Isabel, Princess Imperial of Brazil

Isabel, Princess Imperial of Brazil

Infobox pretender
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
regnal =
title=Princess Imperial of Brazil
throne = Brazil
pretend from = 5 December 1891 - 14 November 1921
king = Pedro II
relationship = daughter
house = Braganza
father = Pedro II
mother = Teresa of the Two Sicilies
spouse = Gaston, comte d'Eu
children = Prince Pedro, Prince Luis, Prince Antônio
predecessor = Pedro II
successor = Prince Pedro Henrique
footnotes =

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 regent of 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-colonial period. In 1888 she signed the Law establishing the total abolition of slavery in the Empire. For her pious character and her role in the abolition of slavery in Brazil, Pope Leo XIII bestowed the Golden Rose upon her. In 1889 the Brazilian military overthrew Pedro II along with the monarchy ending her chance at a permanent succession. She died on 14 November 1921 while living in Chateau d'Eu, France.

Personal life

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 presumptive as the official heiress (although she was not heir apparent in the strictest sense of that concept) whereby she received the titles Princess Imperial and Princess of Brazil already 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 Brazil married 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).

Political role

Isabel was regent of 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. [ [ 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 Rose by 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, 1889 by 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 1891 in 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=|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;
boxstyle_1=background-color: #fcc;
boxstyle_2=background-color: #fb9;
boxstyle_3=background-color: #ffc;
boxstyle_4=background-color: #bfc;
boxstyle_5=background-color: #9fe;
1= 1. Isabel, Princess Imperial of Brazil
2= 2. Pedro II of Brazil
3= 3. Teresa of the Two Sicilies
4= 4. Pedro I of Brazil
5= 5. Maria Leopoldina of Austria
6= 6. Francis I of the Two Sicilies
7= 7. Maria Isabella of Spain
8= 8. John VI of Portugal
9= 9. Charlotte of Spain
10= 10. Francis II, Holy Roman Emperor
11= 11. Maria Teresa of the Two Sicilies
12= 12. Ferdinand I of the Two Sicilies
13= 13. Marie Caroline of Austria
14= 14. Charles IV of Spain
15= 15. Maria Luisa of Parma
16= 16. Peter III of Portugal
17= 17. Maria I of Portugal
18= 18. Charles IV of Spain (=14)
19= 19. Maria Luisa of Parma (=15)
20= 20. Leopold II, Holy Roman Emperor
21= 21. Maria Louisa of Spain
22= 22. Ferdinand I of the Two Sicilies (=12)
23= 23. Marie Caroline of Austria (=13)
24= 24. Charles III of Spain
25= 25. Maria Amalia of Saxony
26= 26. Francis I, Holy Roman Emperor
27= 27. Maria Theresa of Austria
28= 28. Charles III of Spain (=24)
29= 29. Maria Amalia of Saxony (=25)
30= 30. Philip, Duke of Parma
31= 31. Princess Louise-Élisabeth of France



* "Princess Isabel of Brazil: Gender and Power in the Nineteenth Century", Barman, Roderick J. 2002.

External links

* [ Casa Imperial do Brasil] Official Website of the Imperial House of Brazil
* [ D. Isabel I - "The Redeemer" - Cultural Institute] Official Website
* [ História Viva] Photos of Princess Isabel

Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Princess Maria Amélia of Brazil — Princess Maria Amélia Dona Maria Amélia, Princess of Brazil aro …   Wikipedia

  • Princess Claude of Orléans — Princess Claude prev. Duchess of Aosta Spouse Prince Amedeo, Duke of Aosta Issue Princess Bianca Prince Aimone, Duke of Apulia Princess Mafalda Full name Claude Marie Agnès Catherine d Orléans House …   Wikipedia

  • Isabel (disambiguation) — Isabel (French variation, Isabelle) is a feminine given name. Isabel or Isabelle may also refer to:People*Isabel of Gloucester (c. 1173 1217) *Isabel of France (1225 1270) *Isabel of Aragon (1305 1330) *Isabel of Majorca (1337 1406) *Infanta… …   Wikipedia

  • Princess Maria da Gloria, Duchess of Segorbe — Maria da Glória Марија да Глорија Duchess of Segorbe Spouse Alexander, Crown Prince of Yugoslavia (m. 1972; div. 1985) Ignacio de Medina y Fernández de Córdoba, Duke of Segorbe (m. 1985) Issue Peter, Hereditary Prince of Yugoslavia Prince Philip… …   Wikipedia

  • Isabel — Infobox Given Name Revised name = Isabel imagesize=200 px caption=Isabella the Catholic of Castile (1451 ndash;1504) the first Spanish queen regnant and a key character in the Reconquista, the Spanish Inquisition, and Christopher Columbus… …   Wikipedia

  • Princess Marie Isabelle of Orléans — Marie Isabelle of Orléans Countess of Paris Photograph of Princess Marie Isabelle taken on her wedding day Spouse Philippe, Count of Paris Issue …   Wikipedia

  • Princess Anne, Duchess of Calabria — Infobox Two Sicilies Royalty|princess name = Princess Anne full name = Anne Marguerite Brigitte Marie title = Duchess of Calabria caption = spouse = Infante Carlos, Duke of Calabria issue = Princess Cristina Princess María Prince Pedro Princess… …   Wikipedia

  • Isabel of Portugal (disambiguation) — Isabella, Isabel, Elizabeth or Elisabeth of Portugal may refer to several people who were either born or married into the Portuguese royal dynasty:Portuguese queens consort* Elizabeth of Aragon, a.k.a. Queen Saint Elizabeth or Saint Elizabeth of… …   Wikipedia

  • Princess María de las Mercedes of Bourbon-Two Sicilies — Princess María Mercedes of Bourbon Two Sicilies Countess of Barcelona, Infanta of Spain H.R.H. Princess María de las Mercedes at the coronation of Elizabeth II of the United Kingdom …   Wikipedia

  • Princess Maria Annunciata of Bourbon-Two Sicilies — Archduchess and Princess Maria Annunciata of Austria; Princess Maria Annunciata of Hungary, Bohemia, and Tuscany Spouse Archduke Charles Louis of Austria …   Wikipedia

Share the article and excerpts

Direct link
Do a right-click on the link above
and select “Copy Link”

We are using cookies for the best presentation of our site. Continuing to use this site, you agree with this.