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
Emperor of the French , and his second wife,
Archduchess Marie Louise of Austria .
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
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
Napoleon I abdicated on 4 April 1814, he named his son as
Emperor. However, the coalition partners that had defeated him refused
to acknowledge his son as successor; thus
Napoleon I was forced to
abdicate unconditionally a number of days later. Although
never actually ruled France, he was briefly the titular Emperor of the
French in 1815 after the fall of his father. When his cousin
Louis-Napoléon Bonaparte became the next emperor by founding the
Second French Empire
Second French Empire in 1852, he called himself
Napoleon III to
Napoleon II and his brief reign.
* 1 Biography
* 1.1 Birth
* 1.2 Succession rights
* 1.3 Reign
* 1.4 Life in Austria
* 2 Death
* 2.1 Disposition of his remains
* 3 Legacy
* 4 Titles, styles, arms and honours
* 4.1 Titles and styles
* 4.2 Coat of arms
* 4.3 Honours
* 5 Ancestry
* 6 Sources
* 7 References
* 8 External links
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Empress Marie-Louise and her son Napoleon, King of Rome (by
François Gérard , 1813)
Napoleon was born on 20 March 1811 at the
Tuileries Palace , son of
Napoleon I and Empress Marie Louise . On the same day he was ondoyed
(a traditional French ceremony which is considered a preliminary,
brief baptism) by
Joseph Fesch with his full name of Napoleon
François Charles Joseph. The baptism, inspired by the baptismal
Louis, Grand Dauphin of France, was held on 9 June 1811 in
the Notre Dame de
Paris cathedral. Karl Philipp, Prince of
Schwarzenberg , Austrian ambassador to France, wrote of the baptism:
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 was loudly applauded;
in the monarch's manner and face could be seen the great satisfaction
that he took from this solemn moment.
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
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.
As the eldest 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 , to which he was the
Napoleon saw his second wife and their son for the
last time on 24 January 1814. On 4 April 1814,
Napoleon abdicated in
favour of his toddler son after the Six Days\' Campaign and the Battle
of Paris. The three-year-old 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 .
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.
In 1815, after 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,
awaiting the return of King Louis XVIII , who was in Le
Cateau-Cambrésis . 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 never aware at the time that he had been
proclaimed Emperor on his father's abdication.
The next Bonaparte to ascend the throne of
France would be
Louis-Napoleon, the son of Napoleon's brother Louis I, King of Holland
, in 1852. He took the regnal name of
Napoleon III . Portrait by
LIFE IN AUSTRIA
From the spring of 1814 onwards,
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.
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
Klemens von Metternich in bargaining
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 be part
of the army traveling to
Italy to put down a rebellion.
Upon the death of his stepfather,
Adam Albert von Neipperg , and the
revelation that his mother had borne two illegitimate children to him
prior to their marriage, Franz grew distant with 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". Portrait on his
death bed, engraved by
Franz Xaver Stöber
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 July 22, 1832, Franz died of
Schönbrunn Palace in
Vienna . 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
Napoleon III .
DISPOSITION OF HIS REMAINS
Napoleon II at
Les Invalides ,
On 15 December 1940,
Adolf Hitler ordered the remains of
to be transferred from
Vienna to the dome of
Les Invalides in Paris.
The remains of
Napoleon I had been returned to
France in December
1840, at the time of the
July Monarchy . 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
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 .
Napoleon II was also known as "The Eaglet" (L'Aiglon). Edmond
Rostand wrote a play, L\'Aiglon , about his life.
* Serbian composer Petar Stojanović composed the operetta Napoleon
II: Herzog von Reichstadt, which premiered in
Vienna in the 1920s.
Arthur Honegger and
Jacques Ibert collaborated on an opera,
L\'Aiglon , which premiered in 1937.
* The journalist
Henri Rochefort joked that
Napoleon II, having
never really governed, was France's best leader, since he brought no
war, taxes or tyranny.
* Neil Tennant of the
Pet Shop Boys
Pet Shop Boys wrote the lyrics of the song
King of Rome, on their album Yes, referring to
* Dean M Drinkel ">
King of Rome
Emperor of the French (titular ruler )
Duke of Reichstadt (1818–32)
Grand aigle of the Légion d\'honneur of France
Order of the Iron Crown of Italy
Order of Saint Stephen of Hungary
Sacred Military Constantinian Order of Saint George of the Duchy
ANCESTORS OF NAPOLEON II
16. Sebastiano Nicolo Buonaparte
Giuseppe Maria Buonaparte
17. Maria-Anna Tusilo di Bocognano
18. Giuseppe Maria Paravicini
9. Maria Saveria Paravicini
19. Maria-Angela Salineri
Emperor of the French
20. Giovanni-Agostino Ramolino
10. Giovanni Geronimo Ramolino
21. Angela-Maria Peri
22. Giuseppe Pietrasanta
11. Angela Maria Pietrasanta
23. Maria Giuseppa Malerba
1. NAPOLEON II, EMPEROR OF THE FRENCH
Francis I, Holy Roman Emperor
Leopold II, Holy Roman Emperor
Maria Theresa of Austria
Maria Theresa of Austria
Francis II, Holy Roman Emperor
Charles III of Spain
13. Maria Louisa of Spain
Maria Amalia of Saxony
3. Marie Louise of Austria
Charles III of Spain (= 26)
Ferdinand I of the Two Sicilies
Maria Amalia of Saxony (= 27)
Maria Teresa of the Two Sicilies
Francis I, Holy Roman Emperor (= 24)
Marie Caroline of Austria
Maria Theresa of Austria
Maria Theresa of Austria (= 25)
* Welschinger, Le roi de Rome, 1811–32, (Paris, 1897)
* Wertheimer, The Duke of Reichstadt, (London, 1905)
* ^ A B C D "
Napoleon II: King of Rome, French Emperor, Prince of
Parma, Duke of Reichstadt". The
Napoleon Foundation. napoleon.org.
March 2011. Retrieved 8 March 2012.
* ^ "Château de Fontainebleau". Musee-chateau-fontainebleau.fr.
* ^ 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 .
* ^ "(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.
* ^ "(N. 1.) Proclamation du Roi". Bulletin des lois de la
République française (in French). 25 June 1815. p. 1.
Napoleon II Biography
* ^ Markham, Felix, Napoleon, p. 249
* ^ Altman, Gail S. Fatal Links: The Curious Deaths of Beethoven
and the Two Napoleons (Paperback). Anubian Press (September 1999).
* ^ 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).
* ^ 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)
* ^ Driskel, Paul (1993). As Befits a Legend. Kent State University
Press. p. 168 ISBN 0-87338-484-9
* ^ Leo A. Loubere, Nineteenth-Century Europe: The Revolution of
Life, Englewood Cliffs, New Jersey: Prentice Hall, p. 154.
* ^ Palmer 1994 , p. 3.
* ^ Hassel, Georg (1 January 1830).
"Genealogisch-historisch-statistischer Almanach". im Verlag des
Landes-Industrie-Comptoirs. – via Google Books.