Divorce was difficult for Josephine, but she and Napoleon still tried to remain on good terms. She lived at the Château de Malmaison near Paris, where she grew roses.
On this day in 1814, the famous French Empress Josephine, wife of Napoleon Bonaparte, died. The love between her and Napoleon was confirmed by his numerous love letters. Interestingly enough, she was six years older than Napoleon and was already a widow at the time they met. Her previous husband was a nobleman, a French viscount who was executed on the guillotine during the French Revolution.
Josephine became the Empress of the French (French: Impératrice des Français) at the age of 40. Five years later, Napoleon divorced her. Namely, she was not able to produce him an heir and he needed a new marriage for political reasons. Divorce was difficult for Josephine, but she and Napoleon still tried to remain on good terms. She lived at the Château de Malmaison near Paris, where she grew roses.
On this day, only four years after the divorce, Josephine died at the mentioned Malmaison. The cause of death was pneumonia, which reportedly developed from complications after catching a cold during a walk with Tsar Alexander in the gardens of Malmaison. At that time, Napoleon had already been defeated and France was under the control of his enemies.
Napoleon learned of Josephine’s death while he was on the island of Elba, where he was exiled that same month when she died. After he found out about her death, he locked himself in a room for two days, refusing to see anyone. He died about seven years later, and the last word spoken on his deathbed was precisely Josephine’s name.