The annulment on 15 December, 1809, of the civil marriage of Napoleon and Josephine was the first stage in the process that has become known as the “divorce”. Napoleon and Josephine both gave speeches announcing the end of their marriage, and a sénatus-consulte was drawn up by Cambacérès and a privy council. This sénatus-consulte was adopted by the Senate, seventy-six to seven (with four abstentions) on 16 December, 1809. The text that follows is the content of this sénatus-consulte.
This text forms part of our close-up on: Napoleon’s “divorce”.
Sénatus-consulte: the civil annulment
Art. 1. The marriage contracted between the Emperor Napoleon and the Empress Josephine is annulled.
2. The Empress Josephine will retain the title and rank of Empress-Queen.
3. Her dower is fixed at an annual allowance of two million francs from the State treasury.
4. Every disposition that can be be made by the Emperor in favour of the Empress Josephine, from the funds of the Civil List, will be obligatory for her successors.
5. The present Senatus-consultus will be transmitted, by message, to her Imperial and Royal Majesty.