French Royalty: Emperess Joséphine's Children

Figure 1.--This minature was done in "Empire style". They were purchased from a Viennese noble family. The former owner told us that this two children are a son and a daughter of the French Emperor Napoleon Bonaparte, meaning Josephine's children who Napoleon adopted. Of course there is no proof on this story and elderly Barons may have a tendency to tell such stories. Click on the image to see the girl.

Alexandre and Hortense had two children. Few children had more drastic swings in their childhoods. Born into a wealthy aristocratic family after the Revolition they were the darlings of Paris because of their father's prominent position. Both experienced the Reign of Terror when their father was guillotines and their mother inprisoned and nearly executed herself. Then their mother married Napoleon and became Emperess.

Eugène de Beauharnais (1781-1824)

After the Revolution Joséphine almost sent the children to England, but there father objeced to his children becoming emigrees. Instead Eugène was taught carpentry to demonstrate the family's Republican virtues. Eugène remembered the dread of the Terror. After his mother's marraige, Napoleon took a great interest in Eugène. The boy entered the French military and served with destinction in several of the Napoleonic campaigns. Eugene was appointed Viceroy of Italy. He married a princess of Bavaria. Their daughter, Josephine of Leuchtenberg, married King Oscar I of Sweden thus linking Emperess Joséphine to the royal families of Belgium, Denmark, Greece, Luxembourg, Liechtenstein, Norway, and Sweden.

Hortense de Beauharnais (1783-1837)

Joséphine arranged for her daughter Hortense to marry Napoleon's brother Louis (1802). Neither Hortense or Louis liked the idea, but the Emperor insisted. Napoleon installed the two as King and Queen of Holland. Joséphine's grandson, the son of her daughter Hortense and Napoleon's younger brother Louis, Louis Charles would later rule as Napoleon III.


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Created: 3:08 AM 6/19/2004
Last updated: 3:08 AM 6/19/2004