On November 24, 1891, Pedro II made an entry in his diary, stating, “Deodoro has been concluded,” referring to the news of the resignation of the man who helped orchestrate the coup for the republic in Brazil. Following this entry, Pedro II embarked on a lengthy carriage ride along the Seine River, despite the day’s significantly low temperature. Upon returning to Hotel Bedford, where Dom Pedro II was staying, he began to feel chilled during the evening, and in the subsequent days, his illness progressed into pneumonia, deteriorating his condition rapidly.

The final moments of Emperor Dom Pedro II

On December 2, 1891, no celebration took place for his 66th birthday. The majesty gathered only with family members and a few close friends. The following morning, his health deteriorated significantly, prompting other relatives to visit him for what seemed to be their last encounter. By December 4, there was no improvement in his medical condition, and at twelve-thirty-five in the morning of December 5, 1891, three days after his birthday, Dom Pedro II passed away.

Thus ended the life of the man who was born into an imperial cradle, lost his mother at the tender age of 1, and his father at 5. Dom Pedro II had no time for childhood amusements, for at the age of 5, he was already treated differently, as his life was reduced to fulfilling the state’s desires. He studied all day long, had no time for play, and carried the weight of the entire country on his shoulders at the age of 14, enduring it tirelessly for almost 50 years.

His marriage came at an early age to someone he barely knew, he witnessed the deaths of three out of four children, experienced the birth of a stillborn granddaughter who would have been the heiress, and, in the end, as an elderly and sick man, he suffered a great coup d’état that stripped him of his most precious possession, the right to live in Brazil.

The final moments of Emperor Dom Pedro II
The funeral procession of H.M.I. Emperor Dom Pedro II of Brazil, with his coffin wrapped in an Imperial Flag, as recorded by a French periodical of the time.

Dom Pedro II was expelled along with his family on a cold dawn, departing into exile without any chance to bid farewell to the Brazilians. The majesty witnessed the death of his wife and learned that his country, the country he fought to keep calm and progressing, was falling apart in conflicts and corruption. Dom Pedro II died of pneumonia in a modest hotel in exile, in France, and his final request, on his deathbed, was:

Peace and prosperity to Brazil! – Dom Pedro II

As they prepared his body for burial, his son-in-law, the Count d’Eu, found a package with a note that said:

It is the soil of my country, I wish for it to be placed in my coffin in case I die far from my homeland. – Dom Pedro II

Reference: CELSO, Conde de Affonso. O imperador no exílio. Brasil: Linotipo Digital, 2018.

Brazilian History
Matheus Araújo
Founder and Editor at Brazilian History | Website

Matheus is an entrepreneur at Araujo Media, where he serves as CEO and Creative Director. He shares analyses on his personal blog "matheusaraujo.me" and is currently pursuing a degree in Advertising and Propaganda. Moreover, he has a passion for history, particularly that of Brazil, which led him to become the founder and editor of the Brazilian History portal.