Princess Isabel (1846-1921), heiress to the Brazilian throne, was born in the Paço de São Cristóvão, Quinta da Boa Vista, Rio de Janeiro, on July 29, 1846. On October 15, 1864, she married Prince Gastão d' Orléans, Count of Eu (1842-1922). She had three sons: Prince Dom Pedro de Alcântara Orléans e Bragança (b. 1875-?), Dom Luís de Orléans e Bragança (1878-1920), and Dom Antônio Orléans e Bragança (1881-1918).
Isabel was regent of the empire three times while her father, Emperor Dom Pedro II (1825-1891), traveled abroad. During the last regency, using her prerogatives as the Imperial Princess Regent, she signed the "Lei Áurea" (Golden Law) effectively banning slavery on May 13, 1888. For this act, she was awarded the "Rose of Gold" medal by Pope Leon XIII.
When the monarchy fell in 1889, Isabel accompanied the other members of the royal family into exile in France, where she died in 1921. Her body was taken to Brazil aboard the Barroso in 1953 and she was buried in the Petrópolis cathedral.
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