Monday, April 18, 2011

Death of a Princess

Copyright: Ulrike Bartsch
with her granddaughter Maria do Carmen

Princess Teresa of Orleans-Braganca died today in at her home in Estoril, Portugal.  She was 92 years old.

HRH Princess Teresa Maria Teodora Micaela Gabriela Rafaela Gonzaga was the youngest of five children of Dom Pedro de Alcantara of Orleans-Braganca and Countess Elisabeth Dobrzensky von Dobrzenicz.   Dom Pedro was the eldest son of Isabel, Princess Imperial of Brazil and Prince Gaston of Orléans, Count d'Eu.   As Countess Elisabeth was not of equal rank,  Pedro's descendants are not Brazilian dynasts.  

Teresa was the last of the five children, as her siblings predeceased.  Her eldest sister was Princess Isabelle, who married Prince Henri, Count of Paris.  She died in 2003. Prince  Pedro de Alcantara, who married Princess Maria de la Esperanza of Bourbon-Two-Sicilies, died in 2007.  Princess Maria Francisca, the wife of Duarte Nino, Duke of Braganza, died in 1968.  Prince Joao, who was married three times, died in 2005.

Due to her impeccable genealogy,  Princess Teresa had all the right stuff for an equal marriage.  There were reports that she would marry Archduke Otto of Austria, Prince Charles of Belgium, the Duke of Braganza (who married her sister) or Prince Konstantin of Bavaria.  But the prince who won her heart was Prince Carlo of Bourbon-Two Sicilies.  She was 17 years old when Prince Carlo was killed in the Spanish civil war.   Carlo's sister, Esperanza, married Teresa's older brother, Pedro.

After moving to Portugal in the 1950s, she became close friends with the Countess of Barcelona, who was Doña Esperanza's sister, and the mother of the future King Juan Carlos.

On October 7, 1957 at Sintra, Portugal,  Teresa married Ernesto Martorell y Caldero.  He died in January 1985.  The couple had two daughters, Elisabeth, born in 1959, and Nuria, born in 1960. 

Princess Teresa is survived by her daughters, and two granddaughters, Maria Theresa Salgado and Maria do Carmo Calem.

The Princess' motto: "The secret to reaching this age is to be happy and a good Christian, loving God and always believe.If we do not lose these capabilities, we can overcome everything."

1 comment:

Maria Menezes said...

Thank you for your post about Princess Thereza of Orleans and Bragança.