Rafael, Prince of Grão-Pará

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Prince of Grão-Pará
Rafael at the wedding of Archduke Alexander of Austria, 2023.
Born Prince Rafael of Brazil
(1986-04-24) 24 April 1986 (age 38)
Petrópolis, Brazil
Full name
Rafael Antonio Maria José Francisco Miguel Gabriel Gonzaga
House Orléans-Braganza
Father Antônio, Prince Imperial of Brazil
Mother Princess Christine of Ligne
Occupation Production Engineering
Religion Roman Catholicism

Dom Rafael, Prince of Grão-Pará (26 April 1986, Petrópolis, Brazil) is a member of the Imperial House of Brazil and Prince of Grão-Pará according to the disputed claims of the Imperial Family's Vassouras branch, being the second in the line line of succession to the Brazilian throne as heir to his father Antônio, Prince Imperial of Brazil. Born in Petrópolis, son of a widely considered [but yet disputed] non-morganatic marriage between the then Prince Antônio of Brazil and the Belgian Princess Christine of Ligne.[1][nb 1] An entrepeneur, Prince Rafael currently lives in London where he co-owns a consulting firm. Active in promoting the legacy and restoration of the Brazilian monarchy, he participates in monarchist events and represent the Brazilian Imperial Family in Europe.


Early life and education

Prince Rafael was born in Petrópolis, in the state of Rio de Janeiro, as the youngest and only surviving son of Prince Antônio of Brazil and Princess Christine of Ligne. By his father, he is great-great-grandson of Isabel, Regent of Brazil, while by his mother, he is great-grandson of Charlotte, Grand Duchess of Luxembourg. His godfathers were his paternal uncle Prince Francisco of Brazil and his maternal aunt, Princess Sophie of Ligne, Countess of Nicolaÿ. Currently, he occupies the second position in the Vassouras line of succession to the Brazilian throne, which is currently lead by his uncle Bertrand, Prince of Brazil.

He grew in Petrópolis, having studied at Instituto Social São José and Colégio Ipiranga. After finishing his secondary studies, he spent six months in Paris (France), where he worked as a salesman in a department store. Returning to Brazil to begin his university education, he enrolled in the Pontifical Catholic University of Rio de Janeiro where he graduated in Production Engineering.

Adult life

After his graduation he worked for ten years at the AmBev - Americas' Beverage Company, where, previously, he was an intern, in offices in Rio de Janeiro, São Paulo and London, to where he moved, reconciling work with the dynastic imposition of his uncles to find a princess to marry. Eventually Prince Rafael left AmBev and co-founded a consulting firm with offices in London and New York.

His older brother, Prince Pedro Luiz, was confirmed to be a passenger on ir France Flight 447, which crashed into the ocean while traveling from Rio de Janeiro to Paris on 1 June 2009.[2]


As Prince, since very young, Rafael actively participates in events promoting the history and political advantages of the restoration of the Empire of Brazil. Despite currently living in Europe, where he often represents the Imperial Family at events of local nobility and royalty, Rafael constantly travels to Brazil to participate in so-called "Monarchic Encounters" and has also participated in pro-monarchist and unrelated social actions, such as helping with donations for the homeless in Petrópolis after the heavy rains that hit that city. His uncle, Prince Luiz, appointed him President of the Brazilian Monarchical Youth.

Prince of Grão-Pará

In 15 July 2022, following his uncle Luiz, Prince of Brazil's death, as his father became Prince Imperial of Brazil, he took up the title of Prince of Grão-Pará accordingly the Brazilian monarchical constitution, article 105, as son and immediate heir of the Prince Imperial.

Name origin

His full name is Rafael Antônio Maria José Francisco Miguel Gabriel Gonzaga of Orleans and Bragança and Ligne. "Rafael Antonio" is his proper name, and "Antonio" is due to a promise that his father made to St. Anthony, if his son was born a man. The names "Mary" and "Joseph" are in the names of all members of the Imperial Family, in honor of Our Lady and St. Joseph, as well as "Miguel" and "Gabriel" in devotion to the archangels. "Francisco" is in homage to his godfather of baptism (Prince Francisco of Orléans-Braganze, brother of his father) and "Gonzaga" homage to St. Louis, patron of the family. His surnames derived from his ancestors. The "Orléans" came from Prince Gaston of Orléans, Count of eu, married to Empress Isabel I, from who came the "Braganza", while the "Ligne" comes from his mother, member of the noble House of Ligne, a princely house of Beligum and of the Holy Roman Empire.

Titles, styles and honors

Styles of
Prince Rafael
Reference styleHis Imperial and Royal Highness
Spoken styleYour Imperial and Royal Highness
Alternative styleSir

Titles and styles

  • 26 April 1986 – 15 July 2022: His Royal Highness Prince Rafael of Brazil[3]
  • 15 July 2022 – present: His Imperial and Royal Highness The Prince of Grão-Pará[3]


As member of the House of Orléans-Braganza, he is recipient of the following 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]>
  2. Família Orleans e Bragança confirma que príncipe brasileiro estava no vôo AF 447 (Template:ISO 639 name)[[Category:Articles with Template:ISO 639 name language external links]]<noinclud His body was later found. [2]
  3. 3.0 3.1 http://www.monarquia.org.br
  4. BUYERS, Christopher. The Royal Ark.

External links

Rafael, Prince of Grão-Pará
Cadet branch of the House of Orléans
Born: 26 April 1986
Brazilian royalty
Preceded by
Prince Pedro Henrique
(from 1909 to 1920)
Prince of Grão-Pará
9 July 2022 - present
Succeeded by