Life and Reign of Napoleon III

Period : 2nd Republic / 2nd Empire
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Birth, during the night of the 20 to 21 April, of Charles Louis-Napoleon Bonaparte, third son of Louis Bonaparte, King of Holland, and Hortense de Beauharnais, 17 rue Cérutti (today Lafitte), Paris.

4 November: The baptism of Louis-Napoleon was celebrated by Cardinal Fesch in the Trinity Chapel of the palace of Fontainebleau.

1 April: Hortense and her son went to Evreux, to the North-East of Paris, to rejoin the Empress Josephine.

11 April: A pension of 400 000 francs was granted to Hortense, with the title of Duchess of Saint-Leu.

16 April: Josephine, Hortense and her sons returned to Malmaison.

4 April: Napoleon I abdicated at Fontainebleau and was exiled to the island of Elba.

29 May: The Empress Josephine died at Rueil-Malmaison.

20 March: Napoleon returned to Paris.

18 June: Defeat at Waterloo.

22 June: Napoleon abdicated for the second time.

29 June: Napoleon left Rochefort.

15 July: He surrendered himself to the English.

19 July: Hortense and her sons left Paris for Geneva, stopping at Aix-les-Bains.

9 August: Napoleon I boarded the Northumberland for Saint Helena.

16 October: He arrived at Jamestown, Saint Helena.

Early October: In conformity with a court ruling, Napoleon-Louis (the elder brother of Louis-Napoleon) left for Italy to rejoin their father Louis Bonaparte.

7 December: Hortense and Louis-Napoleon settled near Lake Constance in Switzerland. They bought Arenenberg on the 11th of January 1817.

12 January: The French government banished the members of the Bonaparte family from French territory.

6 May: Hortense and Louis-Napoleon, eight years old at this time, left for Augsburg in Germany.

Abbot Bertrand became the preceptor of Louis-Napoleon, and remained so until 1819.

Appointment of Louis-Napoleon’s new preceptor: Philippe Le Bas, Jacobin and Freemason, who remained in his post until 1827.

April: Louis-Napoleon, thirteen years old, entered the gymnasia at Augsburg.

5 May: Death of the Emperor Napoleon I at Saint Helena.

Louis-Napoleon, fifteen years old, rejoined Hortense at Arenenberg, after spending a month with his father Louis and his older brother in Marienbad, Bohemia.

Winter. Sojourn in Rome.

21 February: Death of Eugene de Beauharnais.

Autumn: Hortense and Louis-Napoleon returned to Italy, where they remained until summer 1826.

4 October: Le Bas resigned.

At 21, Louis-Napoleon was a proven athlete (horse-riding, swimming, gymnastics) and an excellent marksman.

June: Louis-Napoleon entered the military school at Thoune, near Berne in Switzerland, to study gunnery.

September: The law banishing the Bonaparte family from France was abolished.
Louis-Napoleon and Hortense returned to Rome. Louis-Napoleon rejoined his brother Napoleon-Louis and the revolutionary forces in Florence, before joining those in Bologna.

17 March: Death of Napoleon-Louis at Forli.

21 March: Hortense rejoined Louis-Napoleon in Pesaro and pleaded with him to leave the continent for England.

23 March: Arrival in Paris.

26 April: Secret interview between Hortense and King Louis-Philippe.

6 May: Hortense and Louis-Napoleon left Paris.

10 May: Arrival in England and move to Felton Hotel, prior to settling in George Street.

August: Return to Arenenberg. As of this point, he signed his name Napoleon-Louis.

June: Publication of his first book, Rêveries politiques.

22 July: Death of Napoleon II, duke of Reichstadt, son of Napoleon I and of Marie-Louise (daughter of the emperor of Austria, Francis I).

November 1832 to May 1833: Louis-Napoleon visited his uncle Joseph Bonaparte in London. He visited as much the factories of Birmingham as he did Londonian high society!

May: Return to Arenenberg, following a detour via Belgium.

Publication of his second work Considérations politiques et militaires sur la Suisse.

Louis-Napoleon became an artillery captain of the canton of Berne.

April: He supported (from Geneva) the Lyonese insurrection against Louis-Philippe.

He published a Manuel d’artillerie, used by the Swiss army.

July: Jean Gilbert Victor Fialin, count of Persigny, met the Prince at Arenenberg.

April: Semi-official marriage engagement with his cousin the princess Mathilde, daughter of King Jerome.

August: Louis-Napoleon went to Strasbourg to assess possible support for a march on Paris.

30 October: Failure of an attempted coup d’état at Strasbourg – the coup lasted barely two hours.

21 November: After a short stay in prison, Louis-Napoleon embarked on the Andromède, bound for the United States. The princess Mathilde broke with her cousin.

30 March: Louis-Napoleon disembarked at Norfolk, before settling in New York.

12 June: He left the United States with all possible haste, aboard the George Washington, in order to be present beside his dying mother.

11 July: He arrived in London. Waiting in vain for a passport for France, he obtained false papers under the name of Robinson.

31 July: Embarkation for Rotterdam. In order to avoid crossing French territory, he followed the Rhine to Mannheim and rejoined Arenenberg by road.

4 August: He arrived in Arenenberg.

5 October: Death of Hortense in the arms of Louis-Napoleon.

8 October: Funeral of Hortense at Ermatingen. Louis-Napoleon left Arenenberg and moved into the Gottlieben palace, a few kilometres to the south of Lake Constance.

11 January: Funeral of Hortense in the church of St-Pierre-St-Paul at Rueil-Malmaison where her remains still lie today.

June: The French government demanded that Switzerland expel Louis-Napoleon.
August: Louis-Napoleon struck back with the pamphlet Relation historique des événements du 30 octobre 1836, published in Paris under the names of Louis and Armand Laity, to defend the attempted coup d’état at Strasbourg.

14 October: Armed with a British passport under his name, Louis-Napoleon left Arenenberg and Switzerland of his own accord.

End of October: He arrived in London, and moved into n°17 Carlton House Terrace.

He moved to n°1 Carlton Gardens. He supported two political clubs and two French Bonapartist newspapers, Le Commerce and Le Capitole. He visited factories in Lancashire and in the Midlands.

July: He published Idées Napoléoniennes on the working and middle classes.

He published Lettres de Londres.

3 March: Arrested at Wimbledon shortly before a duel with Count Leon (illegitimate son of Napoleon I and Eleonore Denuelle de la Plaigne).

29 June: Death of Lucien Bonaparte, prince of Canino, at the age of 65.
The French Prime Minister, Adolphe Thiers, persuaded Louis-Philippe to have the remains of Napoleon I brought back to France. The Prince of Joinville, son of Louis-Philippe, was entrusted with this mission and embarked on the Belle Poule.

4 August: Louis-Napoleon rented the Edinburgh Castle and engaged several men for disembarkation at Boulogne on the 6th of August. The landing was a disaster. Louis-Napoleon and his companions were arrested and imprisoned in the Conciergerie in Paris, pending a trial.

28 September: The trial began.

6 October: Louis-Napoleon was condemned to imprisonment for life in the fort at Ham, in the north-east of France near Reims, around 80 kilometres from Paris.

15 December: The remains of Napoleon were transferred to Les Invalides.

May: Louis-Napoleon published a collection of Fragments historiques 1688-1830.

Louis-Napoleon continued to write in prison, and published Analyse de la question des sucres.

New edition of his Manuel d’artillerie and publication of L’Extinction du paupérisme.

28 July: Death of Joseph Bonaparte in Florence, aged 76.

Publication of Canal de Nicaragua ou projet de jonction des océans Atlantique et Pacifique au moyen d’un canal.

25 May: Disguised as a labourer, Louis-Napoleon escaped from the fort at Ham.

27 May: He arrived in London and moved into the Brunswick Hotel, under the name of Count of Arenenberg.

25 July: Death of Louis Bonaparte at Livorno at 67. For the Bonapartists, Louis-Napoleon was henceforth the head of the Bonaparte family and pretender to the Imperial throne.

Louis-Napoleon moved to N°3, King Street.

29 September: The bodies of Louis Bonaparte and of his second son Napoleon-Louis (who died in 1832 at Forli, aged 27) were buried at Saint-Leu, next to Napoleon-Charles (elder brother of Napoleon-Louis and of Louis-Napoleon, who died in childhood, in 1807). Convicted of treason because of his escape, Louis-Napoleon could not be present for the ceremony.


February: Political crisis and street insurrection. Louis-Philippe abdicated on the 24th in favour of his grandson the count of Paris. In vain, as the July Monarchy was overthrown, and the Second Republic proclaimed. A provisional government was set up to organise parliamentary elections for the Constitutive Assembly.

27 February: The Second Republic was officially proclaimed.

28 February: Louis-Napoleon arrived in Paris and offered his services to the provisional government. The provisional government refused his offer and asked him to leave France.

23-24 April: Elections to the Constitutive Assembly.

4-5 June: By-elections to the Constitutive Assembly. Louis-Napoleon was elected in four départements – Seine, Corsica, Yonne, and Lower-Charente.

13 June: His election was ratified by the Assembly.

16 June: Louis-Napoleon resigned his mandate as a member of the Assembly. He retained nonetheless the importance of his popularity, which had allowed him to be elected without canvassing.

17-18 of September: New legislative by-elections. Louis-Napoleon (who is still in London) was elected in 5 départements- Seine, Corsica, Moselle, Yonne, and Charente-Inférieure.

24 September: He took his seat for the first time.

11 October: The law banishing the Bonapartes from French territory was abolished.

26 October: Louis-Napoleon announced his candidature for the presidential election.

4 November: The new constitution was adopted.

10 December: Louis-Napoleon was elected president of the Republic by universal (male) suffrage. The official proclamation took place ten days later.

23 December: Louis-Napoleon named his uncle Jerome Bonaparte, youngest brother of Napoleon I, governor of Les Invalides.

29 January: Louis-Napoleon refused to recognise the new Roman Republic and assured the Pope of his support.

25 April: A French expeditionary corps moved against the Roman Republic. General Oudinot laid siege to Rome. The city capitulated on the 3rd of July.

13-14 of May: New legislative elections.

27 May: Dissolution of the Constitutive Assembly.

28 May: First session of the Legislative Assembly.

Summer: Louis-Napoleon toured mainland France.

31 October: Louis-Napoleon obliged Barrot (president of the Council) and his ministers to resign, and proposed a new government, answerable only to the president of the Republic.

1 January: Jerome Bonaparte was made a Marshal of France.

15 March: Adoption of Falloux‘s law, concerning secular and religious education.

August-September: A new series of journeys across France for Louis-Napoleon.

January: Power struggle between Louis-Napoleon and the Legislative Assembly. The president had some difficulty concerning acceptance of his new government.

3 February: The Assembly refused to vote 1.8 million francs for the president of the Republic.

June: New struggle between Louis-Napoleon and the National Assembly over the revision of the constitution and the article forbidding the president to serve a second mandate.

20 August: Louis-Napoleon gathered his followers at Saint-Cloud, including Morny, Persigny and Rouher, to prepare a coup d’état.

November: Rumours of a coup became widespread amongst the public.

2 December: Louis-Napoleon chose the anniversary of the Coronation of Napoleon I in 1804 and of his victory at Austerlitz in 1805 for his coup d’état.

4-10 of December: Insurrection in Paris, particularly in the Faubourg Saint-Antoine. Around 400 people were killed, 500 wounded.

31 December: Massive victory for Louis-Napoleon – Seven million “yes” votes, in answer to the question “The French people wish to maintain the authority of Louis-Napoleon Bonaparte and delegate to him the powers needed to establish a constitution”.

1 January: Louis-Napoleon left the Élysée Palace and moved into the Tuileries Palace.

14 January: The new constitution promulgated. Executive power was confided to the president of the Republic (elected by direct universal male suffrage) for ten years. The president received the power to name and remove the members of his government as he sees fit.

16 February: The 15 August, birthday of Napoleon I, was made once more a national holiday.

7 July: The mayors and vice-mayors of communes of more than 3000 inhabitants henceforth appointed by the president of the Republic.

14 September to 16 October: Louis-Napoleon undertook a new tour of the south of France. First assassination attempt against him at Marseille.

9 October: Speech at Bordeaux during which Louis-Napoleon affirmed “L’Empire, c’est la paix” (“The Empire is Peace”).

October: Louis-Napoleon met Eugenie, countess of Teba, during a reception at the Tuileries.

7 November: The Senate proposed the re-establishment of the Empire

Mid-November: Eugenie and her mother were invited to Fontainebleau.

21-22 November: The results of a national plebiscite approved the proposal of the Senate.

Eugenie and her mother were present at a ball organised by the president, at Compiègne.


2 December: Louis-Napoleon was proclaimed emperor, with the title of Napoleon III, Emperor of the French. The Second Empire had begun.

25 December: The rules of succession were established, in favour (only) of the descendants of Louis-Napoleon and his uncle Jerome.

30 December: Decrees reinforcing censorship.

29 January: Civil marriage of Napoleon III and “Maria Eugenia Ignacia Augustina de Guzman y Palafox y Portocarrero”, Countess of Teba, daughter of the last count of Montijo.

30 January: Religious marriage at Notre Dame.

February-June: Exacerbation of the conflict between the Russian and Ottoman empires.

22 June: The Emperor named George-Eugene Haussmann (1809-1891) prefect of the Seine.

5 July: A terrorist attack against Napoleon III was uncovered and the plotters arrested.

27 March
: France and Britain declare war on Russia. The Crimea was soon to become a slaughterhouse.

24 July: Law concerning the labourer’s passbook.

September: A new plot to assassinate the Emperor defused.

30 November: Ferdinand de Lesseps received permission from the vice-roy of Egypt to dig (and exploit for 99 years) the Suez Canal.

25 January
: Signature of a treaty of peace with the king of Piedmont-Sardinia.

28 April: The Italian Pianori attempted to assassinate Napoleon III. Arrested, he was executed on the 14 May.

1 May: The Universal Exhibition opened in Paris.

August: State visit of Queen Victoria and Prince Albert.

8 September: Napoleon III escaped another assassination attempt.

1 February: The tsar of Russia, Alexander II, agreed to sign preliminaries for a peace treaty with the French and the British.

25 February-8 April: Congress of Paris.

16 March: Birth of the Prince Imperial, Napoleon Eugene-Louis Jean Joseph.

14 June: Baptism of the Prince Imperial.

21-22 June
: Legislative elections.

14 August: The Louvre re-opened after the works organised by Louis Visconti and Hector Lefuel.

14 January
: Another assassination attempt against Napoleon III, perpetrated by Felice Orsini and Pierri.

19 February: Law of general security, which allowed the arrest and expulsion of any person previously convicted for having participated in the unrest of May and June 1848, June 1849, or December 1851, suspected of fomenting new unrest. The adoption of the law was followed by a series of arrests across France. 375 people were deported to Algeria.

13 March: Execution of Orsini and his accomplices.

20-21 July: Napoleon III met with Camillo Cavour, prime minister of the king of Piedmont-Sardinia, at Plombières. They studied the establishment of an alliance against Austria and the redistribution of some of her territories: Nice and the county of Savoy would thus be handed to France. The Italian states would be united in a Confederation under the authority of the Pope.

28 January
: Signature of the treaty with the kingdom of Piedmont-Sardinia. Nothing was said about the possibility of a Confederation of Italian states or of its organisation.

30 January: Marriage of prince Napoleon (the cousin of Napoleon III) and princess Clothilde of Savoy, daughter of the king of Piedmont-Sardinia.

February: Publication of a brochure entitled Napoléon III et l’Italie, in which the Emperor presents his project for the reorganisation of Italy.

April: Work began on the Suez Canal.

27 April: Austria enters Piedmontese territory. Napoleon III decided to intervene, by virtue of the treaty signed on the 28 January.

3 May: Declaration of war against Austria. The Legislative Body followed the Emperor’s lead and voted the necessary levies.

10 May: Napoleon III left to lead his troops in Italy.

20 May: French victory at Montebello.

4 June: French victory at Magenta.

8 June: Occupation of Milan and Lombardy.

24 June: French victory at Solferino.

11 July: Preliminaries of peace signed at Villafranca.

10 November: Treaty of Zurich. Lombardy was united to Piedmont.


1 January: Swallowing up the surrounding communes, Paris was reorganised in 20 arrondissements.

23 January: Free-trade treaty between France and Britain.

24 March: Treaty of Turin: Savoy and Nice were ceded to France, while Piedmont expanded her territory with Tuscany and the Romagna.

26 March: Pius IX excommunicated all those who encouraged the movement for Italian unity. The entourage of Napoleon III struck back by publishing a brochure entitled La question romaine.

8 April: France and Britain declared war on China, after several years of cold warfare and the assassination of numerous missionaries and Europeans.

15 August-7 September: Garibaldi marched on Rome, after conquering Sicily and Naples. Piedmont interceded in Umbria.

17-20 September: Napoleon III stayed in Algiers.

21 September: French victory at Palikao against the Chinese cavalry.

13 October: The city of Peking taken.

18 October: Sack of the summer Palace of Peking.

24-25 October: The treaty of Peking opened Chinese ports to western trade, and authorised the presence of European ambassadors and diplomats.

18 February: Creation of the kingdom of Italy, under its first king, Victor-Emmanuel II of Piedmont-Sardinia.

20 April: Archaeological excavations began on the site of the siege of Alésia, strongly encouraged by Napoleon III.

31 October:  Convention between France, Britain and Spain for the recovery of Mexican debts. (The Mexican government having suspended payment.) France sent an expeditionary force to Mexico in January 1862. 1861 was marked by liberal reforms, particularly concerning politics and the organisation of the Press.

22 March: Fall of Vinh Long: Cochinchine was entirely occupied by the French. The treaty of Hue was signed on the 5th of June.

9 April: The Spanish and the British withdrew from the triple alliance against Mexico and left the country.

5 May: French defeat at Puebla.

23 November: Napoleon III pardoned the typographists condemned in September for having organised a strike.

6 February
: Napoleon III wrote Lettre à Pélissier, (governor-general in Algeria), in which he expressed his wish for “perfect” equality between Europeans and Arabs.
March: Reinforcements sent to Mexico.

30 April: French defeat at Camerone.

15 May: The first “Salon des refusés” authorised by Napoleon III.

17 May: French victory at Puebla.

31 May – 1 June: Legislative elections. Increase in activity of opponents of the regime.

5 June: Mexico occupied by French troops.

10 July: Establishment of arch-duke Maximilian of Habsburg, brother of the emperor of Austria, as emperor of Mexico.

11 August: Ratification of the French protectorate over Cambodia.

5 January
: Taking of Guadalajara (Mexico).

January-May: War between Denmark and the Austro-Prussian alliance.

25 May: Law concerning the corporations and authorising the right to strike action.

15 September: Franco-Italian convention to protect the Papal States.

8 January: Creation of the French branch of the International Association of Workers (Association Internationale des Travailleurs or AIT), founded the year before in London.

10 March: Death of the Duke of Morny, half-brother of the Emperor Napoleon III.

22 April: Senatus-consultum confirming the property rights of Algerian tribes over their territory.

3 May-7 June: Voyage of Napoleon III in Algeria.

14 June: The legal value of the cheque was recognised.

4-12 October: Meeting between Napoleon III and Bismarck at Biarritz.

December: End of the excavations on the site of Alésia. Publication of the first volume of Napoleon III’s Life of Caesar. The second volume was published in 1866.

12 June: A secret agreement was signed between France and Austria, the latter breaking off with Russia.

June-July: Austro-Prussian War.

18 August: Creation of the North German Confederation, which was to adopt a federal constitution in July 1867.

August 1866 – August 1867: Economic crisis.

13 December: The French forces evacuated Rome, in accordance with the convention signed on the 15 September 1864.

5 January
: Napoleon III and Emille Ollivier met to establish a plan of liberal reforms.

17 January: Napoleon III presented reforms favourable to individual liberties and “encouraged” his government to resign.

19 January: The Moniteur published a letter by Napoleon III announcing political reforms, including ministerial responsibility, liberty of the press and freedom of assembly.

14 March: The Senate obtained the right to a second reading of laws voted by the Legislative Body.

1 April-November: Third Universal Exhibition in Paris.

10 April: Free primary education in the communes.

12 May: The brand new museum of National Antiquities installed in the palace of Saint-Germain-en-Laye.

6 June: Failure of a Polish refugee (Berezowski) to assassinate the tsar Alexander II during a state visit to Paris.

19 June: Maximilian executed by the Mexican Republicans.

14 July: Bismarck named chancellor of the North German Confederation.

24 July: Authorisation to create anonymous societies, without prior approval by the public authorities.

18-22 August: Napoleon III met Franz-Josef of Austria at Salzburg.

23 October: Garibaldi invaded the Papal States.

3 November: French troops brought Garibaldi to a halt and entered Rome.

11 May
: Liberalisation of the Press, with the end of censorship and lower tax.

6 June: Any meeting henceforth legal if declared three days in advance.

2 August: Suppression of Article 1781 of the Civil Code, which stipulated that the employer’s word carries more weight than that of the employee.

23-24 May and 6-7 June
: Legislative elections. An increase in the Republican opposition.

15 August: Celebrations in Ajaccio for the centennial of the birth of Napoleon I, in the presence of the Empress and the Prince Imperial. End of the construction of the Suez Canal, which was inaugurated on the 17th of November by the Empress Eugenie.

8 September: A senatus-consultum gave a very liberal direction to the regime. The Legislative Body could now elect its president, establish its internal organisation and propose laws. The sessions of the Senate were now public, and the Senate itself had the right to amend texts voted by the Legislative Body. Ministers were permitted to address both chambers, but remained answerable only to the Senate, appointed by the emperor.


January: Nearly 7000 miners went on strike at Creusot, demanding an increase in their pay.

10 January: Pierre Bonaparte shot the journalist Victor Noir. He was acquitted on the 27 March.

12 January: End of official candidates.

20 April: A new senatus-consultum reinforced that of the 8 September 1869. The Senate became a legislative chamber to rank alongside, and with the same prerogatives, as the Legislative Body.

8 May: Plebiscite favourable to Napoleon III and to the liberal flavour that he gave to the regime – 7 359 000 yes, 1 572 000 no, 1 895 000 abstentions.

29 May: In an emergency, ministers were henceforth authorised to propose laws directly to the Legislative Body, without passing via the Council of State.

26 June: Regulation of the legal duration of work.

3 July: Secretly manipulated by Bismarck, prince Leopold of Hohenzollern-Sigmaringen proposed himself as a candidate for the throne of Spain, following the abdication of Isabella II in favour of her own son and in agreement with Napoleon III.

6 July: Napoleon III demanded that the King of Prussia unequivocally condemn the Hohenzollern candidature.

10 July: Wilhelm III objected to the French demands, expressed belligerently. Secretly, however, he demanded that Hohenzollern withdraw his candidature.

12 July: Hohenzollern withdrew his candidature to the throne of Spain.

12-13 July: Napoleon III sent a telegram to Wilhelm asking for an assurance that he would never support such a candidature in the future.

13 July: Wilhelm considered the incident closed, but Bismarck sent a belligerent dispatch to Napoleon III on his own initiative, and had it published in the press.

14 July: Napoleon III, the government and the Chambers learned of the Ems telegram.

16 July: The Legislative Body voted the credit for war.

19 July: Official declaration of war between France and Prussia.

23 July: The regency was confided to the Empress Eugenie.

28 July: Napoleon III took command of the Army of the Rhine at Metz. The force of numbers was unequal, as the French only disposed of 240 000 men, against the Prussians and their German allies with 500 000 men.

4 August: The Prussians took Wissembourg.

6 August: The Prussians entered French territory.

7 August: A state of siege was declared in Paris.

7-13 August: Demonstrations against the Empire.

9 August: Extraordinary session of both chambers. Fall of Emille Ollivier’s government. Demonstrations against Napoleon III in Paris.

10 August: The Empress-regent charged Cousin-Montauban, count of Palikao, with the formation of a new government.

12 August: New war loan. Marshal Bazaine, appointed generalissimo, was named to lead the Army of the Rhine.

14-18 August: The retreat of the Army of the Rhine toward Chalons was stained by defeats at Borny, Rezonville and Gravelotte Saint-Privat.

15 August: Napoleon III rejoined at Chalons.

17 August: Trochu, military governor of Paris, organised a defence committee.

20 August: Metz and Bazaine were encircled.

21 August: Napoleon III and Mac-Mahon attempted to rejoin Bazaine.

31 August – 2 September: Battle of Sedan. Napoleon III capitulated and surrendered himself to the Prussians.

3 September: Interview between Napoleon III and Wilhelm III. The Emperor was imprisoned in the fortress of Wilhelmshohe.

4 September: The Legislative Body voted the deposition of Napoleon III, the proclamation of the Third Republic, and the creation of a provisional government of national defence by Thiers.

7 September: The Empress Eugenie and the Prince Imperial embarked at Deauville for England. After landing, they settled in Hastings, in Sussex.

19-20 September: The Prussians encircled Paris and occupied Versailles.

28 September: Capitulation of Strasbourg.

27 October: Bazaine capitulated at Metz.

30 October: The Empress Eugenie visited Napoleon III at Wilhelmshohe.

17 December: The Prussians and their allies began to bombard Paris.

5 January
: Paris was bombarded again.

18 January: The German Empire proclaimed in the Hall of Mirrors of the Palace of Versailles.

1 March: The new Assembly voted the deposition of Napoleon III and his dynasty. Ratification of the preliminaries of peace signed on the 26th of February, by which France lost Alsace and Lorraine.

18 March-29 May: The Paris Commune.


19 March: Napoleon III left Wilhelmshohe for England. The next day, he disembarked at Dover, and continued to Camden Place, at Chislehurst in Kent.

27 March: The imperial couple visited Queen Victoria in Windsor Castle.

23 May: Treaty of Frankfurt: France lost Alsace and Lorraine, paid an indemnity of 5 billion francs in gold and had to reduce her army, which was exiled to the south of the Loire river.

16 May: Destruction of the column of the Great Army, Place Vendome.

Autumn: The Empress Eugenie visited Spain.

30 November: Queen Victoria visited Camden Place.

:  Sojourn in Brighton and Cowes. Napoleon III’s health failing.

October: The Prince Imperial entered the royal academy at Woolwich.

15 December: The emperor consulted Sir William Gull, Sir James Paget and Sir Henry Thompson concerning the symptoms of the stone in his bladder.

2 January
: Sir Henry Thompson, an eminent specialist (having previously successfully operated on the king of Belgium) performed the first operation (or lithotripsy) to destroy the stone.

6 January: Second lithotripsy.

9 January, 10:45: Death of Napoleon III, Emperor of the French. His embalmed body was laid in state in the chapel of rest at Camden Place.

15 January: Funeral ceremony in the little church of Saint Mary, Chislehurst.

1 June
: Death of the Prince Imperial in a skirmish in Zululand, while serving as a lieutenant in the British Army.

The remains of Napoleon III and the Prince Imperial were moved to Farnborough Abbey.

11 July: Death of the empress Eugenie in Madrid.

Trans. Paul-Napoleon Calland. July 2006

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