A close-up: the birth of the Roi de Rome

Napoleon François Charles Joseph’s short life took in five titles (Prince Imperial, Roi de Rome, French emperor, Prince de Parme, and Duc de Reichstadt), two fleeting reigns, exile in Vienna and a military career in the Austrian army of his grandfather. Born on 20 March, 1811, the long-awaited heir to the French imperial throne, son of Napoleon Bonaparte and Marie-Louise of Austria, twice succeeded his father before his life was cut short by tuberculosis, at the tender age of twenty-one.