Pedro Carlos, Prince of Brazil

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Prince Pedro Carlos
Prince of Brazil
Pedro Carlos at King Felipe VI's marriage, 2004.
Head of the House of Orléans-Braganza
Tenure 27 December 2007 – present
Predecessor Pedro Gastão, Prince of Brazil
Heir apparent Pedro Thiago, Prince Imperial
Born (1945-10-31) 31 October 1945 (age 78)
Petrópolis, Brazil
Spouse Rony Kuhn de Souza (m. 1975; died 1979)
Patricia Alexandra Branscombe (m. 1981; died 2006)
Patrícia Alvim Rodrigues (m. 2018)
Issue Pedro Thiago, Prince Imperial
Prince Filipe Rodrigo
Full name
Pedro de Alcântara Carlos João Lourenço Miguel Rafael Gabriel Gonzaga de Bourbon e Orléans e Bragança
House Orléans-Braganza
Father Pedro Gastão, Prince of Brazil
Mother Princess Maria de la Esperanza of Bourbon-Two Sicilies
Occupation Forest engineer

Dom Pedro Carlos, Prince of Brazil (born 31 October 1945) is the Head of the Petrópolis branch of the House of Orléans-Braganza and claimant to the throne of Brazil as Pedro V. He is the older son of Pedro Gastão, Prince of Brazil and Princess Maria de la Esperanza of Bourbon-Two Sicilies and great-grandson of the Princess Regent Isabel of Brazil. The Petrópolis branch claims the throne in opposition to the Vassouras branch of the Orléans-Braganzas, headed by his cousin Bertrand, Prince of Brazil. Though both Pedro Carlos and Bertrand are great-great-grandchildren of Emperor Pedro II of Brazil, of the House of Braganza, they dispute leadership over the Brazilian Imperial Family due to a dynastic dispute concerning their fathers.[1]

A retired forest engineer, Pedro Carlos does not actively pursue his claim to the defunct throne and is mainly dedicated to defending the historical and cultural heritage of the Brazilian monarchy[2] and managing the Petrópolis Real Estate Company, which he owns alongside his siblings.[3] Owning the Palace of Grão-Pará, he is the last royal to live in a royal palace in the Americas.


Early life

Pedro Carlos was born in Petrópolis, the eldest son of six children of Pedro Gastão, Prince of Brazil and his wife, Princess Maria de la Esperanza of the Two Sicilies. He was baptised with the names Pedro de Alcântara Carlos João Lourenço Miguel Rafael Gabriel Gonzaga, following a House of Braganza tradition inaugurated by the first Emperor of Brazil of being named after the archangels Michael, Raphael and Gabriel and Saint Aloysius Gonzaga. Upon his birth, he was the first member of the Brazilian Imperial Family to be born in Brazil since the deposition and exile of the family in 1889 (and since the birth of his great-uncle Luís, Prince Imperial of Brazil, in 1878).

Pedro Carlos is a great-grandson of Regent Isabel of Brazil, the last living member of the Brazilian imperial family to have ruled the country. His grandfather, Pedro de Alcântara, Prince of Grão-Pará, has reportedly been proclaimed Emperor Pedro III during the Nacy Revolt, to no effect. Paternally, Pedro Carlos is a first cousin once removed of Jean, Count of Paris (born 1965), Orléanist pretender to the French throne, and first cousin of Duarte Pio, Duke of Braganza (born 1945), pretender to the throne of Portugal and uncle of Philip, Hereditary Prince of Yugoslavia, the second son and heir of Alexander, Crown Prince of Yugoslavia and Pedro's sister Princess Maria da Glória of Brazil. On the maternal side, he is also a first cousin of King Juan Carlos I of Spain (born 1938).

Education and career

Pedro Carlos graduated at forest engineering by the Pontifical Catholic University of Rio de Janeiro and became a realtor in Seville, Spain,[4] where his mother owned the Palace of Villamanrique-de-la-Condessa which she inherited from her father, a Infante of Spain. Following his father's death in 2007, he assumed the headship of the Companhia Imobiliária de Petrópolis,[5] a real state in the town of Petrópolis through which he collects the laudemy, a 2.5% tax on the value of all real estate negotiations made in downtown Petrópolis. This is because the Brazilian justice understands that the territory now corresponding to the center of Petrópolis have been a private property of the Brazilian Imperial Family, although this is under question by some politicians.[6][7]

In 2017 Pedro Carlos held an auction on several Imperial Family items, including the golden pen used by his great-grandmother Empress Isabel I of Brazil, to sign the Golden Law which abolished slavery in Brazil, which was bought by the Ministry of Culture to be displayed at the Imperial Museum of Brazil.[8] The last member of royal to reside in a royal palace in the Americas, Pedro Calros moved from the Grão-Pará Palace to a smaller penthouse in Itaipava, and rented the back of the palace for a parking lot.[9]

Dynastic position

Pedro Carlos is considered to be a pretender to the Brazilian throne by the monarchists who believe the 1908 renunciation to dynastic rights of his paternal grandfather Pedro de Alcântara, Prince of Grão-Pará, was illegal and invalid. Nonetheless, a Spanish newspaper has reported that Pedro Carlos subscribes to a republican point of view.[10] Although his position as pretender to the throne is not recognized by most Brazilian monarchists, it finds great support among intellectuals, jurists and law professors from the most prestigious universities in the country. Since the death of his father, he is genealogically the senior representative of the House of Orléans-Braganza.

In 2022 his eldest son, Prince Pedro Thiago, asserted a claim to the headship of the Imperial House of Brazil, believing his father ineligible to head the imperial house since he supposedly declared himself a republican.[11]

Marriages and family

Pedro Carlos has been married three times and widowed twice. His first two marriages resulted in one son from each. He married Rony Kuhn de Souza (20 March 1938 – 14 January 1979) on 2 September 1975, at Petrópolis. Together, they had one son:

  • Pedro Thiago, Prince Imperial of Brazil (born 12 January 1979 at Petrópolis) – On 26 May 1992, Pedro Thiago was kidnapped while on his way to school and held for a ransom reported at $5 million.[12] He was freed on 2 June after police raided a house in a Rio de Janeiro suburb.[13] In January 2002, he was indicted on charges relating to the theft and then sale of a set of porcelain dishes from the Palace of the Grão-Pará belonging to his aunt Princess Cristina.[14]

Pedro Carlos's first wife died two days after the birth of their son.

On 16 July 1981, at Fazenda São Geraldo, Pedro Carlos married Patricia Alexandra Branscombe (22 November 1964 – 21 November 2009). The couple had one son:

Prince Pedro's second wife died at the Palácio do Grão-Pará in Petrópolis. He married for a third time on 1 September 2018 in a civil ceremony and on 9 October 2021 in Petrópolis in a relgious ceremony to Patrícia Alvim Rodrigues.[15]

Titles, styles and honors

Styles of
Prince Pedro Carlos
Reference styleHis Imperial and Royal Highness
Spoken styleYour Imperial and Royal Highness
Alternative styleSire

Titles and styles

  • 31 October 1945 – 27 December 2007: His Imperial and Royal Highness The Prince Imperial of Brazil
  • 27 December 2007 – present: His Imperial and Royal Highness The Prince of Brazil


As Head of the House of Orléans-Braganza, Pedro Carlos held the following positions:[16]

He has also been decorated with a number of other honours:[16]


Three of his great-grandparents (#8, #14, #15) were grandchildren of King Louis Philippe of France, while another three (#9, #12, #13) were grandchildren of King Francesco I of the Two Sicilies.

Extended content


  1. "Dom Pedro Gastão queria ser Imperador do Brasil". G! (in Portuguese). 27 December 2007. Retrieved 28 July 2021.
  2. Romero, Cesar (17 September 2020). "Dom Pedro Carlos de Orleans e Bragança e Bourbon (bisneto da princesa Isabel) e a mulher Patrícia". Tribuna de Minas. Retrieved 28 July 2021.
  3. "Em Petrópolis, família imperial ainda recebe por imóveis". Diário do Porto (in Portuguese). 16 September 2020. Retrieved 28 July 2021.
  4. "A realeza brasileira ao alcance das mãos - Brasil - Estadão". Estadão (in Portuguese). 9 April 2017. Retrieved 28 July 2021.
  5. "Morre aos 94 anos Dom Pedro Gastão de Orleans e Bragança". G1 (in Portuguese). 27 December 2007. Retrieved 28 July 2021.
  6. Centamori, Vanessa (25 August 2020). "A monarquia acabou no Brasil inteiro menos em Petrópolis, diz economista sobre a taxa do príncipe". Aventuras na História (in Portuguese). Retrieved 28 July 2021.
  7. "Projeto de lei quer acabar com 'taxa do príncipe' em Petrópolis". BBC (in Portuguese). 27 November 2014. Retrieved 28 July 2021.
  8. "Museu paga R$ 500 mil por pena usada por princesa para assinar Lei Áurea". Estadão. 8 December 2006. Retrieved 28 July 2021.
  9. "Quintal de palacio da familia real vira estacionamento". O Globo (in Portuguese). 17 October 2015. Retrieved 28 July 2021.
  10. Bernardo Gutiérrez, "La familia real brasileña defiende los nuevos ideales", Príncipes Republicanos (09/01/2008)
  11. Biography of Prince Pedro Thiago.
  12. Soca, Ricardo (29 May 1992). "La policía brasileña prepara una "operación de guerra" para rescatar al príncipe Pedro". El País (in Spanish). Retrieved 27 December 2007.
  13. "Police raid hideout near Rio and liberate a teen Prince". Deseret News. 2 June 1992.
  14. Rother, Larry (6 January 2002). "Brazil's Royal Scandal: Prince Is Said to Steal Aunt's Dishes". The New York Times. Retrieved 27 December 2007.
  15. O Brasil tem uma nova Imperatriz
  16. 16.0 16.1 Royal Ark
Pedro Carlos, Prince of Brazil
Cadet branch of the House of Orléans
Born: 30 October 1945
Brazilian royalty
Preceded by The Prince of Brazil
27 December 2007 – present
Succeeded by
Preceded by Prince Imperial of Brazil
30 October 1945 – 27 December 2007
Succeeded by
Prince Pedro Thiago
Preceded by — TITULAR —
Emperor of Brazil
One of two pretenders to the Brazilian throne
27 December 2007 – present
Reason for succession failure:
Empire abolished in 1889
Prince Pedro Thiago