Napoleon's Carriage Versailles France about 1892

NAPOLEON’S CARRIAGE VERSAILLES — Among the relics of royalty and of the empire displayed at Versailles is this magnificent vehicle, the woodwork of which is one mass of gilding, while the interior decorations are of the most elegant description. This is said to be the carriage in which the Emperor Napoleon I went with the Empress Marie Louise to solemnize their marriage in the Cathedral of Notre Dame. All Paris was in the greatest excitement, and Napoleon’s future seemed then brilliant beyond all precedent in modern history. Yet in reality these gilded wheels were swiftly bearing him to what Napoleon himself subsequently called, “an abyss covered with flowers.” And such indeed proved to be this fatal marriage following his divorce from Josephine. No doubt Napoleon’s pride was gratified, as in this gorgeous vehicle he sat beside his Austrian bride, but it was certainly impossible for him to ever love her as he had once loved Josephine. The latter, slightly older than himself, had been his life-long confidant and friend. She had at first contributed much to his success. Her intuitions made her a most useful counsellor. But what was Marie Louise? A simple, inexperienced girl, with whom the Emperor always wore a mask, lest his designs should through her reach the court of Austria! The one possessed a character as weak and vacillating as her face would indicate. The other proved herself a heroine by sacrificing to the interests of France not only the most enviable throne in Europe, but also the most famous of earth’s sovereigns, and the man she loved. “It will not bring him fortune,” said the common people when the divorce had been proclaimed, and they were right. (from John L. Stoddard, Glimpses of the world; a portfolio of photographs of the marvelous works of God and man – 1892)


External Links:

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *