Friday, February 24, 2012
Consort Profile: Maria Leopoldina of Austria
Not long after Leopoldina’s father-in-law, King Joao VI, returned to Portugal along with most of the royal family. Dom Pedro, however, remained in Brazil (a country he loved and had grown up in) to act as regent for his father. Dom Pedro was happy to stay behind (though the King was initially upset by it) but life was not so entirely happy for Princess Leopoldina. Her husband neglected her (probably an ancestress of Adriana Lima is to blame) and she was extremely worried about the political situation and the future of her family, both in Europe and her own children. Her anguish increased with the death of Prince Joao in 1822 and even the birth of another daughter could not fully lift the spirits of the mourning parents. Dom Pedro was beginning to worry about his brother Dom Miguel replacing him and a son of his own was sorely needed. Unfortunately, when Princess Leopoldina next gave birth in 1823 it was to a third girl, Princess Paula Mariana.