Princess Maria Elisabeth of Bavaria

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Princess Maria Elisabeth
Princess of Orléans-Braganza
Born (1914-09-14)September 14, 1914
Nymphenburg Palace, Munich, Kingdom of Bavaria
Died 13 May 2011(2011-05-13) (aged 96)
Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
Spouse Prince Pedro Henrique of Orléans-Braganza
Issue Prince Luiz
Prince Eudes Maria
Prince Bertrand
Princess Isabel Maria
Prince Pedro de Alcântara Henrique
Prince Fernando Diniz
Prince Antônio
Eleanora, Princess of Ligne
Prince Francisco Maria
Prince Alberto Maria
Princess Maria Teresa
Princess Maria Gabriela
Full name
German: Maria Elisabeth Franziska Josepha Therese
House Wittelsbach
Father Prince Franz of Bavaria
Mother Princess Isabella Antonie of Croÿ
Religion Roman Catholicism

Princess Maria Elisabeth of Bavaria (German: Prinzessin Maria Elisabeth Franziska Josepha Therese von Bayern; 9 September 1914 – 13 May 2011) was the eldest daughter of Prince Franz of Bavaria, third son of King Ludwig III of Bavaria.

Early life[edit]

Princess Maria Elisabeth of Bavaria was born at Nymphenburg Palace, Munich, Kingdom of Bavaria, the second child and first daughter of Prince Franz of Bavaria (1875–1957), (son of Ludwig III of Bavaria and Archduchess Maria Theresa of Austria-Este) and his wife, Princess Isabella Antonie of Croÿ (1890–1982), (daughter of Karl Alfred, Duke of Croÿ and Princess Ludmilla of Arenberg).

Princess Maria Elisabeth was born at the beginning of First World War; most of her relatives fought during the war, even her father. Her childhood and youth were very troubled because of the regimes that were established in Germany after the war.

Until coming of age the princess lived in Sárvár Castle, in Hungary, which was owned by his grandmother, Queen Maria Teresa, a born Archduchess of Austria, Princess of Hungary and of Modena, among others. The Bavarian Royal Family returned to Bavaria in the 1930s. The republican government was forced to return a substantial part of goods and castles that had been confiscated in 1918 after the revolution.

The times in Germany between the wars (1918–1938) were difficult, due to the Great Depression of 1929 and the rise of the Nazis, and Adolf Hitler in the German government. The uncle of the princess, Rupprecht (1869–1955), head of the Royal House of Bavaria, declared himself an enemy of Hitler. This fact had a huge impact on the Royal Family; they were forced to flee to Italy. The second wife of Prince Rupprecht, Princess Antonia of Luxembourg (1899–1955), and her children, however, were captured by the Nazis, while Rupprecht, still in Italy, evaded arrest. They were imprisoned at Sachsenhausen. Although liberated that very same month, the imprisonment greatly impaired Antonia's health, and she died nine years later, at Lenzerheide, Switzerland.[1]

Princess Maria Elisabeth received education from her parents, as schooling in the art of well as painting. The Princess specialized in porcelain painting, a traditional art of Bavaria.

Marriage and departure to Brazil[edit]

On 19 August 1937 Princess Maria Elisabeth married Prince Pedro Henrique of Orléans-Braganza, head of one of the branches of the Imperial House of Brazil. The wedding took place in the chapel of Nymphenburg Palace.

The imperial couple lived first in France; although they made numerous attempts to immigrate to Brazil, they were prevented by World War II. It was not until 1945 that the family was able to move. First, they settled in the Palace of Grão-Pará, in Petrópolis, Rio de Janeiro, and later in a house of the neighborhood of Retiro. In 1951, Prince Pedro Henrique acquired the Fazenda Santa Maria, in Jacarezinho, Paraná, where the family lived until 1964. In 1965, the imperial family moved to Vassouras, within the state of Rio de Janeiro.

Widowhood[edit]

In 1981, Prince Pedro Henrique died at Vassouras and his eldest son became the Head of the Vassouras branch of the Imperial House of Brazil. Maria Elisabeth's life was divided between Santa Maria and her daughter Isabel's apartment in the district of Lagoa, Rio de Janeiro. She frequently visited Bavaria and Belgium, where her other daughters resided.

In 2004, a Mass honoring her 90th birthday was celebrated by the abbot emeritus of St. Benedict of Rio de Janeiro, Jose Palmeiro Mendes, and co-celebrated by priests Sérgio Costa Couto, judge of the Ecclesiastical Tribunal of the Archdiocese of Rio de Janeiro and chaplain of the Glory of the Outeiro, and Jorge Luis Pereira da Silva at the Church of Imperial Brotherhood of Nossa Senhora da Glória do Outeiro, in Rio de Janeiro. It was attended by all of her children and numerous grandchildren, making the event noteworthy enough to be reported on by Brazilian media.

Children and descendants[edit]

  • HI&RH Prince Luiz Gastão Maria Jose Pio de Orléans-Bragança e Wittelsbach (1938-), present Head of the Imperial House of Brazil (according to the Vassouras branch). Unmarried and without issue.
  • HRH Prince Eudes Maria Ranieri Pedro José de Orléans-Bragança e Wittelsbach (1939-), renounced his rights of succession to the Brazilian throne for himself and his descendants on 3 June 1966. He first married (1967-1976) Ana Maria de Moraes e Barros (1945-) with issue, and second married Mercedes Neves da Rocha (1955-), with issue.
    • HRH Prince Luíz Felipe de Orléans-Bragança e de Moraes Barros (1969-).
    • HRH Princess Anna Luíza de Orléans-Bragança e de Moraes Barros (1971-), she married (1996) Paulo Ibrahim Mansour (1962-)
    • HRH Prince Eudes de Orléans-Bragança e da Rocha (1977-), he married (2008) Patricia Annechino Landau.
    • HRH Princess Maria Antonia de Orléans-Bragança e da Rocha (1979-), she married (2007) Eduardo de Carvalho Moreira.
    • HRH Princess Maria Francisca de Orléans-Bragança e da Rocha (1979-), she married (2005) Bernado Almeida Braga Ratto with issue.
      • Dom Lucas Orleans e Bragança Braga Ratto (2007-).
    • HRH Prince Guy de Orléans-Bragança e da Rocha (1984-).
    • HRH Princess Maria Manoela de Orléans-Bragança e da Rocha (1989-).
  • HI&RH Prince Bertrand Maria José Pio Januaria de Orléans-Bragança e Wittelsbach (1941-), Prince Imperial of Brazil (according to the Vassouras branch). Unmarried and without issue.
  • HRH Princess Isabel Maria Josefa Henriqueta Francisca de Orléans-Bragança e Wittelsbach (1944-). Unmarried and without issue.
  • HRH Prince Pedro de Alcántara Henrique Maria Miguel Gabriel Rafael Gonzaga de Orléans-Bragança e Wittelsbach (1945-), he renounced his rights of succession to the Brazilian throne for himself and his descendants on 28 December 1972. He married (1974) Maria de Fátima de Lacerda Rocha (1952-), with issue.
    • HRH Princess Maria Pia de Orléans-Bragança e Lacerda Rocha (1975-), she married (2001) Rodrigo Broglia Mendes (1974-), with issue.
      • Dom Antônio Broglia Mendes e Orléans-Bragança (2004-).
    • HRH Princess Maria Caroline de Orléans-Bragança e Lacerda Rocha (1978-), she married (2005) Nuno de Carvalho Moreira (1974-), with issue.
      • Dom Jaquim Pedro de Orleans-Bragança e Moreira (2008-).
    • HRH Prince Gabriel Jose de Orléans-Bragança e Lacerda Rocha (1980-).
    • HRH Princess Maria de Fatima de Orléans-Bragança e Lacerda Rocha (1988-).
    • HRH Princess Maria Manuela de Orléans-Bragança e Lacerda Rocha (1989-).
  • HRH Prince Fernando Diniz Maria José Miguel Gabriel Rafael Gonzaga de Orléans-Bragança e Wittelsbach (1948-), he renounced his rights of succession to the Brazilian throne for himself and his descendants on 24 February 1972. He married (1975) Maria de Graça Baere de Araújo (1952-), with issue.
    • HRH Princess Isabel de Orléans Bragança e Baere de Araújo (1978-).
    • HRH Princess Maria de Gloria de Orléans Bragança e Baere de Araújo (1982-).
    • HRH Princess Luíza de Orléans Bragança e Baere de Araújo (1984-).
  • HI&RH Prince Antônio João Maria José Jorge Miguel Gabriel Rafael Gonzaga de Orléans-Bragança e Wittelsbach (1950-), married Princess Christine de Ligne (1955-), with issue.
    • HRH Prince Pedro Luiz Maria José Miguel Gabriel Rafael Gonzaga de Orléans-Bragança e Ligne (1983-2009).
    • HRH Princess Amelia de Orléans-Bragança e Ligne (1984-), she renounced her rights of succession to the Brazilian throne for herself and her descendants on 15 August 2014. She married (2014) Alexander James Spearman (1984-).
    • HRH Prince Rafael Antonio Maria José Francisco Miguel Gabriel Gonzaga de Orléans-Bragança e Ligne (1986-).
    • HRH Princess Maria Gabriela de Orléans-Bragança e Ligne (1989 -).
  • HRH Princess Eleonora Maria Josefa Rosa Filipa Miguela Gabriela Rafaela Gonzaga de Orléans-Bragança e Wittelsbach (1953- ), married (1981) Prince Michel, The 14th Prince of Ligne (1951-), with issue.
    • HH Princess Alix Marie Isabelle Adelgonde Eléonore de Ligne (1984-).
    • HH Prince Henri Antoine of Ligne, The Hereditary Prince of Ligne (1989-).
  • HRH Prince Francisco Maria José Rasso Miguel Gabriel Rafael Gonzaga de Orléans-Bragança e Wittelsbach (1955-), he renounced his rights of succession to the Brazilian throne for himself and his descendants on 11 December 1980. He married (1980) Claudia Regina Godinho (1954-), with issue.
    • HRH Princess Maria Elizabeth de Orléans-Bragança e Godinho (1982-).
    • HRH Princess Maria Thereza de Orléans-Bragança e Godinho (1984-).
    • HRH Princess Maria Eleonora de Orléans-Bragança e Godinho (1984-).
  • HRH Prince Alberto Maria José João Miguel Gabriel Rafael Gonzaga de Orléans-Bragança e Wittelsbach (1957-), he renounced his rights of succession to the Brazilian throne for himself and his descendants on 11 December 1980. He married (1983) Maritza Ribas Bockel (1961-), with issue.
    • HRH Pedro de Orléans-Bragança e Bockel (1988-).
    • HRH Princess Maria Beatriz de Orléans-Bragança e Bockel (1990-).
    • HRH Princess Ann Tereza de Orléans-Bragança e Bockel (1995-).
    • HRH Prince Antonio Alberto de Orléans-Bragança e Bockel (1997-).
  • HRH Princess Maria Teresa Aldegunda Luiza Josefa Micaela Gabriela Rafaela Gonzaga de Orléans-Bragança e Wittelsbach (1959-), married (1995) Jan Hessel de Jong (1953-), with issue.
    • Dom Johannes Pedro Michel Marie de Jong e Orléans-Bragança (1997-).
  • HRH Princess Maria Gabriela Dorotèa Isabel Josefa Micaela Gabriela Rafaela Gonzaga de Orléans-Bragança e Wittelsbach (1959-), married Theodore Senna de Hungria Machado (1952-).

Titles, styles, honours and arms[edit]

Titles and styles[edit]

  • 14 September 1914 – 19 August 1937: Her Royal Highness Princess Maria Elisabeth of Bavaria
  • 19 August 1937 – 13 May 2011: Her Imperial & Royal Highness Princess Maria Elisabeth of Orléans-Braganza

In pretence:

  • 19 August 1937 – 5 July 1981: Her Imperial Majesty The Empress of Brazil
  • 5 July 1981 - 13 May 2011: Her Imperial Majesty The Empress Mother of Brazil

Honours[edit]

Ancestry[edit]

Notes[edit]

Sources[edit]

Princess Maria Elisabeth of Bavaria
Cadet branch of the House of Wittelsbach
Born: 9 September 1914 Died: 13 May 2011
Titles in pretence
Vacant
Title last held by
Gaston, Count of Eu
as Emperor Consort
— TITULAR —
Empress consort of Brazil
19 August 1937 – 5 July 1981
Succeeded by
None