|Date||December 2, 1804|
(11 Frimaire XIII)
|Location||Notre-Dame de Paris, Paris|
|Participants||Napoleon and others|
The coronation of Napoleon as Emperor of the French took place on Sunday December 2, 1804 (11 Frimaire, Year XIII according to the French Republican Calendar) at Notre-Dame de Paris in Paris. It marked "the instantiation of modern empire" and was a "transparently masterminded piece of modern propaganda".
Napoleon wanted to establish the legitimacy of his imperial reign, with its new royal family and new nobility. To this end, he designed a new coronation ceremony unlike that for the kings of France, which had emphasized the king's consecration (sacre) and anointment and was conferred by the archbishop of Reims in Reims Cathedral.Napoleon's was a sacred ceremony held in the great cathedral of Notre Dame de Paris in the presence of Pope Pius VII. Napoleon brought together various rites and customs, incorporating ceremonies of Carolingian tradition, the ancien régime and the French Revolution, all presented in sumptuous luxury.
On May 18, 1804, the Sénat conservateur vested the Republican government of the French First Republic in an Emperor, and preparations for a coronation followed. Napoleon's elevation to Emperor was overwhelmingly approved by the French citizens in the French constitutional referendum of 1804. Among Napoleon's motivations for being crowned were to gain prestige in international royalist and Catholic circles and to lay the foundation for a future dynasty. 243:
When Pope Pius VII agreed to come to Paris to officiate at Napoleon's coronation, it was initially established that it would follow the coronation liturgy in the Roman Pontifical. However, after the Pope's arrival, Napoleon persuaded the Papal delegation to allow the introduction of several French elements in the rite – such as the singing of the Veni Creator followed by the collect of Pentecost for the monarch's entrance procession, the use of Chrism instead of the Oil of Catechumens for the anointing (although the Roman anointing prayers were used), placing the sacred oil on the head and hands rather than the right arm and back of the neck, and the inclusion of several prayers and formulas from the French Coronation of Kings ceremonial, to bless the regalia as it was delivered. In essence, French and Roman elements were combined into a new rite unique to the occasion.Also, the special rite composed ad hoc allowed Napoleon to remain mostly seated and not kneeling during the delivery of the regalia and during several other ceremonies, and reduced his acceptance of the oath demanded by the Church in the beginning of the liturgy to one word only.
Not wanting to be an Old Regime monarch, Napoleon explained: "To be a king is to inherit old ideas and genealogy. I don't want to descend from anyone."
According to Louis Constant Wairy, Napoleon awoke at 8:00 a.m. to the sound of a cannonade, he left the Tuileries at 11:00 a.m. in a white velvet vest with gold embroidery and diamond buttons, a crimson velvet tunic and a short crimson coat with satin lining, a wreath of laurel on his brow. :54 The number of onlookers, as estimated by Wairy, was between four and five thousand, many of whom had held their places all night through intermittent showers that cleared in the morning. :301
The ceremony started at 9 a.m. when the Papal procession set out from the Tuileries led by a bishop on a mule holding aloft the Papal crucifix.The Pope entered Notre Dame first, to the anthem Tu es Petrus, and took his seat on a throne near the high altar. Napoleon's and Joséphine's carriage was drawn by eight bay horses and escorted by grenadiers à cheval and gendarmes d'élite. The two parts of the ceremony were held at different ends of Notre Dame to contrast its religious and secular facets. An unmanned balloon, ablaze with three thousand lights in an imperial crown pattern, was launched from the front of Notre Dame during the celebration.
Before entering Notre Dame, Napoleon was vested in a long white satin tunic embroidered in gold thread and Josephine similarly wore a white satin empire-style dress embroidered in gold thread. During the coronation he was formally clothed in a heavy coronation mantle of crimson velvet lined with ermine; the velvet was covered with embroidered golden bees, drawn from the golden bees among the regalia that had been discovered in the Merovingian tomb of Childeric I, a symbol that looked beyond the Bourbon past and linked the new dynasty with the ancient Merovingians; the bee replaced the fleur-de-lis on imperial tapestries and garments. The mantle weighed at least eighty pounds and was supported by four dignitaries. 299 Josephine was at the same time formally clothed in a similar crimson velvet mantle embroidered with bees in gold thread and lined with ermine, which was borne by Napoleon's three sisters. There were two orchestras with four choruses, numerous military bands playing heroic marches, and over three hundred musicians. :302 A 400-voice choir performed Paisiello's "Mass" and "Te Deum". Because the traditional royal crown had been destroyed during the French Revolution, the so-called Crown of Napoleon, made to look medieval and called the "crown of Charlemagne" for the occasion, :55 was waiting on the altar. While the crown was new, the sceptre was reputed to have belonged to Charles V and the sword to Philip III.:
The coronation proper began with the singing of the hymn, Veni Creator Spiritus , followed by the versicle, "Lord, send forth your Spirit" and response, "And renew the face of the earth" and the collect for the Feast of Pentecost, "God, who has taught the hearts of your faithful by sending them the light of your Holy Spirit,..." After this the prayer, "Almighty, everlasting God, the Creator of all..."During the Litany of the Saints, the Emperor and Empress remained seated, only kneeling for special petitions. The Emperor and Empress were both anointed on their heads and on both hands with chrism–the Emperor with the prayers, "God, the Son of God..." and "God who established Hazael over Syria...", the Empress with the prayer, "God the Father of eternal glory..." – while the antiphon Unxerunt Salomonem Sadoc Sacerdos... ("Zadok the priest...") was sung. The Mass then began. At Napoleon's request, the collect of the Blessed Virgin (as the patron of the cathedral) was said in place of the proper collect for the day. After the epistle, the articles of the imperial regalia were individually blessed, and delivered to the Emperor and Empress.
The coronation of Napoleon and Josephine also differed in this respect from the pattern observed in other Western coronation rites: usually, in joint coronations of sovereign and consort, the sovereign is first anointed, invested with the regalia, crowned and enthroned, and only then is a similar but simplified rite of anointing, investiture, coronation and enthronement of the consort performed. However, for the Coronation of Napoleon and Josephine, each of those steps was performed jointly, so that Josephine was anointed immediately after Napoleon, and each item of regalia was delivered to her immediately after being given to him, a procedure that found no precedent either in the Roman Pontifical or in the French Ceremonial.
For the crowning, as recorded in the official procès-verbal of the Coronationthe formula Coronet vos Deus..., a variation to the plural of the traditional French formula Coronet te Deus (God crown you with a crown of glory and righteousness...) - a formula that is also proper to the English Coronation rite – was used exclusively, instead of the Roman formula Accipe coronam... (Receive the crown...). This differed to the usage of the French royal coronations, in which both formulas – the Roman Accipe coronam regni... and the Anglo-French Coronet te Deus... – were recited successively. While the Pope recited the above-mentioned formula, Napoleon turned and removed his laurel wreath and crowned himself and then crowned the kneeling Joséphine with a small crown surmounted by a cross, which he had first placed on his own head. The crowning formula was varied to use a plural form ("Coronet vos..." instead of "Coronet te..."), precisely because the Coronation of Josephine followed immediately after the assumption of the Crown by Napoleon. As for the omitted Roman formula Accipe coronam..., which depicted the monarch as receiving his crown from the Church, its use would have clashed with Napoleon's decision to crown himself. Historian J. David Markham, who also serves as head of the International Napoleonic Society, alleged in his book Napoleon For Dummies "Napoleon's detractors like to say that he snatched the crown from the Pope, or that this was an act of unbelievable arrogance, but neither of those charges holds water. Napoleon was simply symbolizing that he was becoming emperor based on his own merits and the will of the people, not because of some religious consecration. The Pope knew about this move from the beginning and had no objection (not that it would have mattered)." British historian Vincent Cronin wrote in his book Napoleon Bonaparte: An Intimate Biography "Napoleon told Pius that he would be placing the crown on his own head. Pius raised no objection." At Napoleon's enthronement the Pope said, "May God confirm you on this throne and may Christ give you to rule with him in his eternal kingdom". Limited in his actions, Pius VII proclaimed further the Latin formula Vivat imperator in aeternum! ("May the Emperor live forever!"), which was echoed by the full choirs in a Vivat, followed by "Te Deum". After the Mass was finished, the Pope retired to the Sacristy, as he objected to presiding over or witnessing the civil oath that followed, due to its contents. With his hands on the Bible, Napoleon took the oath:
I swear to maintain the integrity of the territory of the Republic, to respect and enforce respect for the Concordat and freedom of religion, equality of rights, political and civil liberty, the irrevocability of the sale of national lands; not to raise any tax except in virtue of the law; to maintain the institution of Legion of Honor and to govern in the sole interest, happiness and glory of the French people. 245:
The text was presented to Napoleon by the President of the Senate, the President of Legislature and the most senior President of the Council of State. After the oath the newly appointed herald of arms proclaimed loudly: "The thrice glorious and thrice august Emperor Napoleon is crowned and enthroned. Long live the Emperor!"During the people's acclamations Napoleon, surrounded by dignitaries, left the cathedral while the choir sang "Domine salvum fac imperatorem nostrum Napoleonem"—"God save our Emperor Napoleon".
After the coronation the Emperor presented the imperial standards to each of his regiments. According to government tallies, the entire cost was over 8.5 million francs.
In addition to David's paintings, a commemorative medal was struck with the reverse design by Antoine-Denis Chaudet. In 2005, a digital depiction of the coronation was made by Vaughan Hart, Peter Hicks and Joe Robson for the "Nelson and Napoleon" Exhibition at the National Maritime Museum.
A crown is a traditional symbolic form of head adornment worn by a monarch or by a deity, for whom the crown traditionally represents power, legitimacy, victory, triumph, honor, and glory, as well as immortality, righteousness, and resurrection. In art, the crown may be shown being offered to those on Earth by angels. Apart from the traditional form, crowns also may be in the form of a wreath and be made of flowers, oak leaves, or thorns and be worn by others, representing what the coronation part aims to symbolize with the specific crown. In religious art, a crown of stars is used similarly to a halo. Crowns worn by rulers often contain jewels.
A papal coronation was the ceremony of the placing of the papal tiara on a newly elected pope. The first recorded papal coronation was that of Nicholas I in 858. The last was the 1963 coronation of Paul VI, who soon afterwards abandoned the practice of wearing the tiara. None of his successors have used the tiara, and their papal inauguration celebrations have included no coronation ceremony.
A coronation is the act of placement or bestowal of a crown upon a monarch's head. The term generally also refers not only to the physical crowning but to the whole ceremony wherein the act of crowning occurs, along with the presentation of other items of regalia, marking the formal investiture of a monarch with regal power. Aside from the crowning, a coronation ceremony may comprise many other rituals such as the taking of special vows by the monarch, the investing and presentation of regalia to the monarch, and acts of homage by the new ruler's subjects and the performance of other ritual deeds of special significance to the particular nation. Western-style coronations have often included anointing the monarch with holy oil, or chrism as it is often called; the anointing ritual's religious significance follows examples found in the Bible. The monarch's consort may also be crowned, either simultaneously with the monarch or as a separate event.
The coronation of the British monarch is a ceremony in which the monarch of the United Kingdom is formally invested with regalia and crowned at Westminster Abbey. It corresponds to the coronations that formerly took place in other European monarchies, all of which have abandoned coronations in favour of inauguration or enthronement ceremonies.
The French Crown Jewels comprise the crowns, orb, sceptres, diadems and jewels that were symbols of Royal power between 752 and 1825. These were worn by many Kings and Queens of France. The set was finally broken up, with most of it sold off in 1885 by the Third French Republic. The surviving French Crown Jewels, principally a set of historic crowns, diadems and parures, are mainly on display in the Galerie d'Apollon of the Louvre, France's premier museum and former royal palace, together with the Regent Diamond, the Sancy Diamond and the 105-carat (21.0 g) Côte-de-Bretagne red spinel, carved into the form of a dragon. In addition, some gemstones and jewels are on display in the Treasury vault of the Mineralogy gallery in the National Museum of Natural History.
Regalia is a Latin plurale tantum word that has different definitions. In one rare definition, it refers to the exclusive privileges of a sovereign. The word originally referred to the elaborate formal dress and dress accessories of a sovereign, but now the word usually refers to any type of elaborate formal dress and dress accessories.
The Austrian Crown Jewels is the regalia and vestments worn by the Holy Roman Emperor, and later by the Emperor of Austria, during the coronation ceremony and other state functions. The term refers to the following objects: the crowns, sceptres, orbs, swords, rings, crosses, holy relics, and the royal robes, as well as several other objects connected with the ceremony. The collection dates from the 10th to the 19th centuries and reflects more than a thousand years of European history. It is kept at the Imperial Treasury in the Hofburg Palace in Vienna, Austria.
An enthronement is a ceremony of inauguration, involving a person—usually a monarch or religious leader—being formally seated for the first time upon their throne. Enthronements may also feature as part of a larger coronation rite.
The regalia of Norway are items that symbolise the Norwegian monarch's power and majesty. Little is known of the old Norwegian regalia which have since been lost and the majority of items date from 1818 and were made for the coronation of Jean Bernadotte as King Carl III Johan.
The Crown of Napoleon was a coronation crown manufactured for Napoleon and used in his coronation as Emperor of the French on December 2, 1804. Napoleon called this crown the "Crown of Charlemagne", which was the name of the ancient royal coronation crown of France that had been destroyed during the French Revolution. This name allowed Napoleon to compare himself to the famed mediaeval monarch Charlemagne, King of the Franks and Holy Roman Emperor.
Coronations in Norway were held from 1164 to 1906, mostly in the Nidaros Cathedral in Trondheim. Although a crowning ceremony was formerly mandated by the nation's constitution, this requirement was eliminated in 1908. However, Norwegian kings have since chosen voluntarily to take part in a ritual of "benediction" to mark their accession to the throne, during which the crown is present, but not physically bestowed upon the sovereign. The new ceremony retains some of the religious elements of earlier rites, while eliminating other features now considered to be "undemocratic".
The Coronation of Napoleon is a painting completed in 1807 by Jacques-Louis David, the official painter of Napoleon, depicting the coronation of Napoleon I at Notre-Dame de Paris. The painting has imposing dimensions, as it is almost 10 metres (33 ft) wide by a little over 6 metres (20 ft) tall. The work is held in the Louvre in Paris.
The Coronation of the Hungarian monarch was a ceremony in which the king or queen of the Kingdom of Hungary was formally crowned and invested with regalia. It corresponded to the coronation ceremonies that occurred in other European monarchies. While in countries like France and England the king's reign began immediately upon the death of his predecessor, in Hungary the coronation was absolutely indispensable as if it were not properly executed, the Kingdom stayed "orphaned". All monarchs had to be crowned as King of Hungary in order to promulgate laws there or exercise his royal prerogatives in the territory of Kingdom of Hungary. Since the Golden Bull of 1222, all Hungarian kings had to take a coronation oath during the coronation procedure, where the new monarchs had to agree to uphold the constitutional arrangement of the country, to preserve the liberties of his subjects and the territorial integrity of the realm.
The Coronation of the Holy Roman Emperor was a ceremony in which the ruler of Western Europe's then-largest political entity received the Imperial Regalia at the hands of the Pope, symbolizing both the pope's right to crown Christian sovereigns and also the emperor's role as protector of the Roman Catholic Church. The Holy Roman Empresses were crowned as well.
The accession of the King of France to the royal throne was legitimized by a ceremony performed with the Crown of Charlemagne at Notre-Dame de Reims. In late medieval and early modern times, the new king did not need to be anointed in order to be recognized as French monarch but ascended upon the previous monarch's death with the proclamation "Le Roi est mort, vive le Roi"!
Coronations in Asia in the strict sense are and historically were rare, as only few monarchies, primarily in Western Asia, ever adopted the concept that the placement of a crown symbolised the monarch's investiture. Instead, most monarchies in Asia used a form of acclamation or enthronement ceremony, in which the monarch formally ascends to the throne, and may be presented with certain regalia, and may receive homage from his or her subjects. This article covers both coronations and enthronement.
Coronations in Europe were previously held in the monarchies of Europe. The United Kingdom is the only monarchy in Europe that still practices coronation. Current European monarchies have either replaced coronations with simpler ceremonies to mark an accession or have never practiced coronations. Most monarchies today only require a simple oath to be taken in the presence of the country's legislature.
The accession of the Serbian monarch was legitimized by coronation ceremony. The coronation was carried out by church officials.
The coronation of the Emperor of Brazil was the religious rite of consecration during which the monarchs of the Empire of Brazil were solemnly blessed, anointed, crowned, invested with the other items of the imperial regalia and enthroned, according to the usages of the Catholic Church, the Empire's official, established Church. The coronation of the Brazilian monarch confirmed the accession of a new emperor to the throne, and corresponded to similar rites that took place in other Christian monarchies. The two Brazilian emperors, Pedro I and Pedro II underwent the ceremony of coronation, on 1 December 1822 and 18 July 1841, respectively. Those remain the two sole acts of coronation that took place in the South American continent.
The Coronation of Bokassa I as the Emperor of Central Africa took place on 4 December 1977 at a sports stadium in Bangui, the capital of the Central African Empire. It was the only coronation in the history of the Empire—a short-lived one-party state and self-proclaimed monarchy—which was established in 1976 by Jean-Bédel Bokassa, military dictator and president-for-life of the Central African Republic.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Coronation of Napoleon I .|