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Handwritten letter from Princess Francisca (1844)

Handwritten letter from Princess Francisca (1844)

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In 1844, Princess Francisca writes to her sister Januária: “don't leave Pedro alone, be patient, he is your only friend”.

  • Letter from Princess Francisca de Bragança to her sister Januária de Bragança.
  • One sheet, two pages.
  • In Portuguese.
  • 20 cm x 25 cm (each sheet).
  • Saint Cloud, France, October 5, 1844.
  • Excellent condition.
  • Unique piece.

Full transcript

Saint Cloud, France October 5, 1844

My dear Mana Januária

It was with great pleasure that I received your good letters from May 20th to July 27th.

What makes me very sad is to see that the intrigues continue. Do everything you can to ensure that Luis (Count of Áquila, husband of D. Januária) is always on good terms with Pedro, you can be sure that they are the only friends he has and that they are separating, it is a great misfortune not only for the family, as for the country.

Think carefully, don't leave Pedro alone, be patient, he is your only friend, you are also his only friend at court and if you leave him I fear great dangers for the country in the future. I ask you to forgive me for all my advice.

I had the pleasure of embracing Joinville on the 1st after a long absence of 3 and a half months. But at least I had the pleasure of seeing you full of glory and having served your country well.

I'm still doing well with the little one too. I am the happiest person in this world. Everyone shows me many friendships here, the queen (Queen Amélia of France, mother-in-law and great-aunt of D. Francisca, the queen was the maternal aunt of Empress D. Leopoldina) is like a true mother to me.

There is unity in the family which makes our happiness. I ask you to take a message to my brother Luís from me and accept a hug.

Of your affectionate sister,


Francisca (1824-1898) was Princess of Brazil by birth and Princess of Joinville by her marriage to the French prince Francisco de Orleans, third son of the King of the French Louis Philippe I of France. She was the fourth daughter of Emperor and King Peter I and his first wife, Archduchess Maria Leopoldina of Austria. He grew up alongside his brothers Dom Pedro de Alcântara (later Emperor Dom Pedro II of Brazil), Paula Mariana and Januária, under the regency of José Bonifácio de Andrada e Silva. With the abdication of Pedro I of Brazil in 1831 and his move to Europe to regain the Portuguese crown, Januária (1822-1901) became heir to the throne in 1836.

In 1844, when Francisca wrote this letter, she was just twenty years old and had been married for a year, living a new life in Paris with her husband. The most charismatic of the sisters was the first Brazilian princess in history to represent Brazil abroad and the French court liked her, especially the Queen of France.

Francisca and her brothers had been raised by a demanding regency, without parents, probably without much love, in an isolated Brazilian court. The sudden loss of her sister Paula Mariana left the brothers very sad, and Francisca felt deeply responsible for them, especially for Dom Pedro II.

She had little experience in the game of power, but she was aware of the political intrigues in Brazil and the danger they represented for her brothers and the country. All these thoughts and intuitions are expressed in this letter, which makes it a very valuable piece, deserving a special guardian.

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