In 1969, Monique Baudot, a French citizen who was then working in the press department of the Democratic Republic of the Congo's embassy in France, met Emperor Bảo Đại in Paris, France. The former Vietnamese monarch abdicated in 1945, a year later went to live overseas, returned to Vietnam in 1949 as Head of State of Vietnam, and overthrown by his Prime Minister Ngo Dinh Diem in 1955. He lived in exile in France thereafter.
In Paris around 1971, the former emperor and Baudot started to live together. They formally married in 1982.
Since the death of her husband in 1997, Baudot is also known as Her Very Gracious Majesty Empress Tây Phuong.