1997: Bảo Đại – The Last Emperor of Vietnam

1997: Bảo Đại – The Last Emperor of Vietnam
Photo Credit To Wikipedia Commons

Story Highlights

  • Historical event:
  • 30 July 1997
  • After his departure from Vietnam, he spent some time in the south of France, and in the Principality of Monaco. He allegedly owned one of the largest yachts, and used it for many sailings. Bảo Đại was buried in Passy Cemetery, near Trocadero, Paris.

The last Emperor of Vietnam, Bảo Đại, died on this day in 1997.

He was the 13th ruler, who was also a member of the Nguyễn dynasty. Đại became Emperor of Vietnam when he was 12 years old. He was born in Huế (the capital of Vietnam) in 1913. His father was the previous Emperor Khai Dinh. It is interesting to note that the city of Huế is located very close to the former border between North and South Vietnam.

After the 1880s, the Vietnamese emperors didn’t have much power over the land, but were under the control of the French colonialists. But, the French allowed them to rule the area of Annam (the central part of today’s Vietnam, and the city of Huế was their capital). The French colonialists even controlled the area of Indochina, i.e. Laos, Cambodia, and Vietnam.

Bảo Đại received his education at the Lycée Condorcet, and the Paris Institute of Political Studies. It is interesting to note that he was educated in France even after he had been elected emperor (after his father’s death). He married a Vietnamese girl, who was a Roman Catholic. Their youngest son Bảo Thắng is a pretender to the Vietnamese Imperial Throne.

Đại abdicated his throne in 1945, but war broke out, and the French appointed Đại the head of the state. In 1955, he was deposed. After his departure from Vietnam, he spent some time in the south of France, and in the Principality of Monaco. He allegedly owned one of the largest yachts, and used it for many sailings. Bảo Đại was buried in Passy Cemetery, near Trocadero, Paris.

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