Napoleon II

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Napoleon II
Le duc de Reichstadt.jpg
Portrait by Leopold Bucher
Emperor of the French
Disputed
Tenure22 June 1815 – 7 July 1815
Predecessor Napoleon I
Successor Louis XVIII
as King of France and Navarre
Regent Joseph Fouché
King of Rome
Tenure20 March 1811 – 11 April 1814
Duke of Reichstadt
Tenure22 July 1818 – 22 July 1832
Born(1811-03-20)20 March 1811
Tuileries Palace, Paris, French Empire
Died22 July 1832(1832-07-22) (aged 21)
Schönbrunn Palace, Vienna, Austrian Empire
Burial
Full name
French: Napoléon François Charles Joseph Bonaparte
House Bonaparte
Father Napoleon I, Emperor of the French
Mother Archduchess Marie Louise, Duchess of Parma
Religion Roman Catholicism

Napoléon François Charles Joseph Bonaparte (20 March 1811 22 July 1832), Prince Imperial, King of Rome, known in the Austrian court as Franz from 1814 onward, Duke of Reichstadt from 1818, was the son of Napoleon I, Emperor of the French, and his second wife, Archduchess Marie Louise of Austria.

Napoleon 18th/19th-century French monarch, military and political leader

Napoléon Bonaparte was a French statesman and military leader of Italian descent who rose to prominence during the French Revolution and led several successful campaigns during the French Revolutionary Wars. He was Emperor of the French as Napoleon I from 1804 until 1814 and again briefly in 1815 during the Hundred Days. Napoleon dominated European and global affairs for more than a decade while leading France against a series of coalitions in the Napoleonic Wars. He won most of these wars and the vast majority of his battles, building a large empire that ruled over much of continental Europe before its final collapse in 1815. He is considered one of the greatest commanders in history, and his wars and campaigns are studied at military schools worldwide. Napoleon's political and cultural legacy has endured as one of the most celebrated and controversial leaders in human history.

Marie Louise, Duchess of Parma Empress of France

Marie Louise was an Austrian archduchess who reigned as Duchess of Parma from 1814 until her death. She was Napoleon's second wife and, as such, Empress of the French from 1810 to 1814.

Contents

By Title III, article 9 of the French Constitution of the time, he was Prince Imperial, but he was also known from birth as the King of Rome, which Napoleon I declared was the courtesy title of the heir apparent. His nickname of L'Aiglon ("the Eaglet") was awarded posthumously and was popularized by the Edmond Rostand play, L'Aiglon .

Constitution of the Year XII

The Constitution of the Year XII was a national constitution of France adopted during the Year XII of the French Revolutionary Calendar.

A courtesy title is a title that does not have legal significance but rather is used through custom or courtesy, particularly, in the context of nobility, the titles used by children of members of the nobility.

An heir apparent or heiress apparent is a person who is first in a line of succession and cannot be displaced from inheriting by the birth of another person. An heir presumptive, by contrast, is someone who is first in line to inherit a title but who can be displaced by the birth of a more eligible heir.

When Napoleon I tried to abdicate on 4 April 1814, he said that his son would rule as Emperor. However, the coalition victors refused to acknowledge his son as successor, and Napoleon I was forced to abdicate unconditionally some days later. Although Napoleon II never actually ruled France, he was briefly the titular Emperor of the French in 1815 after the second fall of his father. When his cousin Louis-Napoléon Bonaparte became the next emperor by founding the Second French Empire in 1852, he called himself Napoleon III to acknowledge Napoleon II and his brief reign.

War of the Sixth Coalition Part of the Napoleonic Wars

In the War of the Sixth Coalition, sometimes known in Germany as the War of Liberation, a coalition of Austria, Prussia, Russia, the United Kingdom, Portugal, Sweden, Spain and a number of German States defeated France and drove Napoleon into exile on Elba. After the disastrous French invasion of Russia of 1812, the continental powers joined Russia, the United Kingdom, Portugal and the rebels in Spain who were already at war with France.

A titular ruler, or titular head, is a person in an official position of leadership who possesses few, if any, actual powers. Sometimes a person may inhabit a position of titular leadership and yet exercise more power than would normally be expected, as a result of their personality or experience. A titular ruler is not confined to political leadership but can also reference any organization, such as a corporation.

Emperor of the French title used by the House of Bonaparte

Emperor of the French was the monarch of the First French Empire and the Second French Empire.

Biography

Empress Marie-Louise and her son Napoleon, King of Rome (by Francois Gerard, 1813) Francois Pascal Simon Gerard 004b.jpg
Empress Marie-Louise and her son Napoleon, King of Rome (by François Gérard, 1813)

Birth

Napoleon was born on 20 March 1811 at the Tuileries Palace, son of Napoleon I and Empress Marie Louise. On the same day he underwent ondoyé (a traditional French ceremony which is considered a preliminary, brief baptism) by Joseph Fesch with his full name of Napoleon François Charles Joseph. [1] The baptism, inspired by the baptismal ceremony of Louis, Grand Dauphin of France, was held on 9 June 1811 in Notre Dame de Paris. [1] Karl Philipp, Prince of Schwarzenberg, Austrian ambassador to France, wrote of the baptism:

Tuileries Palace royal and imperial palace in Paris which stood on the right bank of the River Seine

The Tuileries Palace was a royal and imperial palace in Paris which stood on the right bank of the River Seine. It was the usual Parisian residence of most French monarchs, from Henry IV to Napoleon III, until it was burned by the Paris Commune in 1871.

Joseph Fesch French cardinal, diplomat, and Prince of France

Joseph Fesch, Prince of France was a French cardinal and diplomat, Prince of France and a member of the Imperial House of the First French Empire, Peer of France, Roman Prince, and the uncle of Napoleon Bonaparte. He was also one of the most famous art collectors of his period, remembered for having established the Musée Fesch in Ajaccio, which remains one of the most important Napoleonic collections of art.

Louis, Grand Dauphin eldest son and heir of Louis XIV, King of France

Louis of France was the eldest son and heir of Louis XIV, King of France, and his spouse, Maria Theresa of Spain. As the heir apparent to the French throne, he was styled Dauphin. He became known as Le Grand Dauphin after the birth of his own son, Le Petit Dauphin. As he died before his father, he never became king. His grandson became Louis XV of France.

The baptism ceremony was beautiful and impressive; the scene in which the emperor took the infant from the arms of his noble mother and raised him up twice to reveal him to the public [thus breaking from long tradition, as he did when he crowned himself at his coronation] was loudly applauded; in the monarch's manner and face could be seen the great satisfaction that he took from this solemn moment. [1]

He was put in the care of Louise Charlotte Françoise Le Tellier de Montesquiou, a descendant of François-Michel le Tellier, Marquis de Louvois, who was named Governess of the Children of France. Affectionate and intelligent, the governess assembled a considerable collection of books intended to give the infant a strong grounding in religion, philosophy, and military matters. [1]

François-Michel le Tellier, Marquis de Louvois Secretary of State for War under Louis XIV

François Michel Le Tellier, Marquis of Louvois was the French Secretary of State for War for a significant part of the reign of Louis XIV. Louvois and his father, Michel le Tellier, would increase the French Army to 400,000 soldiers, an army that would fight four wars between 1667 and 1713. He is commonly referred to as "Louvois".

The Governess of the Children of France was office at the royal French court during the Pre-Revolutionary France and the Bourbon Restoration. She was charged with the education of the children and grandchildren of the monarch. The holder of the office was taken from the highest ranking nobility of France. The governess was supported by various deputies or under-governesses.

Succession rights

As the only legitimate son of Napoleon I, he was already constitutionally the Prince Imperial and heir apparent, but the Emperor also gave his son the style of King of Rome. Three years later, the First French Empire collapsed. Napoleon I saw his second wife and their son for the last time on 24 January 1814. [2] On 4 April 1814, he abdicated in favour of his three-year-old son after the Six Days' Campaign and the Battle of Paris. The child became Emperor of the French under the regnal name of Napoleon II. However, on 6 April 1814, Napoleon I fully abdicated and renounced not only his own rights to the French throne, but also those of his descendants. The Treaty of Fontainebleau in 1814 gave the child the right to use the title of Prince of Parma, of Placentia, and of Guastalla, and his mother was styled the Duchess of Parma, of Placentia, and of Guastalla.

Reign

On 29 March 1814, accompanied by her suite, Marie Louise left the Tuileries Palace with her son. Their first stop was the Château de Rambouillet; then, fearing the advancing enemy troops, they continued on to the Château de Blois. On 13 April, with her suite much diminished, Marie Louise and her three-year-old son were back in Rambouillet, where they met her father, the Emperor Francis I of Austria, and the Emperor Alexander I of Russia. On 23 April, escorted by an Austrian regiment, mother and son left Rambouillet and France forever, for their exile in Austria. [3]

In 1815, after his resurgence and his defeat at Waterloo, Napoleon I abdicated for the second time in favour of his four-year-old son, whom he had not seen since his exile to Elba. The day after Napoleon's abdication, a Commission of Government of five members took the rule of France, [4] awaiting the return of the Bourbon King Louis XVIII, who was in Le Cateau-Cambrésis. [5] The Commission held power for two weeks, but never formally summoned Napoleon II as Emperor or appointed a regent. The entrance of the Allies into Paris on 7 July brought a rapid end to his supporters' wishes. Napoleon II was residing in Austria with his mother and was probably not aware at the time that he had been proclaimed Emperor on his father's abdication.

The next Bonaparte to ascend the throne of France, in 1852, would be Louis-Napoleon, the son of Napoleon's brother Louis I, King of Holland. He took the regnal name of Napoleon III.

Portrait by Moritz Daffinger Nap-receis 50.jpg
Portrait by Moritz Daffinger

Life in Austria

From the spring of 1814 onwards, the young Napoleon lived in Austria and was known as "Franz", his second given name. In 1818, he was awarded the title of Duke of Reichstadt by his maternal grandfather, Emperor Francis. He was educated by a staff of military tutors and developed a passion for soldiering, dressing in a miniature uniform like his father's and performing maneuvers in the palace. At the age of 8, it was apparent to his tutors that he had chosen his career.

By 1820, Napoleon had completed his elementary studies and begun his military training, learning German, Italian and mathematics as well as receiving advanced physical training. His official army career began at age 12, in 1823, when he was made a cadet in the Austrian Army. Accounts from his tutors describe Napoleon as intelligent, serious and focused. Additionally, he was a very tall young man: he had grown to nearly 6 feet by the time he was 17.

His budding military career gave some concern and fascination to the monarchies of Europe and French leaders over his possible return to France. However, he was allowed to play no political role and instead was used by Austrian Chancellor Klemens von Metternich in bargaining with France to gain advantage for Austria. Fearful of anyone in the Bonaparte family regaining political power, Metternich even rejected a request for Franz to move to a warmer climate in Italy. He received another rejection when his grandfather refused to allow him to join the army traveling to Italy to put down a rebellion. [6]

Upon the death of his stepfather, Adam Albert von Neipperg, and the revelation that his mother had borne two illegitimate children to Neipperg prior to their marriage, Franz grew distant from his mother and felt that his Austrian family were holding him back to avoid political controversy. He said to his friend, Anton von Prokesch-Osten, "If Josephine had been my mother, my father would not have been buried at Saint Helena, and I should not be at Vienna. My mother is kind but weak; she was not the wife my father deserved". [7]

Portrait on his death bed, engraved by Franz Xaver Stober Herzog von Reichstadt auf dem Totenbett.jpg
Portrait on his death bed, engraved by Franz Xaver Stöber

Death

In 1831, Franz was given command of an Austrian battalion, but he never got the chance to serve in any meaningful capacity. In 1832, he caught pneumonia and was bedridden for several months. His poor health eventually overtook him and on 22 July 1832 Franz died of tuberculosis at Schönbrunn Palace in Vienna. [8] He left no issue; thus the Napoleonic claim to the throne of France passed to his cousin, Louis-Napoléon Bonaparte, who later successfully restored the empire as Napoleon III.

Disposition of his remains

Tomb of Napoleon II at Les Invalides, Paris Napoleon II Tomb.jpg
Tomb of Napoleon II at Les Invalides, Paris

On 15 December 1940, Adolf Hitler ordered the remains of Napoleon II to be transferred from Vienna to the dome of Les Invalides in Paris. [9] [10] The remains of Napoleon I had been returned to France in December 1840, at the time of the July Monarchy. [11] For some time, the remains of the young prince who had briefly been an emperor rested beside those of his father. Later, the prince's remains were moved to the lower church.

While most of his remains were transferred to Paris, his heart and intestines remained in Vienna, which is traditional for members of the Habsburg house. They are in Urn 42 in the "Heart Crypt" ( Herzgruft ) and his viscera are in Urn 76 of the Ducal Crypt.

Legacy

He was noted for his friendship with Sophie, a Bavarian princess of the House of Wittelsbach. [13] Intelligent, ambitious and strong-willed, Sophie had little in common with her husband Franz Karl. There were rumors of a love affair between Sophie and Napoleon II, as well as the possibility that Sophie's second son, Maximilian I of Mexico (born 1832), was the result issue of the affair.

Titles, styles, arms and honours

Titles and styles

Honours

Coat of arms

Ancestry

Sources

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References

  1. 1 2 3 4 "Napoleon II: King of Rome, French Emperor, Prince of Parma, Duke of Reichstadt". The Napoleon Foundation. napoleon.org. March 2011. Retrieved 8 March 2012.
  2. "Château de Fontainebleau". Musee-chateau-fontainebleau.fr. Retrieved 2012-08-28.
  3. G. Lenotre, le Château de Rambouillet, six siècles d'histoire, ch. L'empereur, Éditions Denoël, Paris, 1984 (1930 reedition), pp. 126–133, ISBN   2-207-23023-6.
  4. "(N.275.) Arrete par lequel la Commission du Gouvernement se constitue sous la présidence M. le Duc d'Otrante". Bulletin des lois de la République française (in French). 23 June 1815. p. 279.
  5. "(N. 1.) Proclamation du Roi". Bulletin des lois de la République française (in French). 25 June 1815. p. 1.
  6. Napoleon II Biography
  7. Markham, Felix, Napoleon, p. 249
  8. Altman, Gail S. Fatal Links: The Curious Deaths of Beethoven and the Two Napoleons (Paperback). Anubian Press (September 1999). ISBN   1-888071-02-8
  9. Poisson, Georges, (Robert L. Miller, translator), Hitler's Gift to France: The Return of the Ashes of Napoleon II, Enigma Books, ISBN   978-1-929631-67-4 (Synopsis & Review by Maria C. Bagshaw).
  10. Poisson, Georges, Le retour des cendres de l'Aiglon, Édition Nouveau Monde, Paris, 2006, ISBN   2847361847 French wags at the time countered Hitler's propaganda by saying "Hitler stole France's coal, but returned to them the ashes." (French)
  11. Driskel, Paul (1993). As Befits a Legend. Kent State University Press. p. 168 ISBN   0-87338-484-9
  12. Leo A. Loubere, Nineteenth-Century Europe: The Revolution of Life, Englewood Cliffs, New Jersey: Prentice Hall, p. 154.
  13. Palmer 1994, p. 3.
  14. Hassel, Georg (1 January 1830). "Genealogisch-historisch-statistischer Almanach". im Verlag des Landes-Industrie-Comptoirs. via Google Books.
Napoleon II
Born: 20 March 1811 Died: 22 July 1832
Regnal titles
Preceded by
Napoleon I
Emperor of the French
(disputed)

22 June 1815 – 7 July 1815
Bourbon Restoration II
Titles in pretence
Loss of title
 TITULAR 
Emperor of the French
7 July 1815 – 22 July 1832
Succeeded by
Joseph I
French royalty
Preceded by
Joseph Bonaparte
Heir to the Throne
as Heir apparent
20 March 1811 – 11 April 1814
Succeeded by
Charles, Count of Artois
Preceded by
Charles, Count of Artois
Heir to the Throne
as Heir apparent
20 March 1815 – 22 June 1815
Succeeded by
Joseph Bonaparte