Empress Eugénie

Wife of Napoleon III

1826 – 1920 A.D.

Napoleon III was a nephew of Napoleon Bonaparte, and was born in 1808. He lived in exile from 1815 – 1830, joined in a revolt against the pope, attempted to organize a revolution among the French soldiers at Stasburg, invaded France and made an attack, was captured and held prisoner for six years, when he escaped, was made a member of the National Assembly of France, became president of the republic, was chosen president for ten years, was elected emperor, married Eugénie, took part in Crimean war, fought against Austria, interfered in affairs of Mexico, declared war with Germany and was taken prisoner at Sedan. The following year he removed to England, where he died in 1873.

Eugénie was the daughter of a Spanish officer; her mother was descended from Scotch Roman Catholic parentage.

She visited Paris the year before Louis Napoleon became emperor and was married to him the year after he gained the throne. The municipality of Paris bestowed upon the bride a wedding gift of six hundred thousand francs, but at her request it was expended in founding a female college. With her husband she visited Queen Victoria and from that time Queen and Empress were close friends.

She served as regent three times – first when Napoleon was absent in Italy, again when he was making his Algerian tour, and lastly, upon his departure for the seat of war, when his arms were directed against Germany.

After the battle of Sedan, in which her husband was captured, she was urged to flee from Paris, as the streets were full of excited people and the palace was beset by an infuriated mob.

By the aid of friends she managed to get through the German lines which guarded Paris and so escaped to England, where the Emperor joined her upon his release. He joined the English troops and was slain by the savages in South Africa. This grief, coupled with other reserves and losses, for a time threatened the life of Eugénie.


Reference: Woman: Her Position, Influence, and Achievement Throughout the Civilized World published by the King-Richardson Co. in 1903.