- Isabel, Princess Imperial of Brazil
English name = Isabel, Empress of Brazil
Dona Isabel I do Brasil
birth_date = birth date|1846|7|29|mf=y
birthplace = Palácio Imperial,
Rio de Janeiro
death_date = death date and age|1921|11|14|1846|7|29
deathplace = Château d’Eu, Eu
title=Princess Imperial of Brazil
pretend from =
5 December 1891- 14 November 1921
king = Pedro II
relationship = daughter
house = Braganza
father = Pedro II
Teresa of the Two Sicilies
Gaston, comte d'Eu
children = Prince Pedro, Prince Luis, Prince Antônio
predecessor = Pedro II
successor = Prince Pedro Henrique
Isabel The Redeemer, Princess Imperial of Brazil, "de jure" Empress D. Isabel I of Brazil (Isabel Cristina Leopoldina Augusta Micaela Gabriela Rafaela Gonzaga de Bragança; English: "Isabel Christine Leopoldine Augusta Michelle Gabrielle Raphaelle Gonzaga of
Braganza") 29 July 1846ndash 14 November 1921), nicknamed the Redeemer, was the heir to the throne of Brazil, with the title of Princess Imperial during the last decades of the reign of her father Pedro II, and sometime Regent. After the end of the monarchy, she became Head of the Brazilian Imperial House and " de jure" Empress of Brazil.
She acted as
regentof Brazil three times while her father was away from the country. In the political history of Brazil she was the first female ruler in the post-colonialperiod. In 1888 she signed the Law establishing the total abolition of slaveryin the Empire. For her pious character and her role in the abolition of slavery in Brazil, Pope Leo XIIIbestowed the Golden Roseupon her. In 1889 the Brazilian military overthrew Pedro II along with the monarchyending her chance at a permanent succession. She died on 14 November 1921while living in Chateau d'Eu, France.
Isabel was born as the eldest surviving child of Emperor Dom Pedro II and Princess
Teresa of the Two Sicilies, herself the youngest daughter of King Francis I of the Two Sicilies, in the Paço de São Cristóvão, Quinta da Boa Vista, Rio de Janeiro, on 29 July 1846. Her elder brother had died as an infant before Isabel's birth, and a younger brother also died as an infant. As the imperial couple had only daughters living, dom Pedro designated Isabel, the heir presumptiveas the official heiress (although she was not heir apparentin the strictest sense of that concept) whereby she received the titles Princess Imperial and Princess of Brazilalready in the lifetime of her father.
Isabel married on
15 October 1864, Prince Gastão d' Orléans, Count of Eu (1842–1922) - Louis Philippe Marie Ferdinand Gaston, Prince d'Orleans, comte d'Eu, son of Louis Charles Philippe Raphael, duc de Nemours, a cadet prince of the house of Orleans.
Her only surviving sibling, her younger sister
Princess Leopoldina of Brazilmarried Prince August of Saxe-Coburg-Gotha. Originally, the two princes were imported to Brazil in order for August to marry Isabel and Gaston to marry Leopoldina, but the girls decided otherwise and the emperor, having himself experienced the unhappiness of an arranged dynastic marriage, agreed to their wishes.
She was styled "Her Imperial Highness" all her life, except for the brief period during which her younger brother was alive, during which time she bore the style "Her Highness". Her title was "Princess Imperial", except during the lifetime of her brother, when she was titled Princess, given that the style of HIH and the title of Prince/Princess Imperial were reserved to the heir to the Throne. During her three periods as Regent of the Empire in the absence of her father from the country, Isabel was known as The Princess Imperial Regent. However, she passed to history simply as Princess Isabel, or The Redeemer.
Isabel's marriage with Gaston produced three sons, the eldest of whom, her father's namesake, was designated as the next heir of Brazil, and accordingly given the title
Prince of Grão Pará. The sons: Dom Pedro de Alcântara Orléans e Bragança (1875–1940), Dom Luís de Orléans e Bragança(1878–1920), and Dom Antônio Orléans e Bragança(1881–1918).
regentof the Empire three times while her father, Emperor Dom Pedro II (1825-1891), traveled abroad: the first time, from May 25, 1871, to March 31, 1872; the second, from March 26, 1876 to September 25, 1877; and finally, from June 30 1887 to August 22, 1888. [ [http://www.vivabrazil.com/princesa_isabel.htm 150 years of birth of Princess Isabel - The Redeemer Dona Isabel] "Viva Brazil", accessed on June 22, 2008.] In his reign, Pedro II who was regarded as liberal, took steps to industrialize Brazil and to end slavery. Isabel, acting as the Regent, signed the final abolition of slavery edict (the " Lei Áurea", Golden Law, effectively banning slavery), on 13 May 1888, whereby Isabel got the sobriquet Isabel the Redeemer. For the act of signing the Golden Law, she was awarded the Golden Roseby Pope Leo XIII.
This progressive stance, however, brought the imperial government into conflict with the more conservative elements of Brazilian society. At the same time, the liberal elements, which they encouraged, eventually decided that Pedro was not willing to make reforms fast enough, so they also rejected the imperial rule. Although the emperor was still popular among the people, he was deposed on
November 15, 1889by a military coup, and the imperial family was exiled. Isabel accompanied the other members of her family into exile in France.
When the deposed Emperor Pedro II died on
5 December 1891in Paris, France, his daughter Isabel ascended as the Titular Empress of Brazil and Head of the Brazilian Imperial House, according to monarchists.
Belated return from exile
Isabel died in exile on
November 14 1921, at the Castle d' Eu, in France.
In 1920, the Brazilian government had rescinded the exile law imposed by the new
Republican government in 1889, allowing the imperial family to return. [cite web|url=https://legislacao.planalto.gov.br/Legislacao.nsf/fraWeb?OpenFrameSet&Frame=frmWeb2&Src=%2FLegislacao.nsf%2FviwTodos%2F275543e73bf9da22032569fa006cd74a%3FOpenDocument%26Highlight%3D1%2CPedro%2520II%26AutoFramed|title=Decree 4,120|accessdate=2007-05-13] Isabel died before returning, and her husband Gaston, having embarked on a ship to Brazil, died onboard. Their remains were brought to Brazil aboard of the cruise Barroso, arriving in Rio de Janeiro on July 7, 1953, where they stayed until May 12, 1971. At this date they were taken to Petrópolis and buried in the Imperial Mausoleum at the São Pedro de Alcântara Cathedral.
Isabel was part of the House of Orleans-Bragança. The family includes royal heirs of deposed monarchies of France and
Portugal, in addition to the Empire of Brazil and the present House of Ligne.
style=font-size: 90%; line-height: 110%;
boxstyle=padding-top: 0; padding-bottom: 0;
1= 1. Isabel, Princess Imperial of Brazil
Pedro II of Brazil
Teresa of the Two Sicilies
Pedro I of Brazil
Maria Leopoldina of Austria
Francis I of the Two Sicilies
Maria Isabella of Spain
John VI of Portugal
Charlotte of Spain
Francis II, Holy Roman Emperor
Maria Teresa of the Two Sicilies
Ferdinand I of the Two Sicilies
Marie Caroline of Austria
Charles IV of Spain
Maria Luisa of Parma
Peter III of Portugal
Maria I of Portugal
Charles IV of Spain(=14)
Maria Luisa of Parma(=15)
Leopold II, Holy Roman Emperor
21= 21. Maria Louisa of Spain
Ferdinand I of the Two Sicilies(=12)
Marie Caroline of Austria(=13)
Charles III of Spain
Maria Amalia of Saxony
Francis I, Holy Roman Emperor
Maria Theresa of Austria
Charles III of Spain(=24)
Maria Amalia of Saxony(=25)
Philip, Duke of Parma
Princess Louise-Élisabeth of France
* "Princess Isabel of Brazil: Gender and Power in the Nineteenth Century", Barman, Roderick J. 2002.
* [http://www.monarquia.org.br Casa Imperial do Brasil] Official Website of the Imperial House of Brazil
* [http://www.idisabel.org.br/ D. Isabel I - "The Redeemer" - Cultural Institute] Official Website
* [http://www2.uol.com.br/historiaviva/multimidia/princesa_isabel.html História Viva] Photos of Princess Isabel
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