Napoleon II: biography and interesting facts

In the history of France there were many coups and revolutions, monarchies were replaced by republics, and vice versa. One of the significant figures in the history of this country and all of Europe was Bonaparte.

Few people know that after his defeat he abdicated the throne in favor of his young son. The Bonapartists gave him the name Napoleon II. What happened to the legitimate heir, how many more Napoleons were in the history of France?

Sons of napoleon

Napoleon ii

The French emperor had three sons, two of them were born out of wedlock. The fate of each of the offspring was different.

The first son appeared to the ruler from the connection with Eleanor de la Pleg. At that time, Napoleon was married to Josephine Beauharnais, but the spouses did not have children in ten years of marriage. The boy was born on 13.12.1806 at two in the morning. The emperor received good news while in Poland. His first thought was to adopt a child, but soon she disappeared. Napoleon wanted a legitimate heir.

The boy was given the name Charles.Mother and son received annual money for their maintenance. Father loved and spoiled the boy. After his death, he left him a considerable amount. However, Charles squandered her very quickly, because he loved to spend money, play cards, participate in duels. He was dismissed from military service for failure to comply with the statute, tried to learn from the priesthood. As a result, the young man found a way to exist - he sued the annual maintenance of his mother, and later received a pension from his cousin, who became the emperor. After the overthrow of Napoleon the Third, Count Leon went broke, and later he was buried as a beggar.

The birth of Charles prompted the emperor to part with the official wife, who was unable to give birth to an heir. He meets Maria Valevskaya, who gives birth to her son Alexander on 04/05/1810. When the mistress returned with her son in her arms to Paris, the emperor had already found a replacement for her. For the maintenance of his son, he allocated a substantial amount. Maria Valevskaya died very early, and Alexander himself had to take care of his life. In 1830 he took part in the Polish uprising. After his defeat, the young man moved to Paris, where he became captain of the French army.Upon his retirement, he was engaged in journalism, drama, carried out diplomatic missions, was Minister of Foreign Affairs under Napoleon the Third, participated in the Paris Congress in 1856. He died in 1868, leaving behind seven children.

Napoleon II, whose biography will be discussed below, was the third son of the emperor. He became the only legitimate child. Who was his mother?

Heir's mother

After his divorce from Josephine, the ruler of France began searching for a spouse who would have given birth to a legal heir. At a special council, it was decided that Napoleon should conclude a marriage alliance with a great power. This would allow him to guarantee his rights in the international arena.

Most of the ministers saw the best candidate in the sister of the Russian Emperor Alexander the First, Anna Pavlovna. There were also those who were inclined towards an alliance with Austria through marriage with Marie-Louise, the daughter of the Emperor Franz I.

Alexander I didn’t want such a relationship, so I invented new excuses. Napoleon was tired of waiting, he turned his eyes towards the Austrian party. The contract was signed in 1810, at the same time in Vienna, by proxy was entered into.Only after this, the couple met. Before that, they did not see each other.

Napoleon ii Eaglet

The emperor fell in love with a young woman as soon as he saw her. A year later (04/20/1811) she presented him with an heir, who was named Napoleon-Francois-Joseph. What fate awaited an heir named Napoleon II?

King of Rome

At birth, the boy proclaimed the King of Rome. However, this title was formal. In 1814, the emperor abdicated the throne. He did this in favor of his rightful heir, and Napoleon II was declared the French emperor. The ruler was considered only Bonapartists, who called the boy like this: Napoleon II Eaglet.

The history of this nickname is associated with the repressive regime that was introduced after the abdication of Napoleon. The name of the former emperor was not safe to mention, so his followers called him the Eagle. The bird was the heraldic symbol of the ruler. It was dangerous to mention the son who left France, so he was called Orlenko. Who came up with the nickname is unknown, and Edmon Rostaon made him famous. In 1900, he wrote the drama “Eaglet” about the life of Napoleon II. In it, a young man is forced to live in a golden German cage.

Napoleon ii height

The three-year heir was not crowned, as the power in France was changed. In addition, the Russian emperor spoke against the coronation. Together with Talleyrand, he insisted that the Bourbons be returned to power.

Marie Louise took her son and returned to her family in Vienna. There she received the Duchy of Parma and met with her future husband, who was initially assigned to monitor her.

From Napoleon to Franz

Napoleon ii photo

Napoleon II remained the main hope of the Bonapartists. That is why he was guarded much more carefully than the most dangerous criminal. Everyone understood that the boy’s origin could lead to a serious Bonapartist movement not only in France, but throughout the world.

He lived the son of the deposed emperor near Vienna (Schönbrunn Castle). He was forced to speak only in German, and addressed him by his second name - Franz. In 1818, he was given the title of Duke of Reichstadt.

The duke was involved in military service from the age of twelve. Despite all the prohibitions, and maybe in spite of them, Franz remembered his origin. He was an ardent admirer of his great father.

Early death

Napoleon ii biography

By 1830, Napoleon II, whose height was about the same as that of his father, had reached the rank of major. It is not known whether he could have justified the hopes of the Bonapartists. His life was short.He died in 1832 from tuberculosis.

Napoleon-Francois was buried in Vienna, alongside other Hapsburgs.

Posthumous fate

One hundred years later, Napoleon II (the photo did not reach our days) was disturbed. In 1940, Adolf Hitler gave the order to transfer his remains to the Cathedral of the House of Invalids. He was placed near the tomb of his father.

Heir to Napoleon II

Napoleon III Bonaparte

Napoleon III Bonaparte became the last monarch of France. He was the nephew of the glorified emperor and cousin of the Duke of Reichstadt. At birth, the future monarch was named Charles Louis Napoleon. Father was Louis Bonaparte. Mother - Hortensia de Beauharnais. Marriage between them was concluded under duress, so the couple lived in constant separation.

The boy grew up at the court of his uncle. Since childhood, he literally worshiped him and was devoted to "Napoleonic" ideas. He sought power and walked towards his goal, clearing the road ahead of him.

After the overthrow of Bonaparte, the boy with his brother and mother moved to Switzerland, where Hortensia acquired Arenenberg Castle. Louis did not receive systematic schooling because of his constant travels. In Switzerland, he entered military service.

After the death of Napoleon the Second, Charles Louis became the one who presented Napoleonic ideas and claims. Four years later, he tried to seize power in France. His act went down in history as the Strasbourg plot. The attempt was unsuccessful, Bonaparte was sent to America. He stayed there for a year, after which he settled in Switzerland and then in England.

The second attempt to become the head of France was made in 1840. She also failed. As a result, Charles Louis was arrested with other conspirators, and peers were put on trial. His punishment was life imprisonment with the preservation of all rights. Surprisingly, in French law there was no such punishment. The unlucky conspirator spent six years in the fortress of Gum. At this time, he wrote articles, published books, talked with friends. In 1846, Bonaparte fled from the fortress to England. On the island, he met Harriet Gowar, who was an actress, owner of the state and many useful acquaintances. She helped her lover in many ways.

Napoleon the Third Board

In 1848, a revolution occurred in France. Louis hurried to Paris. He took a wait-and-see position until it became possible to run for president. According to the election results, he received 75% of the vote.At forty, he became President of the Republic.

He did not like to be president, so in 1851 he dissolved the Assembly and established an empire in the state.

A year later, he was proclaimed emperor under the name of Napoleon the Third. According to the Bonapartist tradition, it was taken into account that for fourteen days the head of state was Napoleon II (son of the emperor Bonaparte).

The monarch was in power until 1870. The end of his rule put the Franco-Prussian War. During these years he suffered greatly from gallstones and took opiates. Because of this, he was lethargic and ill-understood.

Napoleon the Third surrendered to Wilhelm the First. A day later, the September revolution took place in Paris. Empire ceased to exist. The overthrown ruler moved to England, where he died in 1873.

Prototype of Baron Munchhausen

Napoleon ii the son of the emperor

Many art historians suggest that for the illustrative image of the famous baron Munchhausen, the artist Gustave Dore took as a prototype the appearance of Napoleon III. The similarity is manifested in the oval of the head, the shape of the nose, mustache and beard. The coat of arms of Munchhausen were three ducks, which can be considered an allusion to the coat of arms of Bonapartes (three bees).

Dynastic bond

In total, there are five Napoleons in history. They were all relatives.

The genealogy of Bonapartes is decided to begin with Carlo Buonaparte. He had five sons: Joseph, Napoleon, Lucien, Louis, Jerome. Napoleon II - the son of Napoleon the First, Napoleon the Third - the son of Louis, Napoleon the Fourth - the grandson of Louis, Napoleon the Fifth - the grandson of Jerome. In fact, only two of them ruled; the rest were considered only Bonapartist rulers.

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