Brazilian throne as heir to his elder brother Bertrand, Prince of Brazil.[1] He is also a retired engineer and painter. Active in promoting the cause of the restoration of the monarchy in Brazil, Prince Antônio represents the Imperial Family in most of the events that take place in Rio de Janeiro, where he lives, having occasionally also represented it in Europe and traveled the country as part of royalist campaigns. Less outspoken than his older brothers on political and controversial issues, Prince Antonio is often seen as a less conservative alternative in whom some royalists place their trust.


Early life

Antônio was born in Rio de Janeiro, five years after the definitive settlement of his Pedro Henrique, Prince of Brazil, and Princess Maria Elisabeth of Bavaria in Brazil, being the seventh child of the couple.[2] His godparents were Archduke Georg of Austria-Tuscany (1905-1952) and his aunt Princess Eleonore of Bavaria (1918-2009). When he was one, his father bought a large and confortable estate in the town of Jacarezinho, in Southern Brazil, where he spent his early childhood. Later, when he was six, the family moved to Jundiaí do Sul, and finally, in 1965, they moved to a palace in the town of Vassouras, in the state of Rio de Janeiro.

Education and career

In 1976, Antônio earned a bachelor's degree in Engineering (with a specialization in Major Structural Projects) from the University of Barra do Piraí.[1] As soon as he graduated, Antônio worked as an engineer at Construtora Adolpho Lindenberg, where he joined as an intern, and at Nuclebrás Engenharia S.A. (currently Eletrobrás Eletronuclear), a mixed capital company, formed by the Brazilian company Nuclebrás and the German company KWU. He later worked at Varig Agropecuária S.A. and in the commercial area of different divisions of the Belga-Mineiro Group.


Antônio is an artist, usually painting water color landscapes depicting buildings, ranches, and farms typical of colonial Brazil. In May 1999 he held an exhibition, "A Herança Portuguesa no Brasil Colonial" (The Portuguese Heritage in Colonial Brazil) at Ipanema Park in Portugal.[3] In 2001 he held exhibitions at Curitiba and at Joinville.[4] His work has also been displayed in the Crystal Palace in Petropolis, the National Museum of Fine Arts in Rio de Janeiro, and the Galeria Quadrante and the Museu da Casa Brasileira in São Paulo.[3]

Marriage and family

In 1981, he married Princess Christine of Ligne, daughter of Antoine, 13th Prince de Ligne (head of one of Belgium's foremost noble families) and his wife, Princess Alix of Luxembourg. The civil ceremony took place on September 25 and the religious ceremony on September 26, both at Belœil.[5]

The couple have four children:[5]

Antônio lives with his family in Petrópolis.[8]

Dynastic claims

Dom Antônio's older brother is Bertrand, Prince of Brazil, the current Head of the Brazilian Imperial Family and, from a monarchist perspective, de jure Emperor Bertrand I of Brazil.[9] Following the death of his eldest brother Luiz, Prince of Brazil, Prince Bertrand became Head of the Imperial House and Antônio, as heir presumptive to the throne, automatically succeeded as Prince Imperial[10] if his older brother were actually reigning, and who is often accorded that style in royalist circles. Although he is the sixth brother, Antônio follows Bertrand in the succession order because three older brothers renounced their claims to the throne in order to marry commoners. Some Brazilian royalists consider the marriage of Prince Antônio with Princess Christine de Ligne as a mésalliance or morganatic, since the Princes de Ligne were never a sovereign family, nor a mediatised family.[11][nb 1]

Prince Imperial of Brazil

His oldest brother Luiz, Prince of Brazil, died on 15 July 2022, and Antônio's brother succeeded him with the claimed name Bertrand I. Antônio, now heir presumptive, automatically became Prince Imperial of Brazil.

Titles and honors

Styles of
Prince Antônio
Reference styleHis Imperial Highness
Spoken styleYour Imperial Highness
Alternative styleSir

Titles and styles

  • 24 June 1950 – 9 July 2022: His Highness Prince Antônio of Brazil
  • 15 July 2022 – present: His Imperial Highness The Prince Imperial of Brazil [1]


As member of the House of Orléans-Braganza, he is recipient of the following orders:

He is a recipient of the following foreign orders:



  1. The Brazilian dynasty's marital standard was never bound by the royal intermarriage rules which restricted sovereign German dynasties to reigning and mediatized families following the 1815 Congress of Vienna. Nonetheless it is true that the Princes de Ligne had sold the immediate principality of Edelstetten in 1804, therefore they were not officially included among the Holy Roman Empire's princely families that retained immediate status until its abolition in 1806, which later became the cut-off date for the prerogatives retained by mediatized dynasties.


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 Casa Imperial do Brasil - Biografia de D. Antônio de Orleans e Bragança Archived August 7, 2013, at the Wayback Machine.
  2. Genealogisches Handbuch des Adels, Fürstliche Häuser (Limburg an der Lahn: C.A. Starke, 1991): Band XIV, 32.
  3. 3.0 3.1 "Príncipe brasileiro expõe aguarelas no Ipanema", Jornal de Notícias (May 4, 1999).
  4. "Arte real" Archived October 2, 2011, at the Wayback Machine, Anexo (30 maio, 2001).
  5. 5.0 5.1 Genealogisches Handbuch des Adels, Fürstliche Häuser (Limburg an der Lahn: C.A. Starke, 1991): Band XIV, 34.
  6. "Prince Pedro Luis de Orleans e Braganca PHOTO". Lalate. June 2, 2009. Retrieved April 29, 2011.
  9. NÉMETH-TORRES, Geovani (2008) (in Portuguese). A odisséia monarquista no Plebiscito Nacional de 1993. In: Veredas da História Archived September 1, 2011, at the Wayback Machine. Rio de Janeiro: Ano I, n. 1. Abr. 2008. Template:ISSN.
  10. Constituição Politica do Imperio do Brazil, art. 105.
  11. [1]>
  12. BUYERS, Christopher. The Royal Ark.

External links

Antônio, Prince Imperial of Brazil
Cadet branch of the House of Orléans
Born: June 24 1950
Brazilian royalty
Preceded by Prince Imperial of Brazil
Vassouras branch claim

9 July 2022 - present
Prince Rafael