Prince Pedro Luiz of Orléans-Braganza
|Prince Pedro Luiz|
|House||House of Orléans-Braganza|
|Father||Prince Antônio of Orléans-Braganza|
|Mother||Princess Christine de Ligne|
12 January 1983|
Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
|Died||1 June 2009
Prince Pedro Luiz
|Reference style||His Royal Highness|
|Spoken style||Your Royal Highness|
Prince Pedro Luiz of Orléans-Braganza (12 January 1983 – 1 June 2009) was the son of Prince Antônio of Orléans-Braganza, and was third in the line of succession to the former Brazilian throne, abolished in 1889.
A current pretender to the former imperial crown of Brazil and one of two claimants to be head of the former dynasty is his childless uncle, Prince Luiz of Orléans-Braganza. Prince Luiz' heir is another childless uncle, Prince Bertrand, and his own father, Prince Antônio, is second in line. Some monarchists expected Prince Pedro Luiz to eventually become the pretender on the deaths of his father and uncles. Pedro Luiz' younger brother, Prince Rafael, took his place in the line of succession upon legal declaration of Pedro Luiz' death in the crash of Air France Flight 447.
His name in full was Pedro Luiz Maria José Miguel Gabriel Rafael Gonzaga de Orleans e Bragança. His paternal grandparents were Prince Pedro Henrique of Orléans-Braganza, one of two claimants to be head of the Brazilian Imperial House, and Princess Maria Elisabeth of Bavaria. His maternal grandparents were Antoine, 13th Prince of Ligne, and Princess Alix of Luxembourg. His mother's family, the House of Ligne is one of the oldest and most prominent Wallonian noble families still extant in Belgium. Christine is a niece of Grand Duke Jean, who reigned in Luxembourg until his abdication in 2000.
His father's two elder brothers, Luiz — one of two current claimants to be head of the Brazilian Imperial Family — and Bertrand — the next in line — are unmarried and have no offspring. His father Antônio is therefore heir to the claim after his older siblings, and Pedro would, in due course, have been a claimant to the traditional headship of the Imperial House of Brazil, and the nominal Brazilian crown. As with most republics, Brazilian constitutional provisions do not allow for the institution of a Royal House.
Pedro descended from all monarchs of the Kingdom of Portugal, including John VI (Dom João VI) of Portugal, Brazil and the Algarves, and the later monarchs of independent Brazil, emperors Peter I and Peter II (Dom Pedro I and Dom Pedro II). He was also a descendant of Louis Philippe I d'Orléans, King of the French in the male line, and a distant nephew, by descent, of John Maurice, Prince of Nassau-Siegen, the 17th-century Dutch prince who was governor of Dutch Brazil in the 1600s.
Pedro Luiz held dual Brazilian-Belgian citizenship and was fluent in Portuguese, English and French. The prince moved in infancy with his family to Petrópolis and was enrolled in the Instituto Social São José (Saint Joseph Social Institute), in which education was directed by nuns, and took secondary studies at the Ipiranga School. He graduated in Business Administration in 2005 from IBMEC in Rio de Janeiro after matriculation in 2001, and undertook postgraduate education in economics at the Fundação Getúlio Vargas. After that he worked at the Mariani Bank in Rio de Janeiro until the end of 2007 when he moved to Luxembourg, where he was hired by BNP Paribas (a leading European bank) and did management consulting for several companies.
As a member of the "Vassouras branch" of the Brazilian Imperial Family, he did not share in the income which still flows from all land transactions in Petrópolis under the nineteenth century emphyteutic lease (in contrast to the rival "Petrópolis branch") and was thus able to live comfortably, but "without great luxury". He had no car. He traveled around Rio de Janeiro on foot or by bus. With regard to his lifestyle, he once stated in an interview: "We lead a normal life; we are citizens like everyone else and work to live".
In 1993 Brazilians voted on whether to restore the monarchy in a referendum, Luiz and Bertrand, known for their political beliefs, were repudiated not only by some monarchists, but also by four of their own younger brothers, who tried unsuccessfully to convince them to renounce their traditional claims to the throne in favor of their brother Antônio, and the young Pedro Luiz. Then only ten years old, Pedro Luiz was seen beside his father during the monarchist restoration campaign. Luiz and Bertrand recognized that Pedro Luiz would be a better choice if the monarchy were to be reinstated by the Brazilian people, but that option was not successful with 6,840,551 Brazilians, 13% of the total tally, voted in favor of parliamentary monarchy.
Concerning his status as a prince of a deposed dynasty and of the responsibilities inherent in that position, he affirmed: "We carry this burden and must set an example". He was in search of a suitable fiancée of royal blood, considered an obligation for the future head of the Imperial House of Brazil. In 1999 he became honorary president of Brazil's Monarchist Youth, and also held the Grand Crosses of the Order of Pedro I and of the Order of the Rose.
Pedro Luiz had expressed some opinions about Brazilian politics aside from the monarchy. Regarding the government of President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva he stated, "I am very pleased with the economic performance of Brazil, all derived from the policy of Lula da Silva. I am a supporter of the political choices of the Brazilian government which, in my opinion, is diminishing the [economic] gap among Brazilians".
Pedro Luiz was considered by many Brazilian monarchists as the prince that gathered "all the hopes and aspirations [of restoration]" due to the "vigor of youth and the seriousness of his character". Duarte Pio, Duke of Braganza and heir of the abolished Portuguese crown, affirmed: "[Pedro Luiz] is a very intelligent person. I have the best reports of him."
Luiz was killed in the crash of Air France Flight 447 on 1 June 2009. His double-cousin Princess Alix of Ligne had planned to travel with him, but took an earlier flight instead. Pedro Luiz' body was among those retrieved from the ocean and was buried in Vassouras in the family's mausoleum on 5 July.
Pedro Luiz' patriline is the line from which he is descended father to son. It follows the Kings of France and Dukes of Bourbon. The line can be traced back more than 1,200 years and is one of the oldest in Europe.
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- Imperial House of Brazil (Portuguese)
- Interview with Prince Antônio about his son Prince Pedro Luiz' death (with pictures) (Portuguese)