Januária of Brazil – The Emperor’s sister (Part two)




(public domain)

Read part one here.

In 1843, Francisca became the first of the siblings to marry. On 1 May 1843, she married Prince François, Prince of Joinville and two weeks later, the happy couple sailed to France to begin their new life. Pedro’s marriage to Teresa Cristina of the Two Sicilies was arranged, though the couple had only seen portraits of each other. They were married by proxy on 30 May 1843 and she travelled to Brazil with her younger brother, Prince Louis of the Two Sicilies, Count of Aquila. Upon their first meeting, Pedro was apparently disgusted with her looks and she knew it, breaking down in tears to her lady-in-waiting. It took hours to convince him that he could not repudiate her and they were wed in person on 4 September 1843.

Though her brother’s marriage was off to a rocky start, Prince Louis made a good impression on Januária and Pedro. According to the constitution, Januária could not leave Brazil until Pedro had children and so her marriage was perhaps quite as important as his. Pedro also valued Louis’ company like a brother he never had. The new Empress could have only been too happy at having a familiar face nearby. By the time Prince Louis left in October, the union between Januária and Louis was practically agreed upon and he returned the following April with a marriage treaty in his hand. On 28 April 1844, Januária and Louis were married. For some reason, the relationship between Pedro and Louis deteriorated rapidly and by the middle of July, they were no longer on speaking terms. In September, Januária and Louis were excluded from the Imperial couple’s first wedding anniversary celebrations. Once when Pedro refused to accompany his wife, sister and brother-in-law to a ball, Louis said, “Well, we are going to dance, and we leave you in your convent.”1 Pedro began to see his new brother-in-law as a threat.

Januária brazil
Januária and her two sons (public domain)

Louis resented his treatment and began to repeatedly request a leave of absence, despite Januária being unable to leave. After a quarrel at a banquet, Louis wanted to leave with or without authorisation. Pedro hastily granted his request to avoid a scandal and on 23 October 1844, Januária and Louis sailed from Rio de Janeiro. They would never see Brazil again but they did maintain a correspondence with Pedro. Their quarrel was eventually resolved. On 23 February 1845, Teresa Cristina gave birth to the short-lived Prince Afonso, and Januária was no longer the heiress presumptive to the throne. She and Pedro would eventually have two surviving daughters, including Isabel, Princess Imperial. Januária herself gave birth to her first child – Prince Luigi, Count of Roccaguglielma – on 18 July 1845. Several more children followed: Maria Isabella (22 July 1846 – 14 February 1859), Filippo (12 August 1847 – 9 July 1922), stillborn twins (1848), Maria Emanuele (24 January 1851 – 26 January 1851).

The family settled in the Kingdom of the Two Sicilies until the King was overthrown in 1860 and the Kingdom was annexed by the new Kingdom of Italy. Januária and Louis began to divide their time between France and England. He turned out to be quite the spendthrift and they eventually drifted apart, living separate lives. Although Januária never would see Brazil again, her brother’s exile in 1889 meant that she would see him again. Teresa Cristina died shortly after their arrival in Portugal but Januária had not been there when they arrived or when the Empress died. She saw him again when he was settled in Cannes and visited him several times. When he spent some time at Versailles and Paris, he also spent time with Januária who also happened to be in Paris. Pedro died on 5 December 1891 and Januária was not with him.

Januária was widowed on 5 March 1897, though it probably affected her little as they had been living separate lives for so long. She survived him for four years, dying on 13 March 1901 – just two days after her 79th birthday – in Nice. Her two surviving children both made unequal marriages. Her eldest son Luigi gave her two grandchildren: Maria (born 1870) and Luigi (born 1873) and she still has living descendants. She was buried at the Pere Lachaise Cemetery in Paris.2

  1. Citizen Emperor by Roderick J. Barman p.105
  2. Read more: Citizen Emperor by Roderick J. Barman






About Moniek Bloks 2189 Articles
My name is Moniek and I am from the Netherlands. I began this website in 2013 because I wanted to share these women's amazing stories.

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