Luiz II of Brazil

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Luiz II
Emperor of Brazil
Reign 5 December 2010
Coronation 11 April 2011
Predecessor Rafael I
Heir apparent Isabel
Prime ministers See list (2010-Present)
Born (1983-02-21)21 February 1983 (age 36)
Brasília Vera Cruz Palace, Brasília, Federal District, Brazil
Spouse Camila Alves
(m. 2004)
Issue
Detail
  • Isabel, Princess Imperial
  • Prince Lorenzo
  • Princess Alice
Full name
Luiz Xavier Henrique Pedro Miguel Gabriel Rafael Gonzaga
House Orléans-Braganza
Father Pedro IV
Mother Maria of Orléans
Religion Roman Catholicism

Dom Luiz II (Luiz Xavier Henrique Pedro Miguel Gabriel Rafael Gonzaga; born February 21, 1983) is the current ruling Emperor of Brazil. He is the second son of Emperor Pedro IV and his wife, Empress Maria. Alongside his role, he is also the head of the Imperial Family of Brazil. He assumed the throne of Brazil in 2010 following the abdication of his brother.

Luiz was born in Brasília and was educated privately in large schools in the city. During the 80s, when D. Luiz was still a child, like his other siblings, he was rarely seen in public, differently from their older brother Rafael who was heir to the Brazilian Throne and was seen often. He married Brazilian fashion model Camila Alves in 2004, with whom he had three children: Princess Imperial Isabel, Prince Lorenzo and Princess Alice. His brother resigned in December 2010 and Luiz ascended the throne aged 26. His coronation took place on the Cathedral of Brasília.

He is also known for expressing hard-right views and his opposition to homosexuality. Supporters have claimed he has been instrumental in restoring the moral integrity of Brazil, whilst critics have accused him of overstepping his constitutional role and making inappropriate political interventions.

Early life[edit | edit source]

Luiz is the second eldest of the five children of Pedro IV (1960–2009), Emperor of Brazil and head of the Brazilian Imperial House between 1997 and 2009, and Empress Consort Dona Maria of Orleans (b. 1959). He was Baptized in the Cathedral of Brasília one week after his birth.

Officials at the Vera Cruz Palace described Luiz as "a very outgoing boy, but also smart and ambitious". Once the palace governess attributed to Luiz the description of a fierce competitor against his brother D. Rafael, who although was the heir and therefore the "favorite" son didn't care much about a possible reign in the future, leading him to desire coming off as more responsible than his brother.

He studied in traditional schools such as Colégio Dona Isabel in Brasília between 1996 and 1999, later he left Brazil for New York City, where he perfected his language skills, studying there between 2000 and 2002. He is fluent in Portuguese, English, French, Spanish and Russian. He graduated in law and geopolitics at the University of Minas Gerais, from 2006 to 2010.

Marriage and children[edit | edit source]

In March 2002, he met model and socialite Camila Alves, a commoner and one year older than Luiz. They fell in love and started dating in May; in April 2003 the courtship was made official, in December 2003 the engagement and on April 15, 2004 a large and luxurious wedding was held at the Cathedral of Petrópolis. The couple had 3 children: Princess Imperial Isabel Teresa (b. 2005), Prince Lorenzo (b. 2007) and the youngest Princess Alice (b. 2011).

Death of Pedro IV[edit | edit source]

On June 1st, 2009, his father Emperor Dom Pedro IV's took Air France Flight 447 to go on a state trip to France, having pledged at the start of his reign to fly first class on common airliners rather than a royal air service. At around 2 am, the plane crashed on the Atlantic Ocean. Later in July 5 the body of the 48-year-old Monarch was recovered, Luiz was in Recife visiting a friend when, before being personally notified, he saw the news of his father's death on television. Dom Luiz canceled any appointments for the week and immediately flew back to Rio to say goodbye to his father. The body of Dom Pedro IV was laid at a state funeral from July 8 to 11 where 600,000 people passed by the coffin after a small mass at 17:00 his body was carried in a procession of 6.8 kilometers to the station of train, being buried at 09:00 on the 12th at the Imperial Mausoleum in Petrópolis.

Reign[edit | edit source]

Coronation[edit | edit source]

D. Luiz II ascended to the throne on December 5, 2010 after the resignation of his brother D. Rafael, being crowned on 11 April, 2011 as "Dom Luiz II, Constitutional Emperor and Perpetual Defender of Brazil" at the Cathedral of Brasília, as traditionally happens. The ceremony was attended by the Imperial Family, representatives of the executive, legislative and judiciary spheres, among other personalities, such as for example the presidents of Argentina, Paraguay, Uruguay, Chile and Colombia, the President of the United States Hillary Rodham, the King of the United Kingdom William V, the Premier of the Soviet Union Bo Xilai, the President of Korea Moon Jae in, the Emperor of the Empire of Japan Akihito and the President of Nusantara Megawati Sukarnoputri.

A luxurious ceremony was held with a parade of more than 1000 soldiers, 1000 sailors, 1000 members of the Air Force, the Golden carriage pulled by 6 horses, the Smoke Squadron and Cannons of Roses, this event was also televised on all possible platforms.

Finances[edit | edit source]

Dom Luiz personal fortune has been the subject of speculation for years. Forbes magazine once estimated his net worth to be around 62 million reais in 2015, but official statements from the Vera Cruz palace in 2016 state that these estimates are "greatly exaggerated". Flávia Arruda, current secretary of Finance of the Imperial House, claimed his fortune to be at 40 million reais in 2019. The Imperial Collection (which includes works of art and the Crown Jewels) is not the personal property of Dom Luiz II, and is held in trust. The Palaces are property of the monarch, however, as they are considered State Heritage, they cannot be sold by Dom Luiz II. The emperor also owns a portfolio of real estate worth an estimated R$22 million in 2019 - his main source of income besides the anual salary is rent or licenses to use these properties along with investments in some Brazilian companies.

Public image and personality[edit | edit source]

During his youth, as a young prince, Luiz was represented as a promising genius with a life filled with social events and busy life, he was known by the nickname "earthly angel". popularized by a critic of the Veja Magazine after the exorbitant expenses of his eccentric 20-year-old party. Upon ascending the Throne, the emperor's image has become more and more linked to controversies thanks to his opions on matters such as homosexuality, feminism and Integralism, among others.

Dom Luiz II often grants interviews, making the personal opinions of the monarch quite known. As Emperor of Brazil, Luiz periodically needs to externalize his thoughts in order to fufill his duties as the Moderating Power. In general, Dom Luiz II since his coronation has been increasingly affiliating himself with ideas of the far-right such as during the 2014 and 2018 elections, Luiz II has given an endorsement the Progressive Reform Party under the leadership of Levy Fidelix, an unprecedented move with no other monarch in Brazilian history ever explicitly supporting a political candidate or party. When asked about his decision he answered "The world is rotting, and I want to be the one who will make a move in favour of our greatest soldiers against the rot".

After the victory of Ciro Gomes' party on the election results Luiz said that "Although its with great disappointment how I see the loss of Levy, I must abide by the law along with the popular will and allow his government to be formed." The Emperor and the current Prime Minister are known to be quite cold with each other due to both men's disagreements and stubborn personalities.

The emperor is patron of over one hundred organizations and charities. His main leisure interests include reading and time with his family. Luiz and his family usually prepare lunch together from time to time.

Controversies[edit | edit source]

Integralism[edit | edit source]

Luiz II has several times spoken positively of the prime ministry of Plínio Salgado, declaring that "a few more decades of him and women would have remained in the kitchen." He also used their motto "God, fatherland and family" during a meeting with other Latin American heads of state and government.

Matthew McConaughey[edit | edit source]

In 2018, Luiz II issued a royal decree ordering an investigation of the then recently elected Texan Governor Matthew McConaughey, claiming he had secret information about him engaging "disgusting perverted acts" with "several high society women". The decree was later annulled in a near-unanimous vote by Parliament and eventually the Emperor backed down from this claims. Foreign observers have speculated this is due to an alleged affair McConaughey has had with Luiz II's wife in 2006. McCounaghney later called his reign a "total shame for all Brazilians."

Homosexuality[edit | edit source]

In a June 2011 interview with Playboy magazine, Luiz II said, "Brazil is incapable of having a gay King", and added if his heir apparent was gay, he would "disinherit him and bar him from the succession". In the same interview, he said that any LGBT rights activists that protested his rule "would be beaten by the Royal Guard."

Misogyny[edit | edit source]

Luiz II believes that "feminism is a cancer that will destroy Brazilian society and turn my daughter into a man." A leaked insider report has indicated that these remarks have caused Isabel Maria to estrange herself from her father.

Climate change[edit | edit source]

Luiz II spoke during a public speech in 2012 that "although climate change has been scientifically proven to be real, the current consensus about global warming is a product of ecoterrorist psychosis" he later came out and expanded his claim by saying that the so called current consensus has been created by a group who uses leftist parties and ecological activism groups as a pawn whether they know it or not.