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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 Brazil, in 1822, to designate the heir apparent for the Brazilian imperial throne. Even after the proclamation of the Republic, the title was kept in use by the imperial house of Brazil.

Contents

Overview

According to 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. The title Prince of Brazil indicates the third in the line of succession and onwards. This is distinct from the former Portuguese title of Prince of Brazil. Even after the creation of the title of princes of Brazil to designate the other members of the line of succession, it was still common to use the old Portuguese title of Infante for them.

Since the death of D. Pedro II of Brazil, the title Chief of the Brazilian Imperial House had been used to designate the claimants to the now-defunct imperial throne. Like other non-sovereign imperial houses, such as the Russian and the Austrian, the title of Chief of the Imperial House is above of Prince Imperial, which is passed to the second in line.

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 chief of another dynastic house would not transmit her Brazilian titles to their offspring. By the same way, the princes could not assume a foreign throne and keep their Brazilian titles. These restriction are aligned to Portuguese and French royal traditions, as well as to the Salic Law.

Princes Imperial of Brazil

  1. D. Maria (1819–1853), who was heiress presumptive from 1822 to 1825, after what she was created Princess of Grão-Pará due to the birth of her brother D. Pedro de Alcântara. She ascended the Portuguese throne in 1826, as D. Maria II of Portugal, and was no longer regarded as direct heiress to Brazil.
  2. D. Pedro de Alcântara (1825–1891), who was the imperial heir from 1825 until his accession to the Brazilian throne as D. Peter II of Brazil in 1831.
  3. D. Januaria (1822–1901), Princess Imperial from 1831 to 1845, after what she held back the substantive title Princess of Brazil; married in 1844 Luigi di Borbone (of the Bourbon-Two Sicilies branch), count of Aquila - theoretically, Louis held the consort title to Brazil in 1844-45.
  4. D. Afonso Pedro (1845–1847), eldest son of Emperor Pedro II.
  5. D. Pedro Afonso (1848–1850), the other, and then only surviving, son of Pedro II.
  6. D. Isabel (1846–1921), Princess Imperial from 1850 onwards; consort Gaston, comte d'Eu, (1842–1922) from 1864 onwards.
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Claimants

Although D. Isabel, Princess Imperial never ascended the throne, because it was overthrown by revolution, after her father's death, the last Brazilian emperor de facto, she transferred the tile of Prince Imperial to her eldest son, as she was proclaimed by monarchists the Chief of the Imperial House of Brazil.

  1. D. Pedro de Alcântara (1875–1940), who was created Prince of Grão-Pará from 1875 to 1891, after what he was created Prince Imperial of Brazil due to his mother's ascension to the chiefness of the imperial house. However, D. Pedro de Alcântara abdicated his Brazilian titles in order to marry Elizabeth Dobrzensky, Countess of Dobrzenicz, as a demand of his mother to recognize the marriage. So, the precedence to the imperial throne was transferred to D. Luis Maria and his descendants.
  2. D. Luis Maria (1878–1920), created Prince Imperial in 1908, after the abdication of D. Pedro de Alcântara.

Due to the premature deaths of D. Luis Maria and his brother D. Antonio Gastao, as well as the deaths of D. Isabel in the following year and of D. Luis Gastao two years later, the Brazilian Imperial House lost most part of the older generation, what permitted the beginning of internal disputes to the precedence of the imperial throne. By one side, there have been the supporters of the so called Dynastic Branch of Petrópolis, who do not recognize the abdication of D. Pedro de Alcântara; by the other side, there have been the supporters of the so called Dynastic Branch of Vassouras, who defend the abdication as legitimate.

Claimants of the Dynastic Branch of Vassouras
  1. D. Pedro Henrique (1909–1981), created Prince of Grão-Pará from 1909 to 1920, seeing that his uncle, the former Prince of Grão-Pará and Prince Imperial, abdicated his Brazilian titles in 1908. Created Prince Imperial from 1920 to 1921, when he ascended to the chiefnes of the imperial house.
  2. D. Luis Gastao (born 1938), created Prince Imperial from 1938 to 1981, becoming the actual Chief of the Brazilian Imperial House.
  3. D. Bertrand (born 1941), actual Prince Imperial, created in 1981.
Claimants of the Dynastic Branch of Petrópolis
  1. D. Pedro Gastao (1913–2007, supposedelly created Prince of Grão-Pará from 1913 to 1921, when he father should ascend to the chiefnes of the imperial house, making D. Pedro Gastao Prince Imperial from 1921 to 1940. After that, he would be the Chief of the Imperial House until 2007.
  2. D. Pedro Carlos (born 1945), Prince Imperial until 2007, when he ascended to the chiefnes of the imperial house.
  3. D. Pedro Tiago (born 1979), Grão-Pará until 2007, becoming the actual Prince Imperial.

It must be noted that at least three of the members of the Petrópolis Branch violated the rules of the imperial house, marrying non-dynastic spouses: D. Pedro de Alcântara, D. Pedro Carlos and D. Pedro Tiago.

Princes of Grão-Pará

Since 1824, when the first Brazilian Constitution was established, the title of Prince of Grão-Pará was used to designate the eldest son of the Prince Imperial of Brazil, notably the second in the line of succecion. The only known documented and official exception was D. Maria II of Portugal, made Princess of Grão-Pará by her father after the born of D. Pedro de Alcântara, by what may be read on the letter by which D. Pedro I of Brazil renounced his rights to the Portuguese throne, in 1826. It must be noted that this title has been left in disuse.

  1. D. Maria da Gloria, from 1825 to 1826, in her capacity as second in the line of succession, after what she was created D. Mary II of Portugal.
  2. D. Pedro de Alcântara, from 1875 to 1891, in the quality of second in the line of succession as the eldest son of the Princess Imperial, after what he was created Prince Imperial.

Claimants

Claimants of the Dynastic Branch of Vassouras
  1. D. Pedro Henrique, from 1909 to 1920, after what he was created Prince Imperial.
Claimants of the Dynastic Branch of Petrópolis
  1. D. Pedro Thiago, from 1979 to 2007, after what he was created Prince Imperial.

Princes of Brazil

Had they been on the throne all this time, the third in line was:

  • 1891-1908 D. Luis (1878-1920)
  • 1908-09 D. Antonio (1881-1918), brother
  • 1909-20 D. Pedro Henrique, nephew - he would have held Grão-Pará, since he was heir-apparent of the heir
  • 1920-21 D. Luis Gastão the elder, brother
  • 1921-31 D. Pia Maria, sister
  • 1931-34 D. Peter of Coburg-Kohary (1866-1934), father's cousin
  • 1934-38 D. Rainer of Coburg-Kohary (1900-c 1945), nephew
  • 1938-39 D. Pia Maria, again
  • 1939-66 D. Eudes (born 1939), nephew, renounced
  • 1966-81 D. Bertrand, brother
  • 1981-present D. Antonio Joao (born 1950), brother

See also


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