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Family Portrait : Brazil

Brazil was a Portuguese colony at the turn of the 19th century, when the heir prince severed ties with the motherland and his family. He became the first sovereign of an independent Brazil. As much as Pedro I was an adventurer, his son and successor was an intellectual. Emperor Pedro II was close friends with Victor Hugo, Gobineau, Darwin and many other great thinkers of Europe. His desire to do good for his people cost him his crown. The law he signed abolishing slavery lead to an antimonarchical revolution on the right, the only such revolution with compulsory exile.

 

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Empress Teresa Christina

It must be said that nature didn’t spoil her. Empress Teresa Christina was always modestly dressed, like a bourgeoisie woman. Every year she is represented during Carnival by an actress covered in feathers, fake diamonds, and embroideries of many, many colors, the exact opposite of this timid empress who was forever in her husband’s shadow.

 

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The Heir Princess Isabelle and her Sister

Emperor Pedro II had two children, both daughters. A great agitation surrounded the question of who they would marry, particularly the eldest, the future Empress Isabella. Two princes were sent to Brazil, one a German, of Saxe-Cobourg Gotha, and the other an Orléans, from France. The German was promised the eldest, and the younger sister was to marry the French prince. The result of course, the eldest sister fell madly in love with the French prince and eventually the two married, founding a new Orléans Bragance dynasty. The German was wed to the younger.

 

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The Count d’Eu during World War I

Gaston d’Orléans, the Count d’Eu, was sent to Brazil and married the Heir Princess. He fought in the famous war of Paraguay and suffered the fate of the imperial family, overthrown and exiled. He returned to Normandy, to the Chateau d’Eu, of which he carried the title and where he lived until his death.

 

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Prince Pierre d’Orléans Bragance, Princess Elizabeth and her Family

The Count d’Eu and his wife Princess Isabelle of Brazil had ample progeny. Pedro, their eldest son, married a charming Czech countess. While all her children were beautiful, Isabelle d’Orléans Bragance, the Countess of Paris, stood out. Today the many descendants argue among themselves over the rights to a throne that hasn’t existed for some time.

 

 


by  Prince Michael of Greece