|Hortense de Beauharnais|
|Duchess of Saint-Leu|
|Queen consort of Holland|
|Tenure||5 June 1806 – 1 July 1810|
|Born||10 April 1783|
|Died||5 October 1837 (aged 54)|
Arenenberg, Thurgau, Switzerland
|Spouse||Louis I of Holland|
|Issue|| Napoléon Charles, Prince Royal of Holland |
Louis II of Holland
The 1st Duc de Morny (illegitimate)
|Father||Alexandre de Beauharnais|
|Mother||Joséphine Tascher de la Pagerie|
|Royal styles of|
Queen Hortense of Holland
|Reference style||Her Majesty|
|Spoken style||Your Majesty|
Hortense Eugénie Cécile Bonaparte (French pronunciation: [ɔʁtɑ̃s øʒeni sesil bɔnɑpaʁt]; née de Beauharnais, pronounced [də boaʁnɛ]; 10 April 1783 – 5 October 1837), Queen consort of Holland, was the stepdaughter of Emperor Napoléon I, being the daughter of his first wife, Joséphine de Beauharnais and the younger sister of Eugène de Beauharnais. She later married Napoléon I’s brother, Louis Bonaparte, King of Holland, making her the sister-in-law to her step-father. She was the mother of Napoléon III, Emperor of the French, Louis II of Holland, and Napoléon Louis Charles Bonaparte who died at the age of four. She had also an illegitimate son, The 1st Duc de Morny, by her lover, the Comte de Flahaut.
Hortense was born in Paris, France, on 10 April 1783, the daughter of Alexandre de Beauharnais and Joséphine Tascher de la Pagerie. Her parents separated when she was five years old, and between the ages of five and ten was sent to live in Martinique.Her father was executed on 23 July 1794, at the time of the French Revolution, a few days before the end of the Reign of Terror. Her mother was imprisoned in the Carmelites prison, from which she was released on 6 August 1794, thanks to the intervention of her best friend Thérèse Tallien. Two years later, her mother married Napoléon Bonaparte. Hortense was described as having been an amusing and pretty child with long, pale golden-blonde hair and blue eyes. She received her education at the school of Madame Jeanne Campanin St-Germain-en-Laye together with Napoléon's youngest sister Caroline Bonaparte, who later married Joachim Murat. She was sent to boarding school when her mother, Josephine, decided that she did not have enough time to raise children. There, she developed a love for fine art and music. Hortense was an accomplished amateur musical composer and supplied the army of her stepfather with rousing marches, including Partant pour la Syrie. She also enjoyed playing games and particularly excelled at billiards. In 1802, at Napoléon's request, Hortense married his brother Louis Bonaparte. Hortense was reluctant to marry at first, but her mother persuaded her to accept for the political wellbeing/prosperity of the family.
In 1806 Napoléon appointed his brother Louis as King of Holland, and Hortense accompanied her husband to The Hague. Hortense's negativity towards being appointed Queen of Holland was twofold. First, it was necessary for her to move there with Louis, with whom she did not get along, and second, she had to leave her life as a celebrated member of Parisian society. She had hoped to be "a Queen of Holland in Paris", but Napoléon did not agree.She was eventually forced to depart with Louis to the Netherlands, where she arrived on 18 June 1806. Queen Hortense was pleasantly surprised when the Dutch public welcomed her warmly. She quickly became accustomed to life in the Netherlands and came to like the country. She attended official celebrations and ceremonies, visited the market-places where she made large purchases, and was much liked by the public, which annoyed her husband. She learned water-colour painting and made trips around the countryside. Nevertheless, she hated her stay there because of her relationship with King Louis. The couple lived in different parts of the palace and avoided each other at every opportunity, with Hortense describing herself as a prisoner. She also refused to give up her French citizenship and declare herself Dutch as Louis had done. In 1807 her first son died; she was subsequently allowed to stay in France, as the climate there was considered better for raising her other son Louis-Napoléon. She remained in France, again pleased by her status as a queen at the French court, until 1810, when Napoléon remarried to Marie Louise of Austria. This forced Hortense return to the Netherlands and reconcile with her husband. Napoleon married Marie Hortense returned temporarily to the Netherlands, but found that the Dutch did not welcome her. She considered this the end of her marriage, and left for France shortly before her husband abdicated the throne to their oldest living son, Napoleon-Louis Bonaparte, making him Louis II of Holland.
Hortense was now free to respond to the romantic overtures of the man whom she had long admired, Colonel Charles Joseph, Comte de Flahaut, a sophisticated, handsome man rumoured to be the illegitimate son of Talleyrand.They soon became lovers. In 1811, at an unspecified inn in Switzerland, close to Lake Geneva, Hortense secretly gave birth to a son by de Flahaut, Charles Auguste Louis Joseph ( 21 October 1811 - 10 March 1865), created Duke of Morny by his half-brother, Napoléon III, in 1862.
Only her brother Eugène, her closest companions, and Adélaïde Filleul de Souza (Charles de Flahaut's mother) were aware of her pregnancy and the subsequent birth. She had used poor health to explain her prolonged visit to Switzerland, the journey having been arranged by Adélaïde. Hortense cleverly disguised her pregnancy (she was, by then, in her sixth month) during the baptism of Napoléon's son, Napoléon II, when she was chosen to be one of the child's godmothers, an honour she shared with Madame Mère, mother of the Emperor.
In 1814 Flahaut had an affair with the Comédie-Française actress Mademoiselle Mars. When Hortense read the "passionate outpourings" of this actress in one of her letters to Charles his affair with Hortense was brought to an end. Although still deeply attached to Charles, and remaining in correspondence with him, she then made up her mind to release him. When, months later, he had mentioned that he had met "a rich young woman who seemed to like him", Hortense begged him to forget the promises he had made to her.In October that year she went on a pilgrimage to the Benedictine shrine of Our Lady of the Hermits at Einsiedeln Abbey in the Swiss canton of Schwyz. After renouncing her claims on Charles, she presented a bouquet of diamond hydrangeas to the Virgin and a ring for the abbot, having been blessed, she wrote, with "so many consolations, such happiness at Einsiedeln not to wish that my memory remain there after I had left."
Hortense de Beauharnais found love for music during her time in boarding school and there she became a self-acclaimed amateur composer (Beaucour, 2007) Though she did not have any known education in composition, it is said that she was a very talented singer and pianist. Fétis, who wrote about her in his article, Biographie Universelle des Musiciens, wrote the followed lines about her: “Plantade was Queen Hortense’s singing-master when she was at Mad. Campan’s school; what her Majesty gained more especially from her lessons was a great capability of stint, she composed several pieces of this kind, among which is the one beginning with the words: ‘Partant pour la Syrie.’ This romance, which enjoyed a great vogue about 1810, again became popular in France after 1852.”(Novello, 1874) While her step-father, Napoleon, ruled over France, she wrote marches and some of her songs were sung by the French Troops (Jackson, 1999). Hortense was banished when Napoleon was defeated and there she wrote numerous pieces, mostly notably her 12 Romances she wrote for her brother Eugene. Although she was banished, Hortense’s home exemplified the spirit of French art culture. There she presented her arts for her many visitors. Famous artists of the time such as Franz Listz, Alexandre Dumas, and Lord Byron came to visit and listened to her piano performances. Hortense’s most famous composition ‘Partant pour la Syrie’ became the national hymn of France after her son Emperor Napoleon III instated it as such. (Last FM, 2010). French composer Camille Saint-Saens quotes “Partant pour la Syrie” in “Fossils” from his Carnival of the Animals. A collection of some of her writing, art, and compositions can be found in her “Livre d’art de la reine Hortense.”
At the Bourbon Restoration in 1814, Hortense received the protection of Alexander I of Russia. At his instigation, she was granted the title of Duchess of Saint-Leu (duchesse de Saint-Leu) by King Louis XVIII on 30 May 1814.During the Hundred Days, however, Hortense supported her stepfather and brother-in-law Napoléon. This led to her banishment from France after his final defeat. During her banishment, Hortense began to focus on writing her memoirs, composing and publishing her musical works, as well as drawing and painting. Her home became a center for French art and culture. Established artists, composers, and writers were all fascinated by the banished queen in Switzerland. Despite her residence in Switzerland, Hortense remained involved in her sons’ lives. When one of her sons, Napoleon-Louis (Louis II of Holland) , died in the Italian revolt against Austrian rule, she helped the other, Charles-Louis Napoleon , escape to Paris. She traveled in Germany and Italy before purchasing the Château of Arenenberg in the Swiss canton of Thurgau in 1817. She lived there until she died of cancer on 5 October 1837, at the age of fifty-four. She is buried next to her mother Joséphine in the Saint-Pierre-Saint-Paul church in Rueil-Malmaison. After her death, her remaining legitimate son Charles-Louis Napoleon returned to Paris where he became Emperor Napoleon III. With his newly instated power, Napoleon III made one of his mother’s most popular compositions, “Partant pour la Syrie” a national hymn of France A portrait of Hortense hangs at Ash Lawn-Highland, the Virginia plantation home of James Monroe, fifth President of the United States. It was one of three portraits given by Hortense to Monroe's daughter Eliza, who went to school with Hortense in France. (The other two portraits are of Hortense's brother Eugène de Beauharnais and of Jeanne-Louise-Henriette Campan, the headmistress of the school attended by Hortense and Eliza.) Eliza's daughter, Hortensia Monroe Hay, was named in honour of Hortense.
With Louis Bonaparte she had three sons:
With Charles Joseph, Comte de Flahaut, she had one son:
|Ancestors of Hortense de Beauharnais|
Louis Napoléon Bonaparte was a younger brother of Napoleon I, Emperor of the French. He was a monarch in his own right from 1806 to 1810, ruling over the Kingdom of Holland. In that capacity he was known as Louis I.
Joséphine was the first wife of Napoleon and the first Empress of the French after he proclaimed himself Emperor.
Eugène Rose de Beauharnais, Duke of Leuchtenberg was the first child and only son of Alexandre de Beauharnais and Joséphine Tascher de la Pagerie, first wife of Napoleon I.
Château de Malmaison is a French château near the western bank of the Seine about 15 kilometres (9.3 mi) west of the centre of Paris in Rueil-Malmaison.
Charles Auguste Louis Joseph Demorny de Morny, 1er Duc de Morny[ʃaʁl oɡyst lwi ʒɔzɛf dəmɔʁni] was a French statesman.
Auguste-Charles-Joseph de Flahaut de La Billarderie, comte de Flahaut was a French general during the Napoleonic Wars, a statesman, and late in life French ambassador to the Court of St James's.
Marie Julie Clary, was Queen consort of Spain and the Indies, Naples and Sicily as the spouse of Joseph Bonaparte, who was King of Naples and Sicily from January 1806 to June 1808, and later King of Spain and the Spanish West Indies from 25 June 1808 to June 1813.
Alexandre François Marie, Viscount of Beauharnais was a French political figure and general during the French Revolution. He was the first husband of Joséphine Tascher de la Pagerie, who later married Napoleon Bonaparte and became Empress of the First Empire.
Nob.Maria Letizia BuonapartenéeRamolino was an Italian noblewoman, mother of Napoleon I of France.
Napoléon-Louis Bonaparte, also known as Louis II of Holland, was the King of Holland, reigning for less than two weeks in 1810. A son of Louis Bonaparte and Hortense de Beauharnais, his father was the younger brother of Napoléon I and reigned as King of Holland from 1806 to 1810, while his mother was the daughter of Josephine de Beauharnais, Napoléon's first wife. He was the older brother of Louis Napoleon Bonaparte, future Emperor Napoleon III.
Napoléon Louis Charles Bonaparte was the eldest son of Louis Bonaparte and Hortense de Beauharnais. His father was Emperor Napoleon I's younger brother; his mother was the daughter of Napoleon's first wife, Josephine de Beauharnais.
Charlotte Napoléone Bonaparte was the daughter of Joseph Bonaparte, the older brother of Emperor Napoleon I, and Julie Clary. Her mother was the sister of Désirée Clary, Napoleon's first love. Charlotte married her first cousin Napoleon Louis, the second son of Louis Bonaparte and Hortense de Beauharnais on 23 July 1826. She studied engraving and lithography in Paris with the artist Louis Léopold Robert, who is reputed to have fallen in love with her.
The line of succession to the throne of the French Empire was vested in the descendants and relations of Napoleon Bonaparte until the abolition of the French Empire in 1870.
Arenenberg is an estate with a small chateau, Schloss Arenenberg, in the municipality of Salenstein at the shore of Lake Constance in Thurgau, Switzerland that is famous as the final domicile of Hortense de Beauharnais. Today it houses the Napoleonmuseum. It is a Swiss heritage site of national significance.
"Partant pour la Syrie" is a French patriotic song, the music of which was written by Hortense de Beauharnais and the text by Alexandre de Laborde in or about 1807.
Princess Augusta of Bavaria, Duchess of Leuchtenberg was the second child and eldest daughter of Maximilian I Joseph of Bavaria and Princess Augusta Wilhelmine of Hesse-Darmstadt. By marriage, she was a French Princess.
Eléonore Denuelle was a mistress of Emperor Napoleon I of France and the mother of his son Charles, Count Léon. Her son was proof that Napoleon was capable of producing an heir and that his wife, Joséphine de Beauharnais, was infertile; as a result, he divorced Joséphine and married Marie Louise of Austria.
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.
Beauharnais is a French noble family. It is now headed by the Duke of Leuchtenberg, descendant in male line of Eugène de Beauharnais.
Louis-François-Philippe Drouet was a 19th-century French flautist and composer.
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Hortense de BeauharnaisBorn: 10 April 1783 Died: 5 October 1837
Title last held byMaria Theresa of Naples and Sicily
as Consort of the Austrian Netherlands
| Queen consort of Holland |
5 June 1806 – 1 July 1810
Title next held byWilhelmine of Prussia
as Queen of the Netherlands