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Afonso
Prince Imperial of Brazil
Afonso wearing the blue band of the Order of the Southern Cross, 1846.
House House of Braganza
Father Pedro II of Brazil
Mother Teresa of the Two Sicilies
Born 23 February 1845(1845-02-23)
Palace of São Cristóvão, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
Died 11 June 1847 (aged 2)
Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

Afonso (Portuguese: Afonso Pedro de Alcântara Cristiano Leopoldo Filipe Eugênio Miguel Gabriel Rafael Gonzaga; English: Alphonse Peter of Alcantara Christian Leopold Phillip Eugene Michael Raphael Gonzaga; 23 February 1845  – 11 June 1847), was the heir to the throne of Brazil bearing the title of Prince Imperial during his short life. The Prince was a member of the Brazilian Imperial Family, the oldest son of Emperor Pedro II and Empress Teresa.

Contents

Infancy and death

Afonso Pedro de Alcântara Cristiano Leopoldo Filipe Eugênio Miguel Gabriel Rafael Gonzaga was born on 23 February 1845, the eldest son of Pedro II, Emperor of Brazil and his wife Teresa Cristina. He was a member of the Brazilian branch of the House of Braganza which was, in turn, an illegitimate branch of the Capetian dynasty. He was, therefore, grandson of Pedro I, Emperor of Brazil and nephew of Maria II, Queen of Portugal.[1] Through his mother he was a grandson of Francis I and nephew of Ferdinand II, both Kings of the Two Sicilies.[2]

A sketch of Prince Afonso, 1846.

Soon after his birth, the prince was carried in the arms of his father, who under strong emotions presented the newborn to the people that surrounded him in the Imperial Palace and said: “Gentlemen, here is a Prince whom God...” However, the sobbing and the emotion had hindered him from finishing the phrase.[3][4] The birth of the baby brought joy to everyone all over Brazil.[5] Luís Alves de Lima e Silva, Baron of Caxias wrote to his father, Brigadier General Francisco de Lima e Silva in 1 May 1845: "No one was more happier than I with the news [of the Prince´s birth]".[6]

Afonso was a very healthy baby and as the oldest son of Pedro II, became immediately his heir and was entitled Prince Imperial.[3][4][7] The young prince´s face, hair and eyes made him look very similar to his father.[8] Perhaps for this reason, and also for being the heir of the crown, he gathered all the attention.[9] However, it was from the Emperor that came most of the interest, as it can perceived in a letter written by Pedro II to his elder sister Maria II dated 21 December 1846: “There are no news to tell from here except the ones related to my, the Empress and the small ones good health, mainly from Afonsinho [little Afonso] who has become more and more prettier, he already walks and says many unintelligible words, which makes him more funnier than ever”.[10]

However, the young Prince was playing in the library of the palace when he suffered a strong attack of convulsions and died with almost two and a half years old on 11 June 1847.[11] The Emperor and his wife´s pain was enormous, and it was feared that it could harm Teresa Cristina´s health who was pregnant with her third child. But in 13 July she gave birth to a girl who named Leopoldina Teresa without any complication.[9] Emperor Pedro II wrote about his son´s death in a letter sent to his stepmother, Empress Amélia, dated 11 July 1847: “With the keenest grief, I share with you the news that my dear Afonsinho, your godson, unfortunately died of convulsions that lasted for five hours without interruption in the past day 4,[12] and that a few days ago Isabelinha [little Isabel] found herself in great danger as she suffered strong attacks of convulsions that scared me a lot”.[9] Afonso is presently buried along his younger brother Pedro, his uncle João Carlos, his aunt Paula Mariana and his niece, Luísa (Isabel´s eldest daughter) in the mausoleum of the Convent of Santo Antonio in Rio de Janeiro.[11]

The prince's early death (and also later of his younger brother) would have an enormous impact on the Brazilian monarch's fate. Although their sister Isabel would become legally Pedro II's heir, "that counted for little. To be viable his successor had to be a man".[13] It made "Pedro II perceive his alotted mission in fresh terms. The monarchy as an abstraction, to be passed on to his heir, gave way to his perception of the imperial regime as an emanation of himself and himself alone. He increasingly viewed himself as no more than a head of state of his country for life".[14] During "his remaining years, or until fate decreed otherwise, he would act as the guardian of the constitution and would guide the destinies of Brazil solely in accord with what he deemed to be its best interests".[15]

Titles, styles

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Titles and styles

  • 23 February 1845 – 11 June 1847: His Imperial Highness The Prince Imperial

Genealogy

Ancestry

See also

Bibliography

References

Styles of
Afonso, Prince Imperial
Brazilimperialblason2.svg
Reference style His Imperial Highness
Spoken style Your Imperial Highness
Alternative style Sire
  • Barman, Roderick J. Princesa Isabel do Brasil: gênero e poder no século XIX. São Paulo: UNESP, 2005. (Portuguese)
  • Calmon, Pedro. História de D. Pedro II. 5 v. Rio de Janeiro: J. Olympio, 1975. (Portuguese)
  • Diener, Pablo and Costa, Maria de Fátima. Rugendas e o Brasil. São Paulo: Capivara, 2002. (Portuguese)
  • Lyra, Heitor. História de Dom Pedro II (1825 – 1891): Ascenção (1825 – 1870). v.1. Belo Horizonte: Itatiaia, 1977. (Portuguese)
  • Rodrigues, José Carlos. Constituição política do Império do Brasil. Rio de Janeiro: [s.n], 1863. (Portuguese)
  • Schwarcz, Lilia Moritz. As barbas do Imperador: D. Pedro II, um monarca nos trópicos. 2. Ed. São Paulo: Companhia das Letras, 1998. (Portuguese)

Further reading

  • Barman, Roderick J. Citizen Emperor: Pedro II and the Making of Brazil, 1825–1891. Stanford: Stanford University Press, 1999.
  • Besouchet, Lídia. Pedro II e o Século XIX. 2. ed. Rio de Janeiro: Nova Fronteira, 1993. (Portuguese)
  • Carvalho, José Murilo de. D. Pedro II: ser ou não ser. São Paulo: Companhia das Letras, 2007. (Portuguese)
  • Vainfas, Ronaldo. Dicionário do Brasil Imperial. Rio de Janeiro: Objetiva, 2002. (Portuguese)

Footnotes

  1. ^ The text in the book refers to Pedro II but Afonso was his son, thus the genealogical information also applies to him in Schwarcz, p.47
  2. ^ The text in the book refers to Teresa Cristina but Afonso was her son, thus the genealogical information also applies to him in Calmon, p.210
  3. ^ a b Calmon, p.274
  4. ^ a b Lyra, p.139
  5. ^ Calmon, p.275
  6. ^ Calmon, p.276
  7. ^ Art.105 of the Brazilian Constitution of 1824: "The presumptive heir of the Empire shall have the title of - Prince Imperial -, [...]." in Rodrigues, p.95
  8. ^ Diener, p.79
  9. ^ a b c Barman (2005), p.43
  10. ^ Barman (2005), p.42
  11. ^ a b Calmon, p.317
  12. ^ Pedro II committed a mistake about the date of his son's death. In fact it occurred on 11 June in Barman (2005), p.43
  13. ^ Barman (1999), pp.130-131
  14. ^ Barman (1999), p.130
  15. ^ Barman (1999), p.130

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