#LoveBeautiful: Isabel and her husband Gaston

Happy Monday Folks! Following current enormous sports event the Olympic Games, we choose to present you the extraordinary country

Brazil

As you, all know our Monday’s topic are historical love stories.

In this sense, we are delighted to present you the unusual story from

Isabel, Princess Imperial of Brazil and her husband Gaston Count of Eu

Isabel was short, had blue eyes, blond hair, was a little overweight and lacked eyebrows. Her father sought a match among the royal house of France, and initially, Pierre, Duke of Penthièvre, the son of the Prince of Joinville, was considered. His mother was Isabel’s aunt Princess Francisca of Brazil. Pierre, however, was not interested and declined. Instead, Joinville suggested his nephews, Gaston, Count of Eu, and Prince Ludwig August of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha as suitable choices for the imperial princesses. The two young men travelled to Brazil in August 1864 so that the prospective brides and grooms could meet before a final agreement to the marriage. Isabel and Leopoldina were not informed until Gaston and August were mid-Atlantic. Arriving in early September, Gaston described the princesses as “ugly”, but thought Isabel less so than her sister. For her part, Isabel in her own words “began to feel a great and tender love” for Gaston. Gaston and Isabel, and August and Leopoldina, were engaged on 18 September.

On 15 October, Gaston and Isabel were married at the Imperial Chapel in Rio by the archbishop of Bahia. Although Gaston encouraged his wife to read broadly, and the Emperor took her on tours of government offices, her outlook remained one of narrow domesticity. She led a life typical of aristocratic women of her generation. For the first six months of 1865, she and her husband toured Europe. As Brazil had broken off diplomatic relations with Britain, and her French relations had been deposed in France, they travelled as private citizens and met Queen Victoria as relatives, not as official state guests.On their return to Brazil, Gaston was called to the battle front of the Paraguayan War by the Emperor, leaving Isabel lonely at Rio.

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After the conclusion of the war in 1870, Gaston and Isabel again toured Europe. In early 1871, they were in Vienna, where her sister Leopoldina fell fatally ill and died, leaving Isabel the sole surviving child of her parents.

Throughout the first years of her marriage, Isabel was eager to have children, but her first pregnancy ended in miscarriage in October 1872. Worried about her apparent inability to conceive, during a visit to Europe in 1873 she consulted a specialist doctor, and visited the shrine at Lourdes. By December 1873, she was pregnant. Despite Isabel’s pleas to remain in Europe until after the birth, the Emperor insisted she returned to Brazil so that the child, who might inherit the throne, would not be born abroad. They arrived at Rio in June 1874. After a labor of 50 hours in late July, the baby died in the womb. Her Catholic faith provided some solace, but her association with ultramontanism, which emphasized the authority of the Church over the government, drew criticism from those who thought the Church should defer to temporal authorities.

Isabel remained concerned throughout her third pregnancy, in 1875, fearful that it would again end in failure. A doctor and midwife from France were brought over for the birth, to the dismay of local physicians whose pride was wounded by Isabel’s use of foreign practitioners. After a labor of 13 hours, a boy, baptized Pedro de Alcântara after his grandfather, was delivered with the aid of forceps. Possibly as the result of the difficult delivery, Pedro was born with a disabled left arm.

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On Pedro II’s return to Brazil in late September 1877, he avoided speaking to Isabel, and distanced himself from the government’s actions during the regency by declaring that throughout his entire journey he had not sent “a single telegram on the country’s affairs” to any minister or Isabel. Isabel retired to her estate at Petrópolis where she gave birth to a second son, Luiz, in late January 1878. Three months later, Gaston, Isabel and their two sons left Brazil for an extended stay in Europe, where Pedro was to receive medical treatment for his arm. Throughout their stay of three and a half years, Isabel avoided politics and showed no interest in current affairs. Pedro’s treatment proved futile, and the couple made plans to return after the birth (with the assistance of forceps) of their final child and third son, Antônio, in August 1881. Isabel and her family returned to Brazil in December 1881.

LoveStory believes that building a family and having children will completely change your life and once set priorities such as career goals, speaking about the 21st-century shift around and your own famil begin to be the most important part of your life!

Don’t risk to show your feeling and follow your heart! Take care of your loved ones and share your story with us using today’s hashtag #LoveBeautiful

 

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