Prince Imperial of Brazil

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Original coat of arms of the Prince Imperial of Brazil.
Modern coat of arms of the Prince Imperial of Brazil, with an inescutcheon in reference to the Orléans branch.

Prince Imperial of Brazil is the title created after the proclamation of independence of the Empire of Brazil, in 1822, to designate an heir apparent or an heir presumptive to the Brazilian imperial throne. Even after the proclamation of the Republic in 1889, the title was kept in use by the Brazilian Imperial Family.

Overview[edit]

According to article 105 of the Constitution of 1824, the title should be used to designate to the first in line to the imperial throne. The Constitution also specifies that the eldest son of the Imperial Prince should be designated the Prince of Grão-Pará, indicating the second in line of succession.[1]

The last Emperor of Brazil, Pedro II, died in 1891, two years after the abolition of the Brazilian monarchy. His daughter, Isabel, Princess Imperial of Brazil, was the last holder of the title during the existence of the Empire. Since then, the title has been used by the heir to the Head of the Brazilian Imperial House.

All the Brazilian princes (the Imperial Prince, the Prince of Grão-Pará and the other princes) were guaranteed a seat at the Senate after they reached the age of 25. However, for various reasons, including premature death and marriage with foreign dynasts, only D. Isabel actually sat in the Senate, becoming the first Brazilian woman to be a senator.

Finally, according to the Constitution and some later rules created by the Brazilian Imperial House, the princes in the line of succession must marry with members of other dynastic houses in order to keep the égalite de naissance to maintain their imperial titles. A princess who marries the head of another dynastic house would not transmit her Brazilian titles to their offspring, and the princes could not assume a foreign throne and keep their Brazilian titles. These restriction are aligned to Portuguese and French royal traditions, although the Brazilian rules of succession are not directed by Salic Law.

List of Princes Imperial of Brazil[edit]

Image Name Lifespan Tenure Notes
Maria II of Portugal.JPG Maria II of Portugal 4 April 1819 – 15 November 1853 12 October 1822 – 2 December 1825
7 April 1831 – 30 October 1835
Heir presumptive from 1822 to 1825, due to the birth of her brother Pedro, and from his ascension until her exclusion from the Brazilian line of succession by law no. 91 of 30 October 1835.
Pedro II of Brazil - Brady-Handy.jpg Pedro II of Brazil 2 December 1825 — 5 December 1891 2 December 1825 — 7 April 1831 Imperial heir from 1825 until his accession to the Brazilian throne in 1831
Januaria of Brazil 1865.jpg Princess Januária 11 March 1822 – 13 March 1901 30 October 1835 – 23 February 1845 Princess Imperial from 1835 to 1845, until the birth of her nephew Afonso
Barandier - Dom Afonso, Príncipe Imperial do Brasil.JPG Prince Afonso 23 February 1845 – 11 June 1847 23 February 1845 – 11 June 1847 Elder son of Emperor Pedro II
A imperatriz e filhos.jpg Prince Pedro 19 July 1848 – 10 January 1850 19 July 1848 – 10 January 1850 Younger son of Emperor Pedro II
Isabel Princess Imperial of Brazil c 1887.jpg Princess Isabel 29 July 1846 – 14 November 1921 11 June 1847 – 19 July 1848
9 January 1850 – 5 December 1891
Princess Imperial from the death of her elder brother until the birth of her younger brother, and from his death until the death of the Emperor

Claimants[edit]

Isabel, the last Princess Imperial, never ascended the throne because it was overthrown by coup d'état in 1889. After the 1891 death of her father, the last Brazilian emperor de facto, she became the Head of the Imperial House of Brazil, and gave the title of Prince Imperial to her eldest son, Prince Pedro de Alcântara of Orléans-Braganza. The title was not recognized by the Brazilian government, which had adopted a republican constitution.

Image Name Lifespan Tenure Notes
Pedro alcantara filho isabel.jpg Prince Pedro de Alcântara of Orléans-Braganza 15 October 1875 — 29 January 1940 5 December 1891 — 30 October 1908 Styled Prince of Grão-Pará from 1875 to 1891, became Prince Imperial on the death of his grandfather Pedro II. He renounced his titles to marry a non-royal.
Luis prince imperial 1909 Brazil.JPG Prince Luís of Orléans-Braganza 26 January 1878 — 26 March 1920 30 October 1908 — 26 March 1920 Styled Prince Imperial after his brother's renunciation. After his title was bestowed on his eldest son, Pedro Henrique.
COA Imperial Prince of Brazil.svg Prince Pedro Henrique of Orléans-Braganza 13 September 1909 — 5 July 1981 26 March 1920 — 14 November 1921 Claimant of the title Prince of Grão-Pará from 1909 to 1920. Claimed the title Prince Imperial from the death of his father in 1920 until the death of his grandmother in 1921.

Pedro de Alcântara died in 1940, the last member of the Brazilian Imperial House who had lived at the time of the Empire. His son, Prince Pedro Gastão, challenged Pedro Henrique's right to the succession in 1946,[2] on the basis that his father's renunciation had no legal force. As a result, the Brazilian imperial family were split between a branch living at Petrópolis, led by Pedro Gastão and descended from Pedro de Alcântara, and another at Vassouras, led by Pedro Henrique and descended from Luiz.

Claimants descended from Prince Luiz
Image Name Lifespan Tenure Notes
COA Imperial Prince of Brazil.svg Prince Luiz Gastão of Orléans-Braganza 19 February 1911 – 8 September 1931 14 November 1921 – 8 September 1931 Younger brother of Pedro Henrique, claimant of the title of Prince Imperial from the death of his grandmother in 1921 until his own death in 1931.
COA Imperial Prince of Brazil.svg Princess Pia Maria of Orléans-Braganza 4 March 1913 – 24 October 2000 8 September 1931 — 6 June 1938 Younger sister of Pedro Henrique, claimant of the title of Princess Imperial from the death of her brother Luiz Gastão in 1931 until the birth of her nephew Luiz in 1938.
Prince Luiz of Orléans-Braganza born 6 June 1938 6 June 1938 — 5 July 1981 Claimant of the title Prince Imperial from 1938 to 1981, until succeeding his father Prince Pedro Henrique as Head of the Brazilian Imperial House.
Dom Bertrand de Orleans e Bragança.jpg Prince Bertrand of Orléans-Braganza born 2 February 1941 5 July 1981 — present Prince Luiz' younger brother and current claimant of the title since 1981.
Claimants descended from Prince Pedro de Alcântara
Image Name Lifespan Tenure Notes
DOM PEDRO CARLOS DE ORLEANS E BRAGANÇA CHEFE DA CASA IMPERIAL DO BRASIL.jpg Prince Pedro Carlos of Orléans-Braganza born 31 October 1945 31 October 1945 – 27 December 2007 Son of Prince Pedro Gastão, claimant of the title until succeeding his father as Head of the Petrópolis branch of the imperial house in 2007.
COA Imperial Prince of Brazil.svg Prince Pedro Thiago of Orléans-Braganza born 12 January 1979 27 December 2007 — present Son of Prince Pedro Carlos and claimant of the title Prince of Grão-Pará until 2007, and currently of that of the title Prince Imperial.

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Constituicão Politica do Imperio do Brazil (de 25 de Março de 1824)" (in Portuguese). Government of Brazil. Retrieved 2 November 2011. 
  2. ^ Montgomery-Massingberd, Hugh, ed. (1977). Burke's Royal Families of the World, Volume 1: Europe & Latin America. London: Burke's Peerage. p. 43. ISBN 0-85011-023-8.