House of Orléans-Braganza

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House of Orléans-Braganza
Casa de Orléans e Bragança
Parent houseHouse of Orléans (agnatic)
Imperial House of Brazil (House of Braganza)
Founded1864; 160 years ago (1864)
FounderIsabel of Braganza
and Gaston d'Orleans
Current headPetrópolis branch:
Prince Pedro Carlos
Vassouras branch:
Prince Bertrand

The House of Orléans-Braganza (Portuguese: Casa de Orléans e Bragança) is a cadet branch of the French House of Orléans and the name of the deposed Imperial House of Brazil[lower-alpha 1] formed from the marriage between Isabel, Princess Imperial of Brazil, of the House of Braganza, and Prince Gaston, Count of Eu, of the House of Orléans, in 1864. The House of Orléans-Braganza never truly reigned, as Brazil's pure Braganza monarch, Emperor Pedro II was deposed in a military coup d'état under pressure of the turned-republican agrarian elite in 1889.[1] However, with the death of his heiress Isabel in 1921, as the last pure Brazilian Braganza, her descendants inherited the dynastic rights of the Brigantine dynasty over the defunct Brazilian throne. [2][3]

Currently, the headship of the house is disputed between Prince Pedro Carlos of Orléans-Braganza, agnatic senior member of the house, head of the so-called Petrópolis branch, and Prince Bertrand of Orléans-Braganza, who heads the so-called Vassouras branch of the Imperial Family. The formation of these branches goes back to the question of the validity of the renunciation of dynastic rights in 1908 by Pedro de Alcântara, Prince of Grão-Pará, grandfather of the head of the Petrópolis Branch, and whose rights would have been inherited by the younger brother Luís, Prince Imperial of Brazil, grandfather of the head of the Vassouras Branch.[4]


Wedding of Gaston of Orléans and Isabel of Braganza in the Imperial Chapel, 15 October 1864.


In 1864, the Emperor Pedro II of Brazil, whose male children died at very young age, was looking for a match to his daughters who were 18 and 17 years old, in order for them to continue the line of succession. As a personal requirement, the Emperor dictated that the chosen princes should be Catholic and of liberal background, and it could be neither Austrian, Portuguese or Spanish. Isolated in Brazil, he asked assistance from his sister Francisca, Princess of Joinville, and his brother-in-law King Ferdinand II of Portugal. Initially the Princess of Joinville thought of her son Prince Pierre, Duke of Penthièvre, to marry her niece Isabel, but the Duke turned down the proposal, opting for following a navy career. Eventually, both the Princess of Joinville and King Ferdinand II settled for their nephews, Prince Gaston, Count of Eu, and Prince Ludwig August of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha, both grandsons of King Louis Philippe I of France. The two young men traveled to Brazil in August 1864 before any commitment be made, so that the prospective brides and grooms could meet before a final agreement to the marriage. Isabel and Leopoldina were not informed until Gaston and August were mid-Atlantic. Although Prince Ludwig August was promised to Princess Isabel, heiress to the Brazilian throne, as the princes arrived in September 1864, Princess Isabel, in her own words "began to feel a great and tender love" for Gaston, while him described the Brazilian princesses as ugly, but thought Isabel less so than her sister. The two couples: Gaston and Isabel; August and Leopoldina; were engaged on 18 September. On 15 October 1864 at Rio de Janeiro, Prince Gaston married Isabel, Princess Imperial of Brazil. By the contract of marriage, the Count of Eu had to forfeit his dynastic rights to the French throne as he became Prince Imperial of Brazil.

Despite being married in 1864, it was only eleven years later, in 1875, that the marriage came to fruition with the birth of Pedro de Alcântara, Prince of Grão-Pará, which was the first to use the surname Orleães e Bragança (Anglicized: Orléans-Braganza). The imperial couple had two more children, Prince Luís and Prince Antônio. The two first had several children themselves and their grandsons are the current heads of the House of Orléans-Braganza's branches.

Republican coup

The Princess Regent and her husband surrounded by common folk, nobles, politicians and intelectuals as they celebrated the abolition of slavery, 1888.

The marriage between Isabel and Gaston proved controversial. Although the Princess Imperial was popular among civil society, the agrarian elite despised her for her involvement in the abolitionist cause, and civilian republicans as well as members of the army influenced by positivism accused her husband, the Count of Eu, of being arrogant, of having committed tactical errors during the War of the Triple Alliance and which, as a consequence, resulted in the discredit of the Imperial Army before the monarchy, especially when compared to the prestige of the Imperial Navy. Republican journalists accused the Count of being very foreign and of exerting great influence over his wife - which proved to be false, they instigated the fear that when Isabel ascended the throne he would be the one to govern for her, and they invented stories that he exploited tenements in the Rio de Janeiro.

On 13 May 1888, when Isabel, as Princess Regent, was about to sign the Golden Law, abolishing slavery in Brazil, Gaston exclaimed "don't sign Isabel, it could be the end of the monarchy ". Nevertheless, the Princess did so, taking her to the height of her popularity. With the Emperor ill and increasingly tired, Elizabeth's reign seemed imminent, even if she did not necessarily crave government. The agrarian elite, enraged by the role of Isabel and even her children in the abolitionist campaign, turned to the republic. After a 58-year reign marked by continuous internal peace and economic prosperity, on 15 November 1889 the Emperor Pedro II was overthrown in a sudden coup d'ètat led by a clique of military leaders whose goal was the formation of a republic headed by a dictator, forming the First Brazilian Republic. Initially Isabel tried to react by convening the Council of State, while Gaston urged the Emperor to react militarily, but the Emperor vehemently refused and merely resigned himself to his fate and that of the monarchy. By 17 November 1889 the Brazilian Imperial Family was sent to exile. They left Brazilian territory in 22 November, occasion in which Prince Pedro de Alcântara wrote "I miss Brazil" on a piece of paper and tied it to a dove, launching it into the air; The dove, however, immediately fell into the sea.


Prince Gaston, Count of Eu, and his children, in the early days of exile in France, 1890.

The imperial family arrived in Lisbon on 7 December 1889, accompained by many loyal subjects and nobles, as politicians such the Viscount of Ouro Preto, the deposed last Prime Minister of the Empire, as well the Emperor's particular doctor. While the Emperor and the Empress remained in Porto, the Orleans-Braganza family moved to southern Spain, where Prince Gaston's father own some property. Further bad news came from Brazil, as the new government abolished the imperial family's allowances, their only substantial source of income, and declared the family banished from national territory. On the back of a large loan from a Portuguese businessman, the imperial family moved into the Hotel Beau Séjour at Cannes.[5][6]

In early 1890, Princess Isabel and Prince Gaston moved into a private villa, which was far cheaper than the hotel, but the Emperor refused to accompany them and remained at the Beau Séjour, later moving to Paris where he died in 1891 and was granted a head of state funeral. Upon his death, Isabel became titular Empress of Brazil for countries that did not yet recognize the Brazilian republic, as well as for Brazilian monarchists and nobles. Prince Louis, Duke of Nemours, Gaston's father, provided them with a monthly allowance. By September, they had taken a villa near Versailles and their sons were enrolled in Parisian schools. Isabel and Gaston purchased a villa in Boulogne-sur-Seine, where they lived an essentially quiet life. Attempts by Brazilian monarchists to restore the crown were unsuccessful, and Isabel lent them only half-hearted support. She thought military action unwise and unwelcome. She correctly assumed that it was unlikely to succeed. Nevertheless, there have been several attempts by thoses involved in the Federalist Revolution and the Navy Revolt to proclaim her firstborn as Emperor Pedro III of Brazil. In retaliation to the supposed involvement of the Brazilian royalty with the revolutionaries, the Brazilian republican government in took possession of the Guanabara Palace, former residence of the Orléans-Braganza in Rio de Janeiro.

When Gaston's father died in mid 1896, an inheritance assured him and Isabel financial security. Their three sons enrolled at the Theresian Military Academy in Vienna without prejudice to their Brazilian status, and Isabel continued her charitable work associated with the Catholic Church. In 1905, Gaston purchased the Château d'Eu in Normandy,[7] the former summer residence of his grandfather, King Louis Philippe I, and where he was raised, and the couple furnished it with items received from Brazil in the early 1890s.

Failed return attempt

Prince Luís with former Prime Minister João Alfredo, aboard the Amazone, docked in Rio de Janeiro.

In 1907, Prince Luís, Isabel and Gaston's second son, planned an ambitious project to defy the decree banishing the imperial family from Brazil by traveling to Rio de Janeiro. His sudden arrival created an uproar in the old imperial capital because the arrival was widely circulated in newspapers. It also caused difficulties for Brazilian politicians by placing the imperial family at the center of attention and many Brazilians went to welcome him, including many former nobles and monarchical politicians, such as the former imperial Prime Ministers Marquis of Paranaguá, João Alfredo, Lafayette Rodrigues and the Viscount of Ouro Preto. However, Luís was prevented from disembarking and was not allowed to set foot on his native land by the republican government on orders of President Affonso Pena, formerly a member of the Emperor's Coucil of State. Nonetheless, Luís sent his mother a telegram saying: "Hindered of disembarking by the Government, I greet the Redeemer of Slaves on the bay of Guanabara in the eve of May 13."[8]

In the same year, a few months later, sailing along the Paraná river to Bolivia, the Prince disembarked on the Brazilian bank of that river, effectively stepping on Brazilian soil for the first time in 17 years.

Late exile

The Imperial Family at the Château d'Eu, 1918. Empress Isabel and Prince Gaston surrounded by their children, daughters-in-law and grandchildren.
Prince Gaston, Count of Eu, surrounded by a cheering crowd upon returning to Brazil for the first time since 1889, following the lifting of the exile, 1921.

Next year, in 1908, following the announcement of the imminent, theoretically morganatic marriage between Isabel and Gaston's firstborn Pedro de Alcântara, Prince Imperial of Brazil to Countess Elisabeth Dobržensky de Dobrženicz,[9] Luís was expected to inherit his brother's position, as their mother had Pedro renounce his dynastic rights through a document of questionable legal validity. However, taking the resignation as effective, Prince Luís, who assumed the title of Prince Imperial of Brazil, theoretically became his mother's heir and subsequently married Princess Maria Pia of Bourbon-Two Sicilies, his cousin whom he have met for the first time in 1890.[10] Both couples had many children.

Soon before the start of the First World War, princes Luís and Antônio, members of the Austro-Hungarian Army, disconnected from the military with permission their cousin great-uncle, Emperor Franz Joseph. They attempted to enlist the French Army to protect the fatherland of their father which warmly received them in exile, but they were both denied as agnatic members of the French Royal Family, according to a 1886 law. Luís then joined the Royal Canadian Army and Antônio the British Army as a pilot; he died in 1918, soon after the end of the war in an airplane crash. Prince Luís, however, after participating in the front for a year, left the battlefields after contracting a serious type of bone rheumatism in the trenches. The illness roved resistant to all treatments and his health gradually deteriorated until his death in 1920.[8] His burial was attended by King Albert I of Belgium and Manuel II of Portugal.

Despite the tragedies faced, in 1920 Orléans-Braganza received the news that the republican government headed by President Epitácio Pessoa lifted the imperial family's banishment. The next year Prince Gaston and Prince Pedro de Alcântara traveled back to Brazil, after 31 years of imposed exile, for the reburial of the Emperor Pedro II and Empress Teresa Cristina in a Imperial Mauseoleum. Isabel, the late Emperor's daughter and de jure Empress herself was too ill to travel and died that same year. She was the last pure Braganza heir to the Brazilian throne. After her death – depending on the interpretation of the validity of the instrument of renunciation of his firstborn in 1908 – the claim passed to either her firstborn himself, Prince Pedro de Alcântara, or to her grandson Prince Pedro Henrique, late Prince Luís's eldest son. The following year, Prince Gaston, eventually died a natural death abord the Massilian ship at the Guanabara Bay during a journey that took him back to Brazil to celebrate the first centenary of independence.


Prince Pedro de Alcântara, his wife and children in Petrópolis, 1936.

After the lifting of the ban of the Imperial Family, Prince Pedro de Alcântara came to Brazil with his children several times, spending entire seasons in the country while finalizing his affairs in Europe, before settling definitively in the early 1930s in the Imperial Palace of Grão-Pará, a former subsidiary palace of his family in Petrópolis, as his main palace, the Petrópolis summer palace, was rented to a school (eventually the Prince would sell the palace to the state in 1938). At the time his eldest daughter Princess Isabelle of Brazil married Henri, count of Paris, heir to the French throne. The couple lived in Brazil for a while before eventually moving to Belgium. Prince Pedro died in 1940 in his palace, being the only Prince of Brazil born during the monarchy to die back in his fatherland. His another daughter Princess Maria Francisca of Brazil married w:Duarte Nuno, Duke of Braganza, heir to the Portuguese throne in 1942. The Palace was inherited by his eldest son Pedro Gastão, Prince of Brazil.

In Europe, the son of late Prince Luís, Prince Pedro Henrique, married Princess Maria Elisabeth of Bavaria, granddaughter of Ludwig III, the last King of Bavaria, in Germany in 1937. As Maria Elisabeth's family house of Wittelsbach were harsh critics of Hitler and of the Nazi policies as a whole, they were forced to flee the country under Nazi persecution and went to live in a palace in southern France, eventually Vichy France. Their three first children were the last Brazilian princes to be born in exile. After the Second World War the couple and their children moved to Brazil, putting a definitive end to the exile.

Dynastic question

Pedro de Alcântara
Pedro de Alcântara, Prince of Grão-Pará renounced his rights of succession to the Brazilian throne in favor of his young brother.
Luis Maria
Prince Luís became Prince Imperial of Brazil after the renunciation of his older brother.

The so-called Brazilian dynastic question concerns inheritance rights to the titles of Head of the Imperial House of Brazil, Prince Imperial of Brazil, Prince of Grão-Pará and Prince of Brazil, who consequently would indicate the preferred heirs of to the Brazilian imperial throne. The primacy in the line of succession is disputed by some members and partisans of the dynastic branches of Petrópolis and Vassouras.

In 1908, Dom Pedro de Alcântara, then Prince Imperial of Brazil in exile, wanted to marry Countess Elisabeth Dobržensky de Dobrženicz (1875–1951), whose family had belonged to the nobility of the Kingdom of Bohemia since 1339, and whose legitimate members, male and female, bore the title of baron since 1744 and of count or countess since issuance of Austrian letters patent on 21 February 1906.[11] The countess did not, however, belong to a reigning or formerly reigning dynasty, as both Orléans and Braganza traditions expected of brides. Although the constitution of the Brazilian Empire did not require dynasts to marry equally, it made the marriage of the heir to the throne dependent upon the sovereign's consent and parliamentary approval.[12] As Prince Dom Pedro wanted to marry with his mother's blessing, he renounced his rights to the throne of Brazil at Cannes on 30 October 1908.[13] The resignation document, signed in three copies, was sent to the Brazilian Monarchical Directory, an official body created to manage monarchical interests in the country.[14][15][16][17][18][19][20] To solemnize this, Dom Pedro, aged thirty-three, signed the document translated here:

This renunciation was followed by a letter from Isabel to royalists in Brazil:

If the 1908 renunciation of Pedro de Alcântara was valid, his brother Luís (and eventually, Pedro Henrique) became next in the line of succession after their mother.[15][16][17][18][19][20] Isabel's headship of the Brazilian Imperial House lasted until her death in 1921 as she became the last uncontested claimant to the throne. To those who considered her firstborn's renunciation valid, Isabel was succeeded by her grandson, Prince Pedro Henrique.[15][16][17][18][19][20] Pedro Henrique was the elder son of Prince Luís, second child of Isabel and a veteran of World War I who had died in 1920 from an illness he contracted in the trenches.[22]

Prince Pedro de Alcântara did not dispute the validity of the renunciation.[23][24] Though he did not claim the headship of the Imperial House himself, in 1937 he did say in an interview that his renunciation "did not meet the requirements of Brazilian Law, there was no prior consultation with the nation, there was none of the necessary protocol that is required for acts of this nature and, furthermore, it was not a hereditary renunciation."[25] Among other reasons, some scholars suggested that by lacking parliamentary approval – as Brazil was no longer a monarchy by 1908, and the Brazilian parliament could not or, more importantly, would not legislate on dynastic matters – Prince Pedro de Alcântara's renunciation did not complied with the 1824 constitution of the empire, and was therefore null and void of effect.

Prince Pedro Gastão leaving the Brazilian Presidential Plane escorted by the Emperor's Batallion, 1987.

The dynastic dispute over the Brazilian crown, howerver, effectively began after 1940 when Prince Pedro Gastão, eldest son of Pedro de Alcântara repudiated his father's renunciation and claimed the headship of the Brazilian Imperial House,[26][27] move in which he was supported by Prince Henri, Count of Paris, Duart Nuno, Duke of Braganza and Juan, Count of Barcelona, the pretenders to the thrones of France, Portugal and Spain, respectively.

Pedro Gastão actively campaigned in support of Brazil's 1993 referendum on restoration of the Brazilian monarchy, which would have postponed for subsequent decision by Parliament of which descendant of the former imperial family should occupy the throne if monarchy had been re-instated, but the option of restoration was defeated despite garnering approximately 7 million votes. After the death of Pedro Gastão in 2007, some of his children declared themselves republicans, while others, such as his eldest son Prince Pedro Carlos, declared that he recognizes the republic out of pragmatism.[28] Several of Pedro Gastão's grandchildren also have dual citizenship.[29]

The descendants of Pedro de Alcântara, Prince of Grão-Pará, form the so-called Petrópolis branch, the senior agnatic branch of the House of Orléans-Braganza, and the descendants of Luís, Prince Imperial of Brazil, form the Vassouras branch, most active in the campaign for the restoration of the monarchy in Brazil today.

The Family Pact of 1909

After the resignation of Pedro de Alcântara, Prince of Grão-Pará on 1908 to marry a Bohemian noblewoman, if one takes that act as legally valid and binding, he lost his rights and his titles as Prince of Brazil. To maintain the princely status, his father, Prince Gaston of Orleans, as former member of the French Royal Family sought the head of this dynasty, Prince Philippe, Duke of Orléans.

Recognizing the principle of pérégrinité and therefore the impossibility for foreign princes to claim the crown of France,[30][31] the Orléans claimants and their supporters consider excluded from the succession to the throne the foreign descendants of King Louis-Philippe I: the Brazilian Orléans-Braganza (descendants of the Comte d'Eu) and the Spanish Orléans-Galliera (descendants of Antoine, Duke of Montpensier).[32][33]

The Family Pact, officially called The Brussels Accord, was a pact developed between the House of Orléans - of France, headed by Philippe, Duke of Orléans, and the House of Orléans-Braganza - of Brazil, co-headed by Gaston, Count of Eu. It confirmed the exclusion of members of Orleanist foregin branches from the succession to the French throne on grounds of pérégrinité.[33] Further, it "takes note" of a written promise given by the Count of Eu and his son to refrain from asserting any claim to the Crown of France and to the position of Head of the House of France until the total extinction of all the other dynastic branches of the House of France (the Montpensiers were already deemed excluded).[33]

By the pact, signed in 26 April 1909 following eight years of talks, the Duke of Orléans would recognize to the Count of Eu's sons and their offspring the titles of Prince/ss of Orléans-Braganza as well as the dignity of Royal Highness. The House of Orléans-Braganza would be considered a distinct house - and not a cadet branch - from the House of Orléans, and would be placed after the latter and all it's cadet branches on the succession to the French throne, while on the meantime the Orléans-Braganza would compromise to not lay claim to the French throne. All according to the request made by the Count of Eu on the justification that as Brazilian law allowed female-line succession, his offspring could drift away from the crown enough to lose the princely quality.

In 14 November 1908 Prince Pedro de Alcântara, older son of the Count of Eu, contracted marriage to Countess Elisabeth Dobrzensky de Dobrzenicz. He illegaly had resigned his rights to the Brazilian throne on that year's October 30th, but the resignation instrument never mentioned any title renunciantion nor made it implicit. As for, the marriage was approved by the Duke of Orléans on the pact which established that any honors and titles recognized by the House of France could not be contested to Prince Pedro's offspring - which, of course, would come from the marriage contracted prior to the pact. Alongside this the pact made no requirement on non-morganatic marriage. This was imperative for the Count of Eu to signe the pact. Immediatly after the signing of the pact, in 15 July 1909, the Duke in reunion with the Count and the Prince confirmed he wouldn't contest the plain effect of the treaty when applied to Pedro's marriage, thus conferring upon his wife all of her husband's French titles and honors, explicitly saying that if he "[...] had any doubt on the matter, I wouldn't have came to sign the act". The treaty was finally approved by the Count in 31 December 1909. Later, the Duke of Orléans tried to return on his word, inserting the term "unequal born marriage" to refer to Prince Pedro's marriage to Countess Elisabeth on the 1910 edition of the Almanach of Gotha. The mention, given in 8 June 1910, displeased the Imperial House of Brazil and Empress Isabel, on 12 July of that year, wrote to the Duke that she actually recognized her older son's marriage as princely, equal and non-morganatic. To this, the Duke never answered. On 22 July the Count of Eu presented the Duke a new pact project with slightly modifications made by his wife which also got no answer.

In a letter from 16 August, later confirmed by another from 18 October, the the Duke declared to the Count that he would not recognize the validity of the Family Pact upon Prince Pedro's offspring (which by then was only Princess Isabelle, future Countess of Paris). The Duke alleged the marriage was given without his consent. But later in letter to the Count of Caserta, the Duke revealed that prior the pact, he had no competence to recognize or not a marriage to which the Empress of Brazil consented, and he goes further, as the Count of Eu appointed, the Duke couldn't ever have a word over an Orléans-Braganza marriage as he declared, on the pact, that this house wouldn't be recognized as a branch of the House of Orléans, but as a distinct house (on condition of a foreign reining house) associated to the House of France.

That established, Isabel had the "unerqual birth marriage" sentence removed from the Gotha on 20 October, while the Duke ordered the insertion of a sentence stating that the Royal House of France didn't recognized Prince Pedro's marriage as princely. He also admmited he had no position to give or not assent to that marriage. The Count of Eu and his children, in a letter to the Duke, said that "if was possible to predict the Duke's interpretation [of the treaty], it wouldn't have been signed by us." and thus rendered the treaty null, act mimicked by the Duke, in 28 November 1910.

This means: There is no such thing as the title of Princes or Princesses of Orléans-Braganza. According to the Imperial Constitution of 1824, the Prince Pedro's Instrument of Resignation of 1908 [although irregular/illegal] and the Family Pact of 1909 [rendered null] all descendancy of Empress Isabel and the Count of Eu are to be titled Princes and Princesses of Brazil. Even if one consider Prince Pedro's resignation to his and his offspring's rights to the Brazilian throne, they're still to be treated as Princes of Brazil, and no one is Prince of Orléans-Braganza.


Petrópolis line

Vassouras line


Petrópolis line

The descendants of Pedro de Alcântara, Prince of Grão-Pará and Countess Elisabeth Dobržensky de Dobrženicz. The Petrópolis branch, or line, claim the headship of the Imperial House of Brazil actively since 1940, although by right since the death of Regent Isabel in 1921, considering that the resignation of Prince Pedro de Alcântara was null, invalid, illegal and void for not having complied with the requirements set out in Brazilian monarchy constitution, such as parliamentary approval. This branch does not follow the ancient aristocratic tradition or the forced imposition by Isabel on her children, and therefore allows princes to marry outside royalty without prejudice to their dynastic rights and titles, without therefore violating the constitution of the deposed monarchy.

Princess Regent of Brazil
Countess of Eu
Prince Pedro de Alcântara
Prince Imperial of Brazil
Prince of Grão-Pará (for life)
Prince Luís
Prince Imperial of Brazil
Prince Antônio Gastão
Prince of Brazil
Princess Isabelle
Princess of Brazil
Countess of Paris
Prince Pedro Gastão
Prince of Brazil
Princess Maria Francisca
Princess of Brazil
Duchess of Braganza
Prince João Maria
Prince of Brazil
Princess Teresa Teodora
Princess of Brazil
Prince Pedro Carlos
Prince of Brazil
(b. 1945)
Princess Maria da Glória
Princess of Brazil
former Crown Princess of Yugoslavia
(b. 1946)
Four more Princes of Brazil
and their offspring
Pedro Thiago
Prince Imperial of Brazil
(b. 1979)
Prince Filipe Rodrigo
Prince of Brazil
(b. 1982)

Vassouras line

The descendants of Luís, Prince Imperial of Brazil and Princess Maria Pia of Bourbon-Two Sicilies. The Vassouras branch, or line, claim the headship of the Imperial House of Brazil after the death of Regent Isabel, considering the validity of the resignation of Luís' older brother, Prince Pedro de Alcântara, for which he was allowed to use the title of Prince of Grão-Pará, by which he was widely known, for life. In continuation of the aristocratic tradition of the time of Prince Pedro's renunciation, and following the forced imposition by Isabel on her children, this branch considers that princes who marry out of royalty must necessarily renounce their titles and succession rights to do so, even though the Brazilian monarchy constitution not only does not consider this necessary, but also requires that to be valid, resignations must be evaluated and approved by parliament. Furthermore, the constitution does not provide for a situation in which a prince may be stripped of his title or princely status.

Princess Regent of Brazil
Countess of Eu
Prince Pedro de Alcântara
Prince Imperial of Brazil
Prince of Grão-Pará (for life)
Prince Luís
Prince Imperial of Brazil
Prince Antônio Gastão
Prince of Brazil
Prince Pedro Henrique
Prince of Brazil
Prince Luiz Gastão
Prince Imperial of Brazil
Princess Pia Maria
Princess Imperial of Brazil
Countess Nicolay
Prince Luiz
Prince of Brazil
Prince Bertrand
Prince of Brazil
(b. 1941)
Princess Isabel
Princess of Brazil
Prince Antônio
Prince Imperial of Brazil
(b. 1950)
Princess Eleanora
Princess of Brazil
Princess of Ligne
(b. 1953)
Seven more
Princes of Brazil
who renounced their dynastic rights

(the validity of their renunciation is legally questionable under the monarchy's constitution)
Prince Rafael
Prince of Grão-Pará
(b. 1986)
Princess Maria Gabriela
Princess of Brazil
(b. 1989)


Coat of arms Title Tenure

Estates and properties

During the validity of the Brazilian constitutional monarchy, the constitution made provisions to separate state properties enjoyed by the imperial family and private properties of members of the dynasty. Nevertheless, the Brazilian state briefly took possession of Palace of São Cristóvão, until it was donated to the National Museum as desired by Emperor Pedro II, and took indefinite possession of Guanabara Palace in 1895, in retaliation for the alleged involvement of the imperial family with the revolts that were taking place at the time. The Petrópolis Palace remained owned by the Imperial Family and rented to two private schools until 1938, when it was sold to the state. Château d'Eu was acquired by the Imperial Family in exile in 1905 and was sold to the Brazilian businessman Assis Chateaubriand in 1954, who subsequently sold it to the French municipality of Eu, Seine-Maritime.

Currently, the Imperial Family, more specifically the Petrópolis branch, owns the Palace of Grão-Pará, where Prince Pedro Carlos resided until 2018, and the Palace of the Princess.

External links


  1. In agnatic primogeniture, it is a cadet branch of the House of Orléans


  1. (Janoti 1986, p. 66)
  2. Podesta, Don. 20 April 1993. Claimants Dream of New Brazilian Monarchy.
  3. Barman, Roderick J. (2005). Princesa Isabel do Brasil : gênero e poder no século XIX. Luiz Antônio Oliveira Araújo. São Paulo, SP: Editora UNESP. ISBN 85-7139-598-5. OCLC 69927543.
  4. Brooke, James (1989-11-12). "A Sour Anniversary for Brazil's Monarchists". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 2022-10-11.
  5. "15 de novembro de 1889, A República no Brasil". (in Brazilian Portuguese). Retrieved 2022-07-30.
  6. Povo, Tiago Cordeiro, especial para a Gazeta do. "Por que ainda existe a família imperial brasileira?". Gazeta do Povo (in Brazilian Portuguese). Retrieved 2022-07-30.
  7. Lincolins, Isabela Barreiros, sob supervisão de Thiago (2021-08-31). "A vida da princesa Isabel após o exílio da família imperial". Aventuras na História (in Brazilian Portuguese). Retrieved 2022-07-30.
  8. 8.0 8.1 Gearini, Victória (2022-05-13). "Do exílio a grave doença: a saga de Luís de Orléans e Bragança, filho da Princesa Isabel". Aventuras na História (in Brazilian Portuguese). Retrieved 2022-07-30.
  9. Gearini | @victoriagearini, Victória (2021-08-29). "Príncipe do Grão Pará, o filho da princesa Isabel que desistiu do direito de possivelmente assumir o trono". Aventuras na História (in Brazilian Portuguese). Retrieved 2022-07-30.
  10. Romanov Pausini, Adel Igor (May 2017). "De Estado a Civil: As políticas de relações matrimoniais da casa imperial do Brasil e sua legitimação sucessória (1843-1944)". REVISTA NEP (Núcleo de Estudos Paranaenses) (in Portuguese). Universidade Federal do Paraná. 3 (1): 436–455. doi:10.5380/nep.v3i1.52577.
  11. Enache, Nicolas. La Descendance de Marie-Therese de Habsburg. ICC, Paris, 1996. pp. 71, 80. (French). ISBN 2-908003-04-X
  12. SAINT, Guy Stair. House of Bourbon: Branch of Orléans-Braganza. In: Chivalric Orders Archived 2008-10-25 at the Wayback Machine. Retrieved 2013-02-18.
  13. Montgomery-Massingberd, Hugh. "Burke's Royal Families of the World: Volume I Europe & Latin America, 1977, pp. 43, 48, 50–51. ISBN 0-85011-023-8
  14. BARMAN, Roderick J (2005) (in Portuguese). Princesa Isabel do Brasil: gênero e poder no século XIX, UNESP
  15. 15.0 15.1 15.2 VIANNA, Hélio (1968) (in Portuguese). Vultos do Império. São Paulo: Companhia Editoria Nacional, p. 224
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