Emperor of the French


Emperor of the French (French: Empereur des Français) was the title of the monarch of the First and the Second French Empires.

Emperor of the French
Empereur des Français
Imperial
First emperor
Napoleon I

18 May 1804 – 6 April 1814 then again in March to June of 1815
Details
StyleHis Imperial Majesty
First monarchNapoleon I
Last monarchNapoleon III
Formation18 May 1804
2 December 1852
Abolition22 June 1815
4 September 1870
ResidenceTuileries Palace, Paris
Pretender(s)Jean-Christophe Napoléon

Details


The Four Napoleons

A title and office used by the House of Bonaparte starting when Napoleon was proclaimed Emperor on 18 May 1804 by the Senate and was crowned Emperor of the French on 2 December 1804 at the cathedral of Notre-Dame de Paris, in Paris, with the Crown of Napoleon.[1]

The title emphasized that the emperor ruled over "the French people" (the nation) and not over France (the state). The old formula of "King of France" indicated that the king owned France as a personal possession. The new term indicated a constitutional monarchy.[2] The title was purposely created to preserve the appearance of the French Republic and to show that after the French Revolution, the feudal system was abandoned and a nation-state was created, with equal citizens as the subjects of their emperor. (After 1 January 1809, the state was officially referred to as the French Empire.[3])

The title of "Emperor of the French" was supposed to demonstrate that Napoleon's coronation was not a restoration of the monarchy, but an introduction of a new political system: the French Empire. Napoleon's reign lasted until 22 June 1815, when he was defeated at the Battle of Waterloo, exiled and imprisoned on the island of Saint Helena, where he died on 5 May 1821. His reign was interrupted by the Bourbon Restoration of 1814 and his exile to Elba, from where he escaped less than a year later to reclaim the throne, reigning as Emperor for another 111 days before his final defeat and exile.

Less than a year after the 1851 French coup d'état by Napoleon's nephew Louis-Napoléon Bonaparte, which ended in the successful dissolution of the French National Assembly, the Second French Republic was transformed into the Second French Empire, established by a referendum on 7 November 1852. President Louis-Napoléon Bonaparte, elected by the French people, officially became Napoleon III, Emperor of the French, from the symbolic and historic date of 2 December 1852. His reign continued until 4 September 1870, after he was captured at the Battle of Sedan during the Franco-Prussian War. He subsequently went into exile in the United Kingdom, where he died on 9 January 1873.

Since the death of Napoleon III's only son, Louis Napoléon in 1879, the House of Bonaparte has had a number of claimants to the French throne. The current claimant is Charles, Prince Napoléon, who became head of the House of Bonaparte on 3 May 1997. His position is challenged by his son, Jean-Christophe, Prince Napoléon, who was named as heir in his late grandfather's testament.

Full styles


The Emperors of the French had various titles and claims that reflected the geographic expanse and diversity of the lands ruled by the House of Bonaparte.

Napoleon I

His Imperial and Royal Majesty Napoleon I, By the Grace of God and the Constitution of the Republic, Emperor of the French, King of Italy, Protector of the Confederation of the Rhine, Mediator of the Swiss Confederation and Co-Prince of Andorra.

Among the honors he instituted or received were:

Napoleon II

His Imperial Majesty Napoleon II, By the Grace of God and the Constitution of the Republic, Emperor of the French and Co-Prince of Andorra.

Napoleon III

His Imperial Majesty Napoleon III, By the Grace of God and the will of the Nation, Emperor of the French and Co-Prince of Andorra.[12]

List of emperors


First French Empire

NameLifespanReign startReign endNotesFamilyImage
Napoleon I
  • the Great
(1769-08-15)15 August 1769 – 5 May 1821(1821-05-05) (aged 51)18 May 180411 April 1814Bonaparte

Hundred Days

Regarded as a continuation of the First French Empire despite the brief exile of the Emperor Napoleon I

NameLifespanReign startReign endNotesFamilyImage
Napoleon I
  • the Great
(1769-08-15)15 August 1769 – 5 May 1821(1821-05-05) (aged 51)20 March 181522 June 1815Bonaparte
Napoleon II
[13]
(1811-03-20)20 March 1811 – 22 July 1832(1832-07-22) (aged 21)22 June 18157 July 1815Son of Napoleon IBonaparte

Second French Empire

NameLifespanReign startReign endNotesFamilyImage
Napoleon III(1808-04-20)20 April 1808 – 9 January 1873(1873-01-09) (aged 64)2 December 18524 September 1870Nephew of Napoleon I
Cousin of Napoleon II
Bonaparte

See also


References


  1. Thierry, Lentz. "The Proclamation of Empire by the Sénat Conservateur". napoleon.org. Fondation Napoléon. Retrieved 15 August 2014.
  2. Philip Dwyer, Citizen Emperor: Napoleon in Power (2013) p 129
  3. "Decree upon the Term, French Republic". www.napoleon-series.org.
  4. "A Szent István Rend tagjai" Archived 22 December 2010 at the Wayback Machine
  5. Hof- und Staatshandbuch des Königreichs Bayern: 1812. Landesamt. 1812. p. 27.
  6. J ..... -H ..... -Fr ..... Berlien (1846). Der Elephanten-Orden und seine Ritter. Berling. pp. 122–124.
  7. Bragança, Jose Vicente de (2011). "A Evolução da Banda das Três Ordens Militares (1789-1826)" [The Evolution of the Band of the Three Military Orders (1789-1826)]. Lusíada História (in Portuguese). 2 (8): 272. ISSN 0873-1330. Retrieved 17 March 2020.
  8. Liste der Ritter des Königlich Preußischen Hohen Ordens vom Schwarzen Adler (1851), "Von Seiner Majestät dem Könige Friedrich Wilhelm III. ernannte Ritter" p. 15
  9. Sergey Semenovich Levin (2003). "Lists of Knights and Ladies". Order of the Holy Apostle Andrew the First-called (1699-1917). Order of the Holy Great Martyr Catherine (1714-1917). Moscow.
  10. "Caballeros Existentes en la Insignie Orden del Toyson de Oro", Calendario manual y guía de forasteros en Madrid (in Spanish): 41, 1806, retrieved 17 March 2020
  11. Per Nordenvall (1998). "Kungl. Maj:ts Orden". Kungliga Serafimerorden: 1748–1998 (in Swedish). Stockholm. ISBN 91-630-6744-7.
  12. "Napoleonic Titles and Heraldry". www.heraldica.org.
  13. From 22 June to 7 July 1815, Bonapartists considered Napoleon II as the legitimate heir to the throne, his father having abdicated in his favor. However, the young child's reign was entirely fictional, as he was residing in Austria with his mother. Louis XVIII was reinstalled as king on 7 July.