Agustín I of Mexico

Agustín de Iturbide y Arámburu (1783 – 1824) was born into an aristocratic landowning New Spanish (Mexican) family of Basque noble origin. He was a military commander of the Mexican War of Independence and became Mexico's first Emperor, reigning as Agustín I from 1822 to 1823. Mexico was the only former Spanish colony to establish a monarchy upon independence.

An elaborate coronation was held on 21 July 1822 at the Cathedral of Mexico City. The President of Congress placed the Crown on Agustin’s head, establishing the preeminence of the Constitution. Spanning from Panama to Oregon, the vast empire included parts of present-day Arizona, California, Colorado, Nevada, New Mexico, Oregon, Texas, and Utah.

The Empress Consort of Mexico, Ana María Huarte (1786-1861) belonged to a prominent noble family, the House of Tagle, who traced their ancestry to 6th-century Asturias in Spain and included the Marquis of Altamira. The Emperor and Empress had ten children together. After the dissolution of the empire in 1823, she went into exile with her husband, but upon becoming a widow in 1824 moved to the United States. The Mexican Congress paid her an annual pension as a former Empress from 1824-1847. She died in 1861 in Philadelphia. 

Agustín I enjoyed much popular support, partly due to his status as a hero of independence.  Nonetheless, deep economic woes and caustic power struggles between the Emperor and Congress —which he dissolved—led to an armed revolt, culminating with his abdication and exile in 1823. Upon returning to Mexico in an effort to regain the throne, he was arrested and executed in 1824. 

Agustin Iturbide Emperor of Mexico


Agustín Jerónimo de Iturbide y Huarte (1807-66)

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Agustín Jerónimo de Iturbide y Huarte was the firstborn son of Emperor Agustín I of Mexico. He was 15 when his father was crowned Emperor and he became Prince Imperial, but within a year the family went into exile in Europe. When his father was killed in 1824, he became the Head of the Imperial House of Mexico, and remained as pretender and Titular Emperor of Mexico until the establishment of Maximilian’s Second Mexican Empire. He withdrew his claim to the throne in favor of Maximilian, who appointed Iturbide y Huarte’s nephews as heirs to the throne. He served as a military officer and as a diplomat at the Mexican Embassy in London and Washington and had no children. (Image: Wikipedia) 

Princes of Iturbide: Agustín (1863-1925) and Salvador (1849-95)

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Seeing that he could not have children, Emperor Maximilian appointed as his heirs two grandsons of the previous Mexican emperor Agustín I: Agustín de Iturbide y Green (pictured) and Salvador de Iturbide y Marzán. He granted them the title Princes of Iturbide with the style of Highness, thus uniting the Iturbide and Habsburg claims of the respective first and second Mexican empires.

Prince Agustín became head of the Imperial House of Mexico upon Emperor Maximilian's death but had no issue. His parents were Prince Ángel María de Iturbide y Huarte (1816–72), Emperor Agustin's second son, and American-born Alice Green.

It is through Prince Salvador that the current line of pretenders descends. His father was Emperor Agustin I's third son Prince Salvador of Mexico, and his mother was Rosario de Marzán y Guisasola. He married Baroness Gizella Mikos de Taródháza and had three daughters. The eldest, María Josepha, became the Head of the Imperial House in 1925.

Maximilian Augustin von Götzen-Iturbide (b. 1944)

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The current head of the Imperial House of Mexico is Maximilian Gustav Albrecht Richard Augustin von Götzen-Iturbide born in Hungary in 1944. His grandmother was María Josepha de Iturbide, former Head of the Imperial House. He is thus a great-grandson of Prince Salvador de Iturbide — grandson of Agustín I and adopted son of the second Mexican Emperor Maximilian I. Monarchists refer to him as His Imperial Highness the Crown Prince of Mexico. 

Although he does not claim the Mexican throne, he is active in maintaining the legacy of Agustín I. In 2008 he wrote, “the Crown of Mexico does not exist and will not exist, so I cannot speak of lineage in Mexico; the only objective I to clear the name of Don Agustín de Iturbide.” Von Götzen-Iturbide lives in Perth, Australia, with his wife. Before that, he lived in Venezuela and Uruguay. 

Ferdinand von Götzen-Iturbide (b. 1992)

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Australian-born Ferdinand von Götzen-Iturbide is the son and heir of Maximilian Gustav Albrecht Richard Augustin von Götzen-Iturbide (1944), the current head of the Imperial House of Mexico. A 3x-great-grandson of Emperor Agustín I, he lives in Amsterdam and is considered Prince Imperial of Mexico by monarchist supporters.

Coat of Arms of the First Mexican Empire (1822-1823).

Portrait of Anna Maria Iturbide, Empress of Mexico by Josephus Arias Huerta, 1822. In 2017, it was discovered via x-ray photography that the portrait was painted over an earlier portrait of Queen María Luisa of Spain. Credit: Philadelphia Museum of Art.

Emperor Agustín's coronation ceremony was held on 21 July 1822 at the Metropolitan Cathedral of Mexico City. The President of the Mexican Congress placed the crown on Agustin’s head, establishing the preeminence of the Constitution.

Reigned as

Agustín I, Emperor of Mexico


19 May 1822 – 19 March 1823


21 July 1822


First Mexican Empire (1821 - 1823)

Objects in our Collection

Drawing, 1822  

Sketched portrait of Ana María Huarte (1786-1861) depicting the widowed former Empress of Mexico during her years of exile in Philadelphia.

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