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Napoleon II of France

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Napoleon II
Portrait by Leopold Bucher
Emperor of the French
Tenure22 June 1815 – 7 July 1815
PredecessorNapoleon I
SuccessorLouis XVIII
as King of France and Navarre
RegentJoseph Fouché
King of Rome
Tenure20 March 1811 – 11 April 1814
Duke of Reichstadt
Tenure22 July 1818 – 22 July 1832
Born(1811-03-20)20 March 1811
Tuileries Palace, Paris, French Empire
Died22 July 1832(1832-07-22) (aged 21)
Schönbrunn Palace, Vienna, Austrian Empire
Full name
French: Napoléon François Charles Joseph Bonaparte
FatherNapoleon I, Emperor of the French
MotherArchduchess Marie Louise, Duchess of Parma

Napoléon François Charles Joseph Bonaparte (20 March 1811 – 22 July 1832) was the son of Napoleon and Marie Louise of Austria.

Early life[change | change source]

Napoléon II was born in Paris in 1811. In 1814, Napoleon I was defeated during the War of the Sixth Coalition and then forced to resign by his own officers. Napoleon I originally wanted Napoleon II to succeed him, but that was rejected by the coalition. Napoleon II and his mother went into exile in Austria, and Napoleon I was exiled to Elba. In 1815, Napoleon I escaped and retook control of France, but he was forced to resign again after his defeat at the Battle of Waterloo.

Emperor of the French[change | change source]

Napoleon was arguably the Emperor of the French in late June and early July 1815.

Life in Austria[change | change source]

Napoleon II as Duke of Reichstadt

Napoleon spent most of his life in Austria, where he was known as Franz. He became the Duke of Reichstadt at the age of seven and joined the Austrian Army when he was twelve.

Napoleon enjoyed a close relationship with Princess Sophie of Bavaria. It has been claimed that he was the father of Sophie's son, the future Maximilian I of Mexico, but that is widely rejected by historians.

Death[change | change source]

Napoleon died of tuberculosis on July 22, 1832.

Remains[change | change source]

In 1940, Adolf Hitler had Napoleon's remains moved from Vienna to the dome of Les Invalides, in Paris. His remains were buried next to his father's for some time but were later moved to the lower church.

Legacy[change | change source]

Maude Adams as Napoleon II in L'Aiglon

Sources[change | change source]

  • Welschinger, Le roi de Rome, 1811-32, (Paris, 1897)
  • Wertheimer, The Duke of Reichstadt, (London, 1905)