On January 2013 (photograph taken from a different angle)
Domingo, 3 de Fevereiro de 2013
On January 2013 (photograph taken from a different angle)
Sábado, 15 de Dezembro de 2012
Sexta-feira, 7 de Dezembro de 2012
Childhood and Education
Napeir** said about the Prince: "[He had] qualities characteristic to himself: the bad were due to the lack of education he received and no men knew this better than him".
**General Charles James Napier (1782-1853): born in London, Napier fought against Napoleonic troops in Portugal and later becam British Army's Commander-in -Chief in India. His mother was one of the great-grandaughters of King Charles II.
At Brazil, little Pedro inhabited Quinta da Boa Vista Palace at São Cristóvão with his family, but he also spent his childhood between Fazenda de Santa Cruz and the Imperial Palace.
Even though Pedro was neglected by his parents, it is in fact known that Pedro was the King’s favorite son, contrary to his mother who favoured his brother Prince Miguel (she even went to live in a different Palace with her daughters and Miguel, while Pedro stayed with his father...).
It is said that during his horse rides, Pedro was indecent, drawing back the curtains of the passing carriages hoping to find a hidden beauty (for shame! :p). He was known to be a womanizer: he had several affairs with the wives of prominent officials and with many other ladies.
Though many of his romantic escapades were hidden from his family, there was one case in particular that threatened to stain the Royal Family’s honor: the Prince’s affair with a young French ballerina, Noémi Thierry which became the talk of Rio de Janeiro. Despite the gossips, the Royal Court decided to ignore the rumors till it was discovered that the danseuse française was pregnant (but the baby was a still born...). Meanwhile King João was making plans for his son’s marriage with an European Princess. The King knew if the news of Pedro’s latest “adventure” reached the European Courts, it would be harder to marry his son to a respectable House. Therefore the Heir Apparent was persuaded to end his affair. But la française became quite expensive to the Royal Family, for she received a large sum of money to go dancing elsewhere.
From the Portuguese side the man responsible for the procuration for Prince Pedro marriage with Leopoldina was the Marquis of Marialva (José Joaquim Vito de Meneses Coutinho) and on the Austrian side was Prince Clemens von Metternich.
The proxy marriage took place at St Agostinho church in Vienna. Prince Pedro was represented by the Archduke Karl Ludwig. The Archduchess and her party then departed to Florence on the 3rd of June reaching it in a fortnight. The Portuguese entourage arrived only at Livorno (or Leghorn, Tuscany – Italy) on the 24 of July…
They all departed on the 15th of August in D. João VI vessel. The Austrian ambassador, Count of Elz, also escorted the Archduchess on another vessel, the D. Sebastião. The party arrived at Rio de Janeiro on the 5th of November. At Brazil the ceremony took place at Saint Ifigénia’s church after the Prince met Leopoldina at the harbour. It is said that he was not impressed when he saw her, but he admired her intelligence.
*Created after Napoleon's defeat and signed in Paris, this Alliance was formed by Russia, Austria and Prussia.
In exchange for Leopoldina’s hand King João VI paid a dowry to her father that was so big that he had to mortgage the House of Bragança!
The couple went to live in São Cristóvão Palace. It appears that the first years of marriage were quiet and happy, despite the grotesque language that the prince used to use… At 2 o’clock the couple had dinner, at 4 they strolled together and by night he played flute while she accompanied him at the piano.
On the 4th of April 1819, the first child of the couple was born. This little princess would become Queen Maria II of Portugal. After her, six more babies were born, of which only four survived during the couple’s 9 years marriage.
Leopoldina was not aware at first of the epileptic condition of Pedro, but she was no stranger to this condition, since allegedly her brother Ferdinand was also epileptic.
On the 11th of December 1826 after violent alternating symptomatic convulsions with nervous attacks and despite the physicians’ efforts, Leopoldina died. Pedro was away on campaign and he received the news when he arrived. It is said that he was devastated but it didn't prevent him to go to the "seductive witch" (as Leopoldina reffered to Domitila on a letter to her dear sister Marie Louise) again some days after...Leopoldina was carrying a baby that also died. The cause of death was an infection due to the misscarriage.
Pedro was accused of violence against his wife. A story began to circulate, saying that the Emperor had pushed the Empress and she fell, fracturing some limbs and that she afterwards had a misscarriage due to it.
However, recent discoveries possible due to the exhumation of the body of the Empress (and that of the Emperor and his second wife, Amélie) proved that Leopoldina had no fractured bones. But it doesn't prove that Pedro didn't push her.
King of Portugal, Emperor of Brazil
When Napoleon was defeated, in Portugal the wish to become once again the center of the Portuguese empire compelled the Portuguese to demand the King’s return to Portugal. But in Brazil some defended that the Prince heir was the one who should go because they were afraid that if the King left, it would mean the end of the relationship between Portugal and Brazil. When Pedro learned about this he hesitated and Leopoldina, who was pregnant at the time, said that she wouldn’t stay at Brazil without him and she encouraged his stay and eventually it was King João who went to Portugal.
Meanwhile at Brazil the revolutionary ideals of the French had already consumed the people. The merchants, exporters and other business men now defended that Brazil needed its autonomy in order to really profit from the commerce.
On the 5th of June 1821, Portuguese troops under the command of General Jorge de Avilez (first Viscount of Reguengo, 1785-1845) demanded from Prince Pedro to oath the future basis of the Portuguese Constitution. It was also communicated that the Portuguese government ordered Pedro to return to Portugal. But the Prince refused claiming “I stay!”. For this reason this day became known as “Dia do Fico” (literarily meaning “I stay day”). The troops then made clear if the Prince would not go on his own accord then he would go by force.
Seven days later the Prince was warmly received at Rio de Janeiro. On the 12 of October, 1822 the Prince was proclaimed Emperor.
The ceremony of coronation occurred on the 1st of December 1822 much to the style of Napoleon’s coronation (Pedro also crowned himself). Leopoldina took the preparations needed for ther husband's coronation. After this some measures were taken such as the gathering of a 60 thousand men army.
*Leopoldina who was very active politicaly and intervened regularly in her husband’s political decisions, urged him in this a letter: "Brazil is like a volcano ... With or without your help, it will secede. The apple is ripe, pluck it now or it will go bad ... Pedro, this moment is the most important of your whole life ... You will have the support of the whole of Brazil." The Empress became Brazil's regent when her husband went away on a tour of inspection to São Paulo in the middle of August 1822. Her status was confirmed with a document dated 13 August 1822, giving her complete authority to take any political decision.
The first attempt of truce between Portugal and Brazil had already happened on the previous year however it had no effect. Later, England aware that a war between the two countries would affect British interests in South America, offered mediation through Charles Stuart* who was to guarantee from Brazil the payment of an indemnity to Portugal in change of the recognition of independence. This left Brazil with an enormous amount of money indebted to England. Thus In 1825, King João VI named Stuart his plenipotentiary with powers to negotiate and sign with Brazil a treaty on the recognition of that country's independence. Stuart signed the treaty on 29 August 1825 and on 15 November of the same year King João VI ratified it.
*1st Baron Stuart de Rothesay (1779-1845) was a British diplomat. He married Elizabeth Margaret and had two daughters.
Empress Leopoldina also used her contacts in Vienna to ensure that Brazil's independence was also recognized there. She also wrote to her father-in-law pleading him to ratify the Constitution.
However Pedro’s popularity decreased during the Ciplistine war. Cisplatine was an important colony due to the control of Prata estuary which made possible the communication with the interior regions. But some natives of the province rebelled against Brazil and declared the union of the Cisplatine with the United Provinces of River Prata, future Argentina. Despite disposing of a great number of soldiers and ships, Brazil was incapable of defeating the troops of the United Provinces and the Cistipline rebels. The war had caused an incredible economic damage as well as the death of thousands of Brazilians. A peace treaty was eventually signed on the 28 of August 1828. The Emperor’s image was greatly damaged: people regarded him as the culprit of the economic damages, military losses, deaths and the loss of territory. Also republican sentiments upraised during the war. It was during Pedro’s visit to the troops in 1826 that lovely Empress Leopoldina died.
Amélie was one of the granddaughters of Empress Joséphine and daughter of Joséphine’s only male child and stepson of Napoleon. She was also a granddaughter of Maximilain I of Bavaria.
**Domingos Borges de Barros (1780-1855) was a Brazilian politician, writer and attorney.
Segunda-feira, 2 de Julho de 2012
Segunda-feira, 5 de Setembro de 2011
Unlike his younger brother João, José received a full education. Thanks to the generosity of the Marquis of Pombal (who Queen Maria I didn't like...) José was expertly tutored by the friar Manuel do Cenáculo and became a very cultured young man. He was even considered a true role model of the Enlightenment Era.
José was awarded the title of Prince of Brazil, a similar position to that held by his mother who was the Princess of Brazil prior to ascending to the throne as Portugal's Queen.
João Francisco de Paula Domingos António Carlos Cipriano of Bragança, who died one month after his birth in 1763.
King João VI
Sábado, 20 de Agosto de 2011