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Beauharnais, Hortense Eugenie Cecile

Born: 1783 AD
Died: 1837 AD

1783 – Born on April 10th in Paris, France. The queen of Holland, stepdaughter of Napoleon I, and mother of Napoleon III.

1799 – Hortense became one of the attractions of the court after Napoleon became first consul of the French.

1802 – To strengthen her position, Joséphine encouraged a marriage between Hortense and Louis Bonaparte, Napoleon’s brother.

         – The marriage, although an unhappy one, produced three children, the third of whom, Charles-Louis-Napoléon Bonaparte, survived to become Napoleon III.

1806 – Louis became king of Holland, Hortense accompanied him to The Hague.

1810 – Napoleon refused to allow Hortense and Louis a divorce but countenanced their separation when Holland was annexed to France.

         – Louis abdicated as King of Holland and settled in Germany; Hortense returned with her sons to France.

1811 – Returning to Paris, Hortense gave birth to a son by her lover, Charles Joseph, the comte de Flahaut; this son, who was adopted by a relative, was the future duc de Mornay.

1814 – When Napoleon was exiled, Hortense, although under the protection of the allies and created duchesse de Saint-Leu, became the centre of Bonapartist intrigue.

1815 – Her support of Napoleon during his return (the Hundred Days) led to her banishment from France.

1817 – Purchased the Château of Arenenberg in the Swiss canton of Thurgau.

1831-1835 – Her memoirs were published (Memoirs of Queen Hortense, 2 vol.).

1837 – Died on October 5th in Arenenberg, Switzerland.