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Today marks the Anniversary of the death of Madame The Countess of Paris, who died on this day in 2003. Born Princess Isabelle of Orléans-Braganza, she was the eldest daughter of Prince Pedro de Alcântara, Prince of Grão-Pará and Countess Elisabeth Dobrzensky of Dobrzenicz. Spending her early childhood at the Chateau d’Eu and the Hotel Lambert in Paris as well as maternal family estates in Czechoslovakia, Austria, and Poland, the family was allowed to return to Brazil in 1920, and went to reside at the Grão-Pará Palace. In 1930, Princess Isabelle married her third cousin, the Count of Paris, the Heir to the House of Orléans, in Palermo. The couple had 11 children, including the Count of Paris, Duchess of Württemberg, the Duchess of Calabria, and the Duchess of Aosta, and separated in 1986. The law banning members of the House of Orléans was rescinded in 1950 and the family were allowed to return to France, where they took up management of the great family wealth in Belgium, North Africa, Brazil, Portugal and France, which the Count dissipated in a number of years. After lavishly celebrating her 90th Birthday with more than 100 of her children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren in 2001, the Countess of Paris passed away in 2003.
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