HORTENSE de BEAUHARNAIS

DAUGHTER OF AN EMPRESS
QUEEN OF HOLLAND
MOTHER OF AN EMPEROR

woensdag 15 oktober 2014

Amélie of Leuchtenberg

She was the granddaughter of Josephine de Beauharnais, Empress of the French. Her father, Eugène de Beauharnais, was the only male child of Empress Josephine and her first husband Alexandre de Beauharnais and stepson of Napoleon Bonaparte. The mother of Empress Amélie was Princess Augusta Amélia, daughter of Maximilian I, King of Bavaria.

Emperor Pedro I of Brazil (King Pedro IV of Portugal, usually referred to as Dom Pedro) sent the Marquês de Barbacena to Europe to find him a second wife. Amélie came from a particularly distinguished and ancient line on her mother's side, the Wittelsbachs, but her father, linked to Napoleon Bonaparte, was not generally recognized as a Royal because of the hatred still arrayed against the onetime French Emperor in much of Europe. However, that was her sole "defect". The princess was tall, very beautiful, well proportioned, with a delicate face. She had blues eyes[4] and a brownish-golden hair.[5]


Amélie's mother foresaw the difficulties her daughter might face, and prepared her well. Besides a good dowry and trousseau, she gave her a great deal of advice, recommending that she be demonstrative of her feelings and overcome any timidity so as not to discourage her husband, that she be loving toward her stepchildren, and above all that she remain faithful, as empress, to the interests of the Brazilians. Scientist Carl Friedrich von Martius was sent with her on her journey to teach her about Brazil, and the Ana Romana de Aragão Calmon, Countess of Itapagipe, to familiarize her with her husband's personality and the customs of the Brazilian court, and to teach her Portuguese.[2]
In January 1830 the new empress was formally presented in court, with a dance at which all of the ladies dressed in pink, the empress's favorite color.

Upon settling into the imperial palace, the Paço de São Cristóvão, and perceiving what she considered an inadequate standard of protocol, Amélie established French as the court language and adopted a ceremonial modeled after European courts. She sought to update the cuisine and fashion, redecorated the palace, acquired new tableware and silverware, and attempted to refine the manners of the court. She achieved at least a partial success in this last, and the elegance of the Empress, always impeccably dressed, became internationally famous.[7] Their marriage was a happy one, unlike Dom Pedro's first, and she reportedly had a good relationship with her legitimate stepchildren as well. Her beauty, good sense, and kindness promptly won the affections of both her husband and his children by his first marriage.

After Dom Pedro I abdicated the crown, Amélie accompanied her husband back to Europe. They now held the titles of Duke and Duchess of Bragança. Amélie soon established residence in Paris, with Maria da Glória and with Dom Pedro's illegitimate daughter Isabel Maria, Duchess of Goiás, whom Amélie ended up adopting as her own daughter.[11] On 30 November 1831 Amélie gave birth to Princess Maria Amélia of Brazil (Maria Amélia de Bragança), who would prove to be her only child.[2]

Meanwhile, Dom Pedro I, as Duke of Bragança, began a bloody battle against his brother Dom Miguel I (Michael of Portugal) for the Portuguese crown, in the name of his daughter Maria da Glória.[2] Upon receiving the news of the Duke's victory in Lisbon, Amélie left with her daughter and stepdaughter for Portugal, arriving in the capital 22 September 1833.[13] With Miguel defeated and exiled from Portugal, Dom Pedro and his family established themselves first at Ramalhão Palace and later at Queluz National Palace.[14] The venturesome life of Dom Pedro had undermined his health; he contracted tuberculosis, and died 24 September 1834.[ Amélie never remarried; she moved to the Palácio das Janelas Verdes ("Palace of Green Windows," also known as the Palácio de Alvor-Pombal, now, as of 2012, Portugal's National Museum of Ancient Art) and dedicated herself to charitable works and to her daughter's education  wiki/Amelie_of_Leuchtenberg

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