Archduchess of Austria and Empress of Brazil (1797-1826). Dom Pedro I's wife, has a decisive influence on the country's independence process.
Maria Leopoldina Josefa Carolina (22/1 / 1797-11 / 12/1826), daughter of Francis I of Austria and Dona Maria Isabel de Bourbon, is born and raised in Vienna, one of the most powerful European courts of the time. Napoleon Bonaparte's sister-in-law, well-educated and well-versed in biology, is promised by her father in marriage to the heir to the throne of the United Kingdom of Portugal, Brazil and the Algarve, Dom Pedro I. Marries by proxy and arrives in Brazil in 1817 to meet her husband. It adapts quickly to the new land, becomes fond of local customs and becomes sympathetic to the project to liberate the colony of Portugal. In 1821 he meets José Bonifácio, a great defender of independence and critic of absolutism, with whom he becomes very close. In August 1822 he held the regency in the absence of the prince, who was in São Paulo. On this occasion, she sends her papers and comments from the metropolis, which criticize her performance and that of Dom João VI. Added to this is a letter from José Bonifácio and one of his own, both demanding an immediate attitude from the Crown Prince: proclaiming independence. In his correspondence he writes: "The apple is ripe, pick it up now, otherwise it will rot." In December 1822, she became empress at the coronation and consecration ceremony of Dom Pedro. The following year begins to lose popularity and prestige for her husband's lover, the Marquise de Santos. Dies in Rio de Janeiro during the birth of his seventh child.