Figure 1.-- Queen Victoria in 1855 visited Paris. Napoleon III took the Queen and Prince Consort to visit Napoleon I's tomb at Les Invalides. This was not the most politically astute step. here we see Prince Albert (future Edward VII) wearing kilts with his father the Prince Condsort and I believe Princesses Victoria and Alice. Click on the imagec to see the Queen and Napoleon II. I'm not sure who the artist was.
Queen Victoria in 1855 visited Paris. Napoleon III took the Queen and Prince Consort to visit Napoleon I's tomb at Les Invalides. The Queen was not at all impressed with Paris, considering it a den of iniquity. She and the Prince Consort brough the Prince of Wales with them. Nertie would have been about 14 years old. For the official functions he was outfitted in a Highland kilt outfit. The French had always had an affection for Scotland dating back to the assistance and safe have provided to the Scottish monarchy. Soon after the Queen's visit, young French boys began appearing in kilts.
Queen Victoria in 1855 visited Paris. Louis Napoleon, the Emperor Napoleon I's nephew, has seized the French Government ending the Second Republic. France was still seen by most Englishmen as their historic and continual continental enemy. A new Napoleon in power confirmed their worst fears. The British even built forts along the southern coast in case of a French invasion. The Prince Consort was at forst dismissed by the English ruling class, but by the 1850s with the Queen often preganant or caring for the children, Government officials increasingly saw the extrodinary competence of her husband. The visit to France was a diplomatic move to help establish cordial relations with the new French ruler. Also the Prince Consort hoped to learn a bit about him.
Napoleon had died on the lonely South Atlantic island of St. Helena, carefullyb guarded by the British. His body had been brought back to France and buried at a spot at the head of Sane Valley which Napoleon chose for his burial. Napoleon's remains were disinterred in 1840 (exactly 25 years after he arrived on St. Helena) during the rein of Louis Phillipe taken to Les Invalides, Paris. His tomb by 1855 had become a national shrine. Napoleon III took the Queen and Prince Consort to visit Napoleon I's tomb at Les Invalides. This would seem to have been an extrodinarily poor diplomatic step. Napoleon I had almost succeeded in conquering all of Europe. Even in the 1850s, European morachies viewed Napoleon I with horror. Now his nephew who hoped to restore the glories of the First Empire was about to claim the title of Napoleon III. Surely it would have been more diplomatic to have taken his English visitors to some more appropriate suite. It was because of gaffes like this that in 1870 when war came between Prussia and France, Napoleon III and France would be alone. The Frencgh Army was crushed in weeks in the Franco Prussian War and Paris besieged.
The Queen was not at all impressed with Paris, considering it a den of iniquity. The Queen like many English in the 1850s continued to see the French as their great eneny. When the Prussians defeated Napoleon III and surrounded Paris, the Queen was pleased. She disliked Napoleon III intensely, but in the end permitted him and his sons as fellow royals to seek refuge in England. The Princess of Wales, Prince Albert's future wife, despised the Prussians. It was the incredibly belicose, irresponsible diplomacy of Kaiser Wilhelm II after firing Bismarck, as well as his decission to build a highseas navy, that would in the end alienate the British and even his grandmother Queen Victoria.
Queen Victopria and the Prince Consort brough the Prince of Wales with them. Nertie would have been about 14 years old. It was one of his first important official functions outside England. Although a poor student, the Prince could speak French and German.
While the royal visit was of questionable diplomatic success, in terms of fashion thaere was a very significant outcome. For the official functions, the royal couple's oldest son, Prince Albert was outfitted in a Highland kilt outfit with black jacket, small Eton collar, bow, kilt, and Argylec kneesocks. Notice the black cap (looking like a tam), streamers, and eagle feather. The French had always had an affection for Scotland dating back to the assistance and safehave provided to the Scottish monarchy. Soon after the Queen's visit, young French boys began appearing in kilts.
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