Saturday, June 25, 2011

A Princess from Savoy

The Mad Monarchist shares the story of Marie-Clotilde of Savoy, who married one of Napoleon's obnoxious nephews.
 From the time she was quite young Princess Maria Clotilde was known for her modesty, piety and good nature. Her mother was a very devout Catholic woman and impressed upon her the importance of religion, the Church and good moral character, lessons she learned well. However, the Princess did not have much time for childhood. As was the fate of princesses everywhere her marriage was soon the subject of political considerations. At this time, the French Second Empire was the largely dominant power on the continent and King Victor Emmanuel II had it impressed upon him constantly that the goal of a united Italy required the good will of the French Emperor Napoleon III. A Savoy-Bonaparte marriage seemed like just the thing to help bind Paris and Turin together; something which the House of Savoy at least would have thought absolutely unthinkable in the past. Arrangements were soon being made for Princess Maria Clotilde to marry Napoleon Joseph Charles Paul Bonaparte, son of Jerome Bonaparte the one-time King of Westphalia.

The princess was less than overjoyed at the news she was to marry Bonaparte. In fact, she was absolutely horrified by the prospect and with good reason. She was an intensely religious, innocent, petite girl of barely fifteen. Her husband-to-be was a very large, very anti-clerical and worldly man of more than thirty-seven. She was so young in fact that the wedding had to be postponed for a time and the Piedmontese were less than impressed with how anxious the lumbering Bonaparte was to come and scoop up their dear little princess. The two were married in Turin on January 30, 1859 in what some onlookers described as the union of a gazelle and an elephant. (Read entire post.)

1 comment:

MadMonarchist said...

Thanks for the link. I really hope her cause goes forward, she was such a wonderful person. My worry comes from meeting so many people who turn off their heart and head whenever the name "Savoy" or "Bonaparte" is even mentioned. And that's a shame.