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Princess Maria Amélia of Brazil

Died when: 21 years 65 days
Star Sign: Sagittarius

 

Princess Maria Amélia of Brazil Dona Maria Amélia (1 December 1831 – 4 February 1853) was a princess of the Empire of Brazil and a member of the Brazilian branch of the House of Braganza. Her parents were Emperor Dom Pedro I, the first ruler of Brazil, and Amélie of Leuchtenberg. The only child of her father's second marriage, Maria Amélia was born in France after Pedro I abdicated the Brazilian throne in favor of his son Dom Pedro II. Before Maria Amélia was a month old, Pedro I went to Portugal to restore the crown of the eldest daughter of his first marriage, Dona Maria II. He fought a successful war against his brother Miguel I, who had usurped Maria II's throne.Only a few months after his victory, Pedro I died from tuberculosis. Maria Amélia's mother took her to Portugal, where she remained for most of her life without ever visiting Brazil. The Brazilian government refused to recognize Maria Amélia as a member of Brazil's Imperial House because she was foreign-born, but when her elder half-brother Pedro II was declared of age in 1840, he successfully intervened on her behalf.Maria Amélia became engaged to Archduke Maximilian of Austria in early 1852, but before the marriage could take place she contracted tuberculosis, and was taken to the town of Funchal on the Portuguese island of Madeira. Despite its reputedly healthy climate, her health continued to deteriorate, and she died on 4 February 1853. Her body was taken to mainland Portugal and interred in the Braganza Pantheon; almost 130 years later, her remains were taken to Brazil. In honor of her daughter, Maria Amélia's mother financed the construction of the "Princesa D. Maria Amélia" hospital in Funchal. Maria Amélia's fiancé, Maximilian, made a pilgrimage to Brazil and Madeira, a journey that influenced his acceptance of the throne of Mexico in 1864.
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