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Napoleon III of France

Person  Male  Born 1808  Died 9/1/1873

Last monarch of France. Son of Louis Bonaparte (Napoleon I's brother) and Hortense de Beauharnais, he was known as Louis Napoleon. He grew up in Switzerland and Germany, but due to involvement in revolutionary activities spent time in exile in the US, Switzerland and London. He was here in 1836, 1838-40 and 1848. The Second Empire was established in November 1852 and Louis Napoleon became Emperor Napoleon III. His reign was ended in 1870 by disaster in the Franco-Prussian War. So what did he do? Off to exile in England, where he eventually died, in Chislehurst. He died at his home at Camden Place, an 18th century mansion which would in 1894 become Chislehurst Golf Club.

During one of his visits to London (1838-40 at 1 Carlton Gardens) he was so impressed with the Mall, the John Nash terraces at Regent's Park, Hyde Park and our sewers that he and his planner, Hausmann, used them as models, with others, for their work in Paris.

In Manet's painting "The execution of Maximilian" the soldier at the back preparing to deliver the coup de grace is supposedly a portrait of this Napoleon, thus pointedly blaming the Emperor for the death.

Just to complete the picture: in 1815 Napoleon I abdicated in favour of his son (by Marie Louise), who became known as Napoleon II but he never ruled. He was known variously as the king of Rome, prince of Parma, duke of Reichstadt and (our favourite) the "Eaglet". To the best of our knowledge he never came to England.

The death of Napoleon III's son, also Louis-Napoleon, in 1879 ended the Napoleonic dynasty.

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Napoleon III of France

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Napoleon III

Above the name an eagle is depicted.

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Napoleon III of France

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Richard Cobden statue

Sicilian marble. W. and T. Wills of 12 Euston Road were the sculptors. Still ...

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