Thursday, March 2, 2017

Tales of the King of Rome

In spite of the egalitarian nature of the French Revolution, the son of Napoleon Bonaparte was being brought up in a manner befitting a dauphin. His story is a sad one. From Shannon Selin:
On January 24, 1814, the King of Rome saw his father for the last time. Napoleon left to campaign in Germany, in a failing attempt to prevent his enemies from entering France. On March 28, as the allies closed in on Paris, Napoleon wrote to insist that his wife Marie Louise and their son leave the city. Marie-Marguerite Broquet, the mother of Napoleon’s valet Louis-Joseph Marchand, was a nurse to the King of Rome. She told Marchand how the boy resisted leaving the Tuileries Palace.
The King of Rome…grabbed onto each piece of furniture so as not to go to Rambouillet, which he deemed too ugly. Made impatient by the force used on him – and force had to be used to get him into his carriage – he said in anger: ‘I don’t want to leave Paris, Papa is not here, I am the master here.’ (5)
When Napoleon was exiled to Elba, Marie Louise took the King of Rome to Vienna. He spent the rest of his life there, in the court of his grandfather, Emperor Francis I of Austria, who gave him the title of Duke of Reichstadt.(Read more.)

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