02.09.

1778: Louis Bonaparte – Napoleon’s Brother who continued the Lineage

1778: Louis Bonaparte – Napoleon’s Brother who continued the Lineage
Photo Credit To Wikipedia Commons

Story Highlights

  • Historical event:
  • 2 September 1778
  • Louis Bonaparte married the stepdaughter of his brother Napoleon, Hortense de Beauharnais, only daughter of Napoleon's Joséphine. Three sons were born to Louis and Hortense, the youngest of whom would much later become the new Emperor of France (Napoleon III).

Napoleon’s younger brother Louis Bonaparte was born on this day in 1778.

His son Napoleon III would later become the Emperor of France and thus continue the lineage (Napoleon I’s own son never truly became emperor and died childless).

Louis Bonaparte received many honors from Napoleon, who named him King of Holland (Napoleon’s name for the contemporary Netherlands). As king, Louis showed himself unusually receptive towards Dutch culture. He learned Dutch and even changed his name to Lodewijk I (the Dutch variant of the name Louis). Even though they were mostly appointed by Emperor Napoleon, he allegedly insisted that his courtiers and ministers speak Dutch.

Louis married the stepdaughter of his brother Napoleon, Hortense de Beauharnais, only daughter of Napoleon’s Joséphine. Three sons were born to Louis and Hortense, the youngest of whom would much later become the new Emperor of France (the aforementioned Napoleon III).

As Lodewijk I Louis Bonaparte was the King of Holland for only four years, and was then forced into exile. He even spent the 1811-1813 period in Graz, Styria. He died in Livorno, Italy, aged 68. From 1844 to his death, the Bonapartists considered him Napoleon’s legal successor i.e. the legal pretender to the title of French Emperor (after his death, these rights were transferred to his son, Napoleon III).

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