30.07.

Bao Dai – Vietnam’s last emperor dies in exile – 1997

Bao Dai – Vietnam’s last emperor dies in exile – 1997

After leaving Vietnam, he lived in exile, mostly in southern France, and also in the Principality of Monaco. He allegedly had one of the largest yachts in the port of Monte Carlo, on which he often sailed at one time.

On July 30, 1997, the last emperor in Vietnam’s history, Bao Dai, died. He was the thirteenth ruler of the Nguyen dynasty, and became emperor when he was only 12 years old. Bao Dai was the son of the previous emperor Khai Dinh, and was born in 1913 in the city of Hue, which functioned as the imperial capital (the city of Hue is located very close to the former border between North and South Vietnam).

It should be emphasized that the Vietnamese emperors after the 1880s did not have much power over the country in practice, but were a kind of puppets of the French colonialists. Nevertheless, the French allowed the emperors to nominally rule the area of ​​Anama (central part of present-day Vietnam, with its capital in the said city of Hue). French colonial rule extended much wider, over a large area of ​​Indochina, ie over the present-day states of Laos, Cambodia and Vietnam.

Bao Dai was educated as a boy in Paris, at the Lycée Condorcet, and later at the Paris Institute for Political Studies. It is interesting that he was educated in France even after he became emperor at the mentioned 12 years of his life (after his father’s death). He married a Vietnamese woman who was a Roman Catholic, and their youngest son Bao Thang is still nominally a contender for the Vietnamese imperial throne (he lives in France).

After the success of the Ho Chi Minh Communists, Emperor Bao Dai abdicated in 1945. Later, war broke out, with the French reinstalling Bao Dai nominally at the head of the state. However, in 1955 he was overthrown again. Bao Dai lived in exile mostly in southern France and also in the Principality of Monaco. He allegedly had one of the largest yachts in the port of Monte Carlo, on which he often sailed at one time.

Bao Dai died in France. He is buried in Passy Cemetery, not far from the Paris Trocadero (on the opposite side of the Seine from the Eiffel Tower).

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