Julie Clary

Last updated
Julie Clary
Comtesse de Survilliers
Julie Clary - enfants.jpg
Julie Clary and her daughters
Queen consort of Spain and the Indies
Tenure8 June 1808 11 December 1813
Predecessor Maria Luisa of Parma
Successor Maria Isabel of Portugal
Queen consort of Naples and Sicily
Tenure30 March 1806 – 6 June 1808
Predecessor Marie Caroline of Austria
Successor Caroline Bonaparte
Born26 December 1771
Marseille, Kingdom of France
Died7 April 1845(1845-04-07) (aged 73)
Florence, Grand Duchy of Tuscany
Joseph Bonaparte
(m. 1794;died 1844)
IssueJulie Joséphine Bonaparte
Zénaïde Laetitia Julie Bonaparte
Charlotte Napoléone Bonaparte
Full name
Marie Julie Bonaparte ( née Clary)
House Bonaparte (by marriage)[ citation needed ]
Father François Clary
Mother Françoise Rose Somis
Religion Roman Catholicism

Marie Julie Clary (26 December 1771 7 April 1845), was Queen consort of Spain and the Indies, Naples and Sicily she was depicted in portraiture 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.

A queen consort is the wife of a reigning king. A queen consort usually shares her husband's social rank and status. She holds the feminine equivalent of the king's monarchical titles, but historically, she does not share the king's political and military powers. A queen regnant is a queen in her own right with all the powers of a monarch, who (usually) has become queen by inheriting the throne upon the death of the previous monarch.

Naples Comune in Campania, Italy

Naples is the regional capital of Campania and the third-largest municipality in Italy after Rome and Milan. In 2017, around 967,069 people lived within the city's administrative limits while its province-level municipality has a population of 3,115,320 residents. Its continuously built-up metropolitan area is the second or third largest metropolitan area in Italy and one of the most densely populated cities in Europe.

Sicily Island in the Mediterranean and region of Italy

Sicily is the largest island in the Mediterranean Sea and one of the 20 regions of Italy. It is one of the five Italian autonomous regions, in Southern Italy along with surrounding minor islands, officially referred to as Regione Siciliana.


Early life

Marie Julie Clary was born in Marseille, France, the daughter of François Clary (Marseille, St Ferreol, 24 February 1725 Marseille, 20 January 1794), a wealthy silk manufacturer and merchant of Irish heritage, and his second wife (married on 26 June 1759) Françoise Rose Somis (Marseille, St. Ferreol, 30 August 1737 Paris, 28 January 1815). Her sister Désirée Clary, six years younger, became Queen of Sweden and Norway when her husband, Marshal Bernadotte, was crowned King Charles XIV John of Sweden (Charles III John of Norway). Their brother, Nicholas Joseph Clary, was created 1st Comte Clary and married Anne Jeanne Rouyer[ citation needed ] (their granddaughter would be the first wife of Joachim, 4th Prince Murat).

Marseille Second-largest city of France and prefecture of Provence-Alpes-Côte dAzur

Marseille is the second-largest city of France. The main city of the historical province of Provence, it nowadays is the prefecture of the department of Bouches-du-Rhône and region of Provence-Alpes-Côte d'Azur. It is located on French Riviera coast near the mouth of the Rhône. The city covers an area of 241 km2 (93 sq mi) and had a population of 852,516 in 2012. Its metropolitan area, which extends over 3,173 km2 (1,225 sq mi) is the third-largest in France after Paris and Lyon, with a population of 1,831,500 as of 2010.

François Clary 18th-century French merchant

François Clary was a wealthy French merchant and is an ancestor of many European monarchs by two of his daughters. He was the father of Julie Clary, married to Joseph Bonaparte, King of Naples and Sicily and of Spain and the Indies, as well as brother of Napoleon Bonaparte. He was also the father of Désirée Clary, who at first was engaged to Napoleon and later married Jean Baptiste Bernadotte who became Charles XIV John, King of Sweden and Norway.

Silk fine, lustrous, natural fiber produced by the larvae of various silk moths, especially the species Bombyx mori

Silk is a natural protein fiber, some forms of which can be woven into textiles. The protein fiber of silk is composed mainly of fibroin and is produced by certain insect larvae to form cocoons. The best-known silk is obtained from the cocoons of the larvae of the mulberry silkworm Bombyx mori reared in captivity (sericulture). The shimmering appearance of silk is due to the triangular prism-like structure of the silk fibre, which allows silk cloth to refract incoming light at different angles, thus producing different colors.

On 1 August 1794, at Cuges (Bouches-du-Rhône department), she reportedly married Joseph Bonaparte, elder brother of Napoléon Bonaparte. She accompanied her spouse to Italy when he became ambassador to Rome in 1797, and then settled with him in Paris in 1800. [1]

Cuges-les-Pins Commune in Provence-Alpes-Côte dAzur, France

Cuges-les-Pins is a commune situated east of Marseille in the department of Bouches-du-Rhône in the Provence-Alpes-Côte d'Azur region in southern France.

Bouches-du-Rhône Department of France in Provence-Alpes-Côte dAzur

Bouches-du-Rhône is a department in Southern France named after the mouth of the river Rhône. It is the most populous department of the Provence-Alpes-Côte d'Azur region with 2,019,717 inhabitants in 2016; it has an area of 5,087 km2 (1,964 sq mi). Its INSEE and postal code is 13. Marseille is Bouches-du-Rhône's largest city and prefecture.

Joseph Bonaparte elder brother of Napoleon Bonaparte

Joseph-Napoléon Bonaparte, born Giuseppe di Buonaparte was a French diplomat and nobleman, the older brother of Napoleon Bonaparte, who made him King of Naples and Sicily, and later King of Spain. After the fall of Napoleon, Joseph styled himself Comte de Survilliers.

In 1804, when her brother-in-law Napoleon made himself emperor, he named his brother Joseph Imperial Prince, giving Julie status of Imperial Princess. During the coronation of the emperor and empress the same year, Julie was given the task to carry the train of the empress with her sisters-in-law. [2]

Julie was reportedly very capable to behave in accordance with court etiquette and "royal formality", but she preferred to live a private life surrounded by her family and relatives in her chateau in Mortefontaine, Oise (which had been bought in 1800), away from court as well as away from her adulterous spouse. [3]

Mortefontaine, Oise Commune in Hauts-de-France, France

Mortefontaine is a commune in the Oise department in northern France.

Queen of Naples

Joseph was made King of Naples in 1806, thereby making Julie queen consort of Naples. She preferred to stay separated from him in Mortefontaine, however, and was ceremoniously treated as queen in the Imperial court of Paris. [4]

She finally joined Joseph in Naples before April 1808, when she was sent there by Napoleon to support him, as he by that time faced a rebellion. When they left, the Napolitans were convinced that they had removed many valuables with them, and commented: "The King arrived like a sovereign, and left like a brigand. The Queen arrived in rags and left like a sovereign." [5]

Queen of Spain

In 1808, Joseph was made King of Spain and Julie thereby formally became Queen of Spain. She was the first queen of Spain not of royal birth. However, she did not join him when he traveled to Spain and in fact never lived there, preferring to remain in her residence in Mortefontaine. She was kept informed from Vichy and Plombières about her husband's adulterous relationships in Spain. [ citation needed ]

In France, she was regarded as the representative of Joseph and his kingdom and ceremoniously treated as the queen of Spain at the French Imperial court of Napoleon. [6] She effectively functioned as an ambassador and informer of Joseph and upheld a political correspondence with him regarding Napoleon's plans of Spain, warning Joseph that he should make precautions necessary to control Spain, its unity, finances and army himself, as Napoleon would never allow Spain to be too independent. [7] In Spain, she was referred to as "Reina ausente" ('The Absent Queen').

The fall of Napoleon

Napoleon's army was defeated at the Battle of Vitoria on 21 June 1813. During the war, Julie gave refuge to her sister Desirée Clary, who by her marriage to the Crown Prince of Sweden was in fact an enemy citizen, as well as her sister-in-law Catharina of Württemberg, in her home Mortefontaine, and when the allied troops took Paris in 1814, Julie herself took refuge in the home of her sister Desirée in Paris. [8]

After the deposition of Napoleon, Julie bought the castle of Prangins in Switzerland, near Lake Léman.

During the Hundred Days in 1815, Julie was among those to welcome Napoleon to the Palace in Paris, dressed in Imperial court robe, alongside his former stepdaughter Hortense. [9]

After the Battle of Waterloo and the second downfall of Napoleon, the members of the Bonaparte family were exiled, and Joseph bought a property in the State of New Jersey near the River Delaware, with the proceeds of the sale of Spanish paintings taken from ransacked Madrid palaces, castles, monasteries and town halls; Julie herself, however, did not join him there, but left with her daughters to Frankfurt, where she stayed for six years, separated from her French-American husband.

In 1816, her sister Desiree, who was Crown Princess of Sweden, wished to bring Julie with her upon her return to Sweden; her husband the crown prince, however, thought this unwise, as Julie was a member of the Bonaparte family and her presence might be taken as a sign that he sided with the deposed Napoleon, and in the end, this came to nothing. [10]

Later life

Arms of Julie Clary as Queen Consort of Spain. Coat of Arms of Julie Clary as Queen Consort of Spain.svg
Arms of Julie Clary as Queen Consort of Spain.

Julie settled in Brussels in 1821, and then in Florence, Italy, at the Serristori Palace. She did not socialize with the French people. She was described as charming, quiet, dignified and peaceful and generally well liked. In 1823, she parted with her sister Desiree, who, as the Queen of Sweden, moved to Sweden.

In 1840, Joseph joined Julie in Florence. In spite of his adultery, she referred to Joseph as "my beloved husband". [ citation needed ] Joseph Bonaparte died on 28 July 1844, aged 76. Julie died eight months later in Florence, on 7 April 1845, at the age of seventy-three. They were buried side by side at the Basilica of Santa Croce in Florence. 17 years later, in 1862, the self-proclaimed French Emperor Napoleon III brought Joseph Bonaparte's remains back to France and had them inhumed to the right of his younger brother, the Emperor Napoleon I. The remains of Julie are still at the Basilica of Santa Croce in Florence beside those of her daughter, Charlotte, who died in Lucca, in Italy, on 3 March 1839, aged 36, giving birth to a stillborn child. [ citation needed ]


Joseph and Julie Bonaparte had three daughters:


Related Research Articles

House of Bonaparte imperial and royal European dynasty

The House of Bonaparte was an imperial and royal European dynasty of Italian origin. It was founded in 1804 by Napoleon I, the son of Genoese nobleman Carlo Buonaparte. Napoleon was a French military leader who had risen to power during the French Revolution and who in 1804 transformed the First French Republic into the First French Empire, five years after his coup d'état of November 1799. Napoleon turned the Grande Armée against every major European power and dominated continental Europe through a series of military victories during the Napoleonic Wars. He installed members of his family on the thrones of client states, extending the power of the dynasty.

Charles XIV John of Sweden King of Sweden and Norway between 1818-1844. Prince of Ponte Corvo 1806-1810 and French field marshal

Charles XIV John or Carl John, from 1818 until his death was King of Sweden and King of Norway and served as de facto regent and head of state from 1810 to 1818. He was also the Sovereign Prince of Pontecorvo, in south-central Italy, from 1806 until 1810.

Oscar I of Sweden King of Sweden and Norway between 1844-1859

Oscar I was King of Sweden and Norway from 8 March 1844 until his death. He was the second monarch of the House of Bernadotte.

Catharina of Württemberg Queen consort of Westphalia

Princess Catharina Frederica of Württemberg was Queen consort of Westphalia by marriage to Jérôme Bonaparte, who reigned as King of Westphalia between 1807 and 1813.

Désirée Clary Queen of Sweden and Norway

Bernardine Eugénie Désirée Clary, in Swedish officially Eugenia Bernhardina Desideria, was Queen of Sweden and Norway as the wife of King Charles XIV John, a former French general and founder of the House of Bernadotte. She was the mother of Oscar I, and one-time fiancée of Napoleon Bonaparte. She officially changed her name there to Desideria, which she did not use herself.

Caroline Bonaparte Queen of Naples and Sicily

Maria Annunziata Carolina Murat, better known as Caroline Bonaparte, was the seventh surviving child and third surviving daughter of Carlo Buonaparte and Letizia Ramolino, and a younger sister of Napoleon I of France. She was queen of Naples during the reign of her spouse there, and regent of Naples during his absence four times: in 1812-13, 1813, 1814 and 1815.

Charlotte Bonaparte Princess of France

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.

Sophia Albertina, Abbess of Quedlinburg Princess-Abbess of Quedlinburg

Princess Sophia Albertina of Sweden was the last Princess-Abbess of Quedlinburg Abbey, and as such reigned as vassal monarch of the Holy Roman Empire.

<i>Désirée</i> (film) 1954 film by Henry Koster

Désirée is a 1954 American historical-biographical film directed by Henry Koster and produced by Julian Blaustein from a screenplay by Daniel Taradash, based on the best-selling novel Désirée by Annemarie Selinko. The music score was by Alex North and the cinematography by Milton R. Krasner. The film was made in CinemaScope.

Joachim, 4th Prince Murat Major-General in the French Army

Joachim Joseph Napoléon Murat, 4th Prince Murat was a Major-General in the French Army and a member of the Bonaparte-Murat family.

Marie-Anne Elisabeth "Elise" la Flotte, or de Flotte, née Reboul, was a French Lady's companion, lady in waiting of the French Crown Princess of Sweden Désirée Clary, consort of Jean Baptiste Bernadotte.

Caroline Lewenhaupt, was a Swedish courtier, poet and amateur actress.

Marie-Marseille-Adéle "Marcelle" Tascher de la Pagerie née Clary (1792-1866) was a French countess. She served as överhovmästarinna for her paternal aunt, the Swedish Queen Désirée Clary.

<i>Le Destin fabuleux de Désirée Clary</i> 1942 French film directed by Sacha Guitry

Le Destin fabuleux de Désirée Clary is a French film released in September 1942, black and white, written and directed by Sacha Guitry. The film concerns the life of Désirée Clary, the daughter of a Marseilles merchant, who became Queen of Sweden and the founder of a dynasty.

1811 in Sweden Sweden-related events during the year of 1811

Events from the year 1811 in Sweden

1823 in Sweden Sweden-related events during the year of 1823

Events from the year 1823 in Sweden

Carl Abraham Arfwedson (1774-1861) was a Swedish silk merchant, director and etching artist.

Vilhelmina Gyldenstolpe, née De Geer, was a Swedish court official. She served as överhovmästarinna to the queen and later queen dowager of Sweden, Désirée Clary, from 1829 to 1858.


  1. Lindwall, Lilly: (Swedish) Desideria. Bernadotternas anmoder.[Desideria. The Ancestral Mother of the Bernadottes] Stockholm. Åhlén och Åkerlunds Förlag A.-B. (1919)
  2. Philip Mansel: The Eagle in Splendour: Inside the Court of Napoleon
  3. Philip Mansel: The Eagle in Splendour: Inside the Court of Napoleon
  4. Philip Mansel: The Eagle in Splendour: Inside the Court of Napoleon
  5. Philip Mansel: The Eagle in Splendour: Inside the Court of Napoleon
  6. Diccionario Biográfico. Real Academia de la Historia Julia Bonaparte
  7. Diccionario Biográfico. Real Academia de la Historia Julia Bonaparte
  8. Lindwall, Lilly: (Swedish) Desideria. Bernadotternas anmoder.[Desideria. The Ancestral Mother of the Bernadottes] Stockholm. Åhlén och Åkerlunds Förlag A.-B. (1919)
  9. Philip Mansel: The Eagle in Splendour: Inside the Court of Napoleon
  10. Charlottas, Hedvig Elisabeth (1942) [1812–1817]. af Klercker, Cecilia, ed. Hedvig Elisabeth Charlottas dagbok [The diary of Hedvig Elizabeth Charlotte] (in Swedish). IX 1812-1817. Translated by Cecilia af Klercker. Stockholm: P.A. Norstedt & Söners förlag. OCLC   14111333. (search for all versions on WorldCat)
Julie Clary
Born: 26 December 1771 Died: 7 April 1845
Royal titles
Preceded by
Marie Caroline of Austria
Queen consort of Naples and Sicily
Succeeded by
Caroline Bonaparte
Preceded by
Maria Luisa of Parma
Queen consort of Spain and the Indies
Succeeded by
Maria Isabel of Portugal