The monarch and his or her immediate family (Brazilian Royal Family) undertake various official, ceremonial, diplomatic and representational duties. As the monarchy is constitutional, the monarch is limited to non-partisan functions such as bestowing honours and appointing the Chancellor. The monarch is, by tradition, commander-in-chief of the Brazilian Armed Forces. Though the ultimate formal executive authority over the government of Brazil is still by and through the monarch's royal prerogative, these powers may only be used according to the Constitution, laws enacted in the Congress and, in practice, within the constraints of convention and precedent.
The Brazilian monarchy traces its origins from the petty County of Portugal of early medieval Iberian Peninsula, which consolidated into the kingdom of Portugal in 1139. In 1383, the House of Burgundy was replaced by the House of Aviz and, after a Spanish dynastic period between 1580 and 1640, by the House of Braganza.
Brazil was colony of Portugal between 1500 and 1815, when, after the transfer of the Portuguese court to Brazil, it became a kingdom of its own, united to Portugal and under the House of Braganza.
The political conflicts between Portugal and Brazil under the same Crown turned to a full scale war, and after the Independence the House of Braganza was split into two distinct and, at some point, hostile monarchies: the Portuguese one and the Brazilian one.
After the War of the Portuguese Succession, known in Portugal as the Second Brazilian Intervention, the daughter of the current Brazilian monarch, Pedro I, became Queen Maria II of Portugal and Brazil imposed a new constitution over the Portuguese monarchy.
In 1910, the Portuguese monarchy ended with the deposition of Manuel II. While the Brazilian branch still reigns in Brazil nowadays. Some groups in both countries still maintain the political aspiration of unify Brazil and Portugal again, if not as a single country, at least as a united kingdom. These aspiration, called Luso-Brazilianism, is a mean because about a third of Portuguese monarchists wish a monarch from the Brazilian Braganzas and not from the deposed Portuguese Royal Family.
During the 19th, the Brazilian monarchy expanded its domains by imperialism, at its highest point gathering titles at the Imperial Realms, de jure independent nations under the Brazilian Crown, as the Grand Duchies of Cadiz and Zenith and the Kingdoms of Cyprus, Angola and Madagascar and the Principality of Singapore.
Nowadays, in conformity with the "One Nation, Many Continents" policy, which is in practice since the 1940s, the Brazilian monarchy is considered not only a American monarchy, as well as a European, Asian and Oceanian one, just as Brazil itself is.
While the Brazilian monarch official residence is the Alvorada Royal Palace, in Brasília, since 1964, the monarch traditionally alternate between Brasília and the Guanabara Royal Palace, in Rio de Janeiro. Also, there are at least one official royal residence in each overseas federative unit: the Stella Altissimi Royal Palace, in Zenith; the Peninsula Royal Castle, in Cádiz; the Patan Royal Castle, in Cozumel; the Al Hassan Royal Castle, in Socotra; the Maui Royal Palace, in the Brazilian Polynesia; and the Josan's Royal Palace, in Jeju.
List of Brazilian Monarchs
This lists all Brazilian regnant monarchs in Brazil's history. For the monarchs' consorts, see: List of Consorts of Brazil
|Name and Dynasty||Portrait||Reign||Cognomen||Notes|
|D. Maria (I of Portugal) of Braganza and Bourbon||1814-1816||The Mad||Despite being officially the first monarch of Brazil, she did not rule. She had succumbed to the mental illness which had given her the cognomen.|
|D. John (VI of Portugal) of Braganza and Bourbon||1816-1821||The Merciful||One of the central figures in the Independence of Brazil, he raised the colony to the status of kingdom united to Portugal in 1815, still as Prince Regent.|
|After the independence, the titles of treatment Dom and Dona (both abbreviated to D.) to the monarch, as well as the titles Infante and Infanta to the non-firstborn monarch's children, were abolished as an attempt to break any Portuguese bonds of the Braganza's dynasty.|
|Pedro I (IV of Portugal) of Braganza and Bourbon||1821-1850||
|Leader of the Independence, he separated the Portuguese and Brazilian monarchies in the act that created a new world power. A military genius since childhood, he was the head of the Brazilian expansion throughout South America.|
|Pedro II of Braganza and Habsburg||1850-1893||
|His government was known to have consolidated Brazil as a world power. The Second Pedrist Age was a period of growing prestige and cultural and scientific flowering, with the the Universal Exhibition of Rio in 1872 as its period major milestone.|
|Miguel of Braganza and Hohenzollern||1893-1921||
|With the Declaration of Petrópolis of 1915, he renounced his relations with the House of Hohenzollern, the German Empire ruling dynasty, due to the World War I.
Born in 1870, because of the fact of being the first son of Pedro II who did not die in childhood (one was killed by a terrorist attack in the USA in 1866 when he was 12 and two drowned in a pond in 1873 when they were 6), he was called The Miraculous.
|Marco I of Braganza||1921-1932||The Literate||He unexpectedly died of fulminant attack on the Winter Palace in Pinhais, Paraná. He left no heirs and was succeeded by his younger sister, Eliza Regina.|
|Eliza Regina of Braganza||1932-1955||
|She was first Brazilian monarch to play an active role in the command of the Brazil Armed Forces since Pedro I. She assumed a leadership role among Brazilian military leaders in World War II.|
|Helena of Braganza||1955-2002||
|Her moderate policy was characterized by diplomacy and acts of charity. She is considered one of the symbols of the struggle for peace in the 20th century. She abdicated in 2002 on behalf of her son, saying only that she was tired.|
|Raoni of Braganza||2002||The shortest reign in the history of Brazil, he was king for 17 days. Battling brain cancer for three years, he was hospitalized for stroke a few days after the coronation. At the hospital, he abdicated in the name of his eldest son, Marco César and died two months after that.|
|Marco II of Braganza||2002-Present||
|He ascended the Throne in 2002 when he was 22 after the abdication of his father, King Raoni.|
Succession is governed by the Brazilian constitution of 1824. As defined in it, the Brazilian monarchy law of succession is ruled by absolute primogeniture. The monarch's elder children inherit before younger ones, regardless being men or women. If the monarch dies or abdicate without heirs, the eldest of his or her brothers and sisters become the new monarch. If the former monarch does not have any child, brothers or sisters, his or her eldest uncle or aunt (relative to the monarch's parent who was the previous monarch) become the new monarch. With there are no living uncle or aunt, the eldest child of the uncle or aunt who would be monarch becomes the new monarch, and so on.
Brazil is one of the only current European monarchy, alongside with Belgium, that does not apply the tradition of the new monarch automatically ascending the throne upon the death or abdication of the previous monarch. According to Article 102 of the Brazilian constitution, the monarch accedes to the throne only upon taking a constitutional oath before a joint session of the two Houses of Congress. The joint session has to be held within ten days of the death of the deceased or abdicated king. The new Brazilian monarch is required to take the Brazilian constitutional oath, "I swear to observe the Constitution and the laws of the Brazilian people, to maintain the national independence and the integrity of the territory," which is uttered in Portuguese.
The monarch is crowned two times one in the Maristerium and, other in the Senate, to symbolize the certitude of the Congress and the people. A coronation is not necessary for a monarch to reign; indeed, the ceremony usually takes place many months after the constitutional oath to allow sufficient time for its preparation and for a period of mourning. After an individual ascends the throne, he or she reigns until death. The abdication is voluntary and a right guaranteed by the constitution, which states that "every men is free to choose, even the monarch."
As Brazil's monarchy and constitution is secular, the monarch's religion is not a concern, since it do not interfere in his or her constitutional role and religious neutrality.
The constitution also defines the regency rules. It allows for regencies in the event of a monarch who is a minor or who is physically or mentally incapacitated. When a regency is necessary, the next qualified individual in the line of succession automatically becomes regent, unless they themselves are a minor or incapacitated. During a temporary physical infirmity or an absence from the kingdom, the monarch may temporarily delegate some of his or her functions to five Regent-Councilors: the monarch's spouse and the first four adults in the line of succession. If the monarch is still unmarried, it is added one more Regent-Councilor from the line of succession to take the place that would belong to the monarch's spouse.
The Brazilian monarchy symbolises and maintains a feeling of national unity by representing the country in public functions and international meetings.
The Brazilian Constitution entrusts the monarch with federal executive powers: the appointment and dismissal of ministers, the implementation of the laws passed by the Congress, the submission of bills to the Congress and the management of international relations. The monarch sanctions and promulgates all laws passed by the Congress. In accordance with Article 112 of the Brazilian Constitution, the monarch cannot act without the countersignature of the responsible minister, who in doing so assumes political responsibility. This means that federal executive power is exercised in practice by the Union (sometimes called the Crown, it is used to refer to the Brazilian federal government).
The monarch receives the Chancellor at the Alvorada Palace or the Guanabara Palace at least once a month, and also regularly calls other members of the government to the palace in order to discuss political matters. During these meetings, the monarch has the right to be informed of proposed governmental policies, the right to advise, and the right to warn on any matter as the monarch sees fit. The monarch also holds meetings with the leaders of all the major political parties and regular members of the Congress. All of these meetings are organised by the monarch's personal political cabinet which is part of the Royal Household (Agência da Casa Real).
The monarch is the Commander-in-Chief of the Brazilian Armed Forces and makes appointments to the higher positions, however it is the Chancellor, as Regent-Commander, who de facto commands the military. Brazilians may write to the monarch when they meet difficulties with administrative powers.
The monarch is also one of the three components of the federal legislative power, in accordance with the Brazilian Constitution, together with the two chambers of the National Congress: the Magisterium and the Senate. All laws passed by the Congress must be signed and promulgated by the monarch.
Differently from most of the modern constitutional monarchies, the Brazilian monarchy is semi-presidential and the monarch has some political powers. The monarch is Head of State and shares the Headship of Government with the Chancellor. However, since the World War II it is usual for the monarch to not exercise his or her powers as Head of Government in favor to the Chancellor.
The monarch is also the Grand Master of the Brazilian national orders of knighthood: the Order of the Southern Cross, the Order of Columbus, the Order of the Highest Star, the Order of the Condor, the Order of the Harpy and Order of the West.
The royal palaces are property of the Brazilian state and given for the use of the reigning monarch; While the House of Braganza possesses a large number of personal belongings, items such as paintings, historical artifacts and jewellery are usually associated with the performance of royal duties and/or the decoration of royal residences. As such, these items have a cultural significance beyond that of simple artworks and jewellery, and have therefore been placed in the hands of trusts: the House of Braganza Archives Trust and the House of Braganza Historic Collections Trust. Part of the collection is on permanent loan to Royal Museum in Rio de Janeiro and the Brazilian Royalty Museum in Zenith.
The crown jewels and the Royal Collection have been placed in the Crown Property Trust. The trust also holds the items used on ceremonial occasions, such as the carriages, table silver, and dinner services. Placing these goods in the hands of a trust ensures that they will remain at the disposal of the monarch in perpetuity. The Royal Archives house the personal archives of the royal family. This includes books, photographs, maps, and artworks, as well as the books of the House of Braganza and the music library. The library was begun in 1808, following the return of the run of the Portuguese Royal Family to Brazil. The library houses a collection of some 100,000 books, journals and brochures. The music library has 9000 scores, going back to the mid 18th century.
The monarch and the Brazilian Royal Family are financed mainly by the hereditary revenues of the Crown's Treasure. The Crown's Treasure is a collection of lands and holdings in Brazil belonging to the Brazilian monarch as a corporation sole, making it the "monarch's public estate", which is neither government property nor part of the monarch's private estate. The Congress uses a percentage of the Crown's Treasure, to meet the costs of the monarch's official expenditures. This includes the costs of the upkeep of the various royal residences, staffing, travel and state visits, public engagements, and official entertainment. The Magistor is head of the Crown's Treasure Office and has overall responsibility for the management of the monarch's financial affairs.
Besides the Crown's Treasure, which belongs to the monarch, but is not his or her property, the monarch can have a private income from his or her personal investment portfolio.
Though his personal wealth and income are not known, an official statement from the Congress in 2011 estimated that King Marco's wealth was of about US$ 2.6 billion "grossly overstated", the sixth highest among the current monarchs. In 2012, he inherited part of his grandmother's estate, thought to have been worth R$ 300 million.
The monarch is subject to indirect taxes such as value added tax and pays income tax and capital gains tax on personal income. Parliamentary grants to the monarch are not treated as income as they are solely for official expenditure.
The monarch's official residence in Brasília is the Alvorada Palace, although the Guanabara Palace, in Rio de Janeiro, which has been traditionally the official residence between 1847 and 1962, are also a main residence alongside with Brasília. They are the sites of most state banquets, investitures and other ceremonies. Historically, the Palace of Boa Vista was the official monarch's residence until 1847.
Alongside the official residences, the Brazilian monarch also has many other residences around the country. At least one by region and one by overseas federative unit.
The palaces belong to the Crown; they are held in trust for future rulers, and cannot be sold by the monarch. Avilar House in Porto Seguro, Bahia, and Castelo Andino in Valadares, Ecuador, are privately owned by the King.
Differently from most of the former and current monarchies, the Brazilian monarchy does not summon legitimacy from any religious belief. The sovereignty belongs to the people, and the monarch's legitimacy comes from the Constitution. As, in Brazil, the Constitution is the law above any religion, the monarch's religion is not a concern and he is free to have any one, or to not have one, since it do not shock with his role as monarch and with the Constitution.
As a secular monarchy, Brazil's monarchy lacks of religious rituals, traditions and obligations. However, some see the monarchy's traditions, symbols and secularized rituals themselves as a civic religion of sorts.
Of all Brazilian monarchs, four were Catholic, four were Protestant, one was Kardecist and one was Atheist.
The present monarch's full style and title is "Marco the Second, by Acclamation of the People and the Royal Constitution, of the United Provinces of Brazil and Perpetual Defender of the Brazilians". The Congress first granted the title "Perpetual Defender of the Brazilians" to King Pedro I in 1820, rewarding him for his support of Brazilian autonomy during the Luso-Brazilian Constitutional Crisis, which led to the Independence.
The Brazilian monarch's style states King "of the United Provinces of Brazil" instead of "King of Brazil" as a way to express Brazil's federalist composition as a country.
The monarch is known as "His Majesty" or "Her Majesty". The form "Majestade Brasílica" (Portuguese: Brasilic Majesty) appears in international treaties and on passports to differentiate the Brazilian monarch from foreign rulers. The monarch chooses his or her regnal name from one of their, not necessarily his or her first name (e.g., João Pedro of Braganza became King Pedro II and Maria Helena of Braganza became Queen Helena).
The style of the Brazilian monarch has varied over the years, mostly because of the Brazilian colonial expansion during the 19th century.
|1815-1821||By the Grace of God, King [or Queen] of the United Kingdom of Portugal, Brazil, and the Algarves of either side of the sea in Africa, Lord of Guinea and of Conquest, Navigation, and Commerce of Ethiopia, Arabia, Persia, and India, etc.
(Pela Graça de Deus, Rei [ou Rainha] do Reino Unido de Portugal, Brasil e dos Algarves, d'Aquém e d'Além-Mar em África, Senhor(a) da Guiné e da Conquista, Navegação e Comércio da Etiópia, Arábia, Pérsia e Índia, etc.)
|1821-1875||By Acclamation of the People and the Royal Constitution, King [or Queen] of the United Provinces of Brazil and Perpetual Defender of the Brazilians; Emperor of the West.
(Pela Aclamação do Povo e da Real Constituição, Rei [ou Rainha] das Províncias Unidas do Brasil e Defensor Perpétuo dos Brasileiros; Imperador do Ocidente.)
|1875-1947||By Acclamation of the People and the Royal Constitution, King [or Queen] of the United Provinces of Brazil and Perpetual Defender of the Brazilians; King of Cyprus, Madagascar and Angola, Lord of the Eastern Arabian Emirs; Prince of Singapore; Grand Duke of Zenith and Cadiz; the Northern Inca; Protector of the Amerindians of the Realm.
(Pela Aclamação do Povo e da Real Constituição, Rei [ou Rainha] das Províncias Unidas do Brasil e Defensor Perpétuo dos Brasileiros; Rei do Chipre, de Madagáscar e de Angola; Senhor dos Emires da Arábia Oriental; Príncipe de Cingapura; Grão-Duque de Zenith e Cádiz; Inca de Norte; Protetor dos Ameríndios do Reino.)
|1947-Present||By Acclamation of the People and the Royal Constitution, King [or Queen] of the United Provinces of Brazil and Perpetual Defender of the Brazilians.
(Pela Aclamação do Povo e da Real Constituição, Rei [ou Rainha] das Províncias Unidas do Brasil e Defensor Perpétuo dos Brasileiros.)