Hortense Eugénie Cécile Bonaparte (French pronunciation: ​[ɔʁtɑ̃s øʒeni sesil bɔnapaʁt]) (née de Beauharnais, pronounced [də boaʁnɛ]) (10 April 1783 – 5 October 1837), Queen consort of Holland, was the stepdaughter of Emperor Napoléon I, being the daughter of his first wife, Joséphine de Beauharnais. She later became the wife of the former's brother, Louis Bonaparte, King of Holland, and the mother of Napoléon III, Emperor of the French. She had also an illegitimate son, The 1st Duc de Morny, by her lover, the Comte de Flahaut.


1 Early life 2 Queen of Holland (1806–1810) 3 Personal life 4 Later years 5 Issue 6 Ancestry 7 References 8 Further reading 9 External links

Early life[edit] Hortense was born in Paris, France
on 10 April 1783, the daughter of Alexandre, Vicomte de Beauharnais
Alexandre, Vicomte de Beauharnais
and Joséphine Tascher de la Pagerie. Her parents separated shortly after her birth. Her father was executed on 23 July 1794, at the time of the French Revolution, a few days before the end of the Reign of Terror. Her mother was imprisoned in the Carmelites prison, from which she was released on 6 August 1794, thanks to the intervention of her best friend Thérèse Tallien. Two years later, her mother married Napoléon Bonaparte. Hortense was described as having been an amusing and pretty child with long, pale golden-blonde hair and blue eyes.[1] She received her education at the school of Madame Jeanne Campan
Jeanne Campan
in St-Germain-en-Laye together with Napoléon's youngest sister Caroline Bonaparte, who later married Joachim Murat.[1] She had an elder brother, Eugène de Beauharnais. Hortense was an accomplished amateur musical composer and supplied the army of her stepfather with rousing marches, including Partant pour la Syrie. She also enjoyed playing games and particularly excelled at billiards.[2] In 1802, at Napoléon's request, Hortense married his brother Louis Bonaparte. Queen of Holland (1806–1810)[edit] See also: List of Dutch consorts In 1806, Napoléon appointed his brother Louis to be the King of Holland, and Hortense accompanied her husband to The Hague. Hortense's negativity towards being appointed Queen of Holland was twofold: First, it was necessary for her to move there with Louis, with whom she did not get along, and second, she had to leave her life as a celebrated member of Parisian society. She had hoped to be "a Queen of Holland in Paris", but Napoléon did not agree. She was therefore forced to depart with Louis to the Netherlands, where she arrived on 18 June 1806.

Royal Monogram

Queen Hortense was pleasantly surprised[3] by the warm welcome from the public. She quickly became accustomed to life in the Netherlands and came to like the country. She was present at official celebrations and ceremonies, visited the market places where she made large purchases, and was much liked by the public, which annoyed her husband. She learned water colour painting and made trips around the countryside. Nevertheless, she hated her stay there because of her bad relationship with King Louis: The couple lived in different parts of the palace and avoided each other at every opportunity, with Hortense describing herself as a prisoner.[3] In 1807, her son died; she was subsequently allowed to visit France
as the climate there was considered better for her other son Louis-Napoléon. She remained in France, again pleased by her status as queen at the French court, until 1810, when Napoléon forced her to return to the Netherlands
at his new wedding—he did not consider it suitable to have the daughter of his former spouse at court. Hortense returned temporarily to the Netherlands, but on 1 June 1810, she was allowed to leave again on the pretext of her health. In 1810, after his Dutch kingdom was taken away from him, Louis remained in Holland for nearly three years, turning to writing and poetry. Louis wrote to Napoléon after the latter's defeat in Russia to request that the Dutch throne be restored to him. However, Napoléon refused. Louis finally returned to France
in 1813. He spent much of his later life in Italy. Personal life[edit]

Portrait of Hortense painted by Anne-Louis Girodet de Roussy-Trioson, 1808

Hortense was now free to respond to the romantic overtures of the man whom she had long admired, Colonel Charles Joseph, Comte de Flahaut, a sophisticated, handsome man rumoured to be the illegitimate son of Talleyrand.[4] They soon became lovers. In 1811, at an unspecified inn in Switzerland, close to Lake Geneva, Hortense secretly gave birth to a son by de Flahaut,

Charles Auguste Louis Joseph ( 21 October 1811 - 10 March 1865), created Duke of Morny
Duke of Morny
by his half-brother, Napoléon III, in 1862.[5]

Only her brother Eugène, Adélaïde Filleul de Souza, de Flahaut's mother, and her closest companions were aware of her pregnancy and the subsequent birth. She had used poor health to explain her prolonged visit to Switzerland, the journey having been arranged by Adélaïde. Hortense cleverly disguised her pregnancy (she was, by then, in her sixth month) during the baptism of Napoléon's son, Napoléon II, when she was chosen to be one of the child's godmothers, an honour she shared with Madame Mère, mother of the Emperor. Later years[edit]


At the Bourbon Restoration
Bourbon Restoration
in 1814, Hortense received the protection of Alexander I of Russia. At his instigation, she was granted the title of Duchess of Saint-Leu (duchesse de Saint-Leu) by King Louis XVIII on 30 May 1814.[6][7] During the Hundred Days, however, Hortense supported her stepfather and brother-in-law Napoléon. This led to her banishment from France
after his final defeat. She traveled in Germany and Italy
before purchasing the Château of Arenenberg
in the Swiss canton of Thurgau
in 1817. She lived there until her death on 5 October 1837, at the age of fifty-four. She is buried next to her mother Joséphine in the Saint-Pierre-Saint-Paul church in Rueil-Malmaison. A portrait of Hortense hangs at Ash Lawn-Highland, the Virginia plantation home of James Monroe, fifth President of the United States. It was one of three portraits given by Hortense to Monroe's daughter Eliza, who went to school with Hortense in France. (The other two portraits are of Hortense's brother Eugène de Beauharnais
Eugène de Beauharnais
and of Jeanne-Louise-Henriette Campan, the headmistress of the school attended by Hortense and Eliza.) Eliza's daughter, Hortensia Monroe Hay, was named in honour of Hortense. Issue[edit] With Louis Bonaparte
Louis Bonaparte
she had three sons:

Napoléon Louis Charles Bonaparte (10 October 1802 - 5 May 1807) died at the age of four years old. Napoléon Louis Bonaparte
Louis Bonaparte
(11 October 1804 - 17 March 1831) he married Charlotte Napoléone Bonaparte
Charlotte Napoléone Bonaparte
on 23 July 1826. Napoléon III
Napoléon III
(20 April 1808- 9 January 1873) he married Eugénie du Derje de Montijo on 29 January 1853. They have one son.

With Charles Joseph, Comte de Flahaut, she had one son:

Charles Auguste Louis Joseph (21 October 1811 - 10 March 1865), created Duke of Morny
Duke of Morny
by his half-brother, Napoléon III, in 1862.[8]


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Ancestors of Hortense de Beauharnais

16. François de Beauharnais, seigneur de La Boische

8. Claude de Beauharnais, comte des Roches-Baritaud

17. Marguerite Françoise de Pyvart de Chastillé

4. François de Beauharnais, marquis de la Ferté-Beauharnais

18. Pierre Hardouineau, seigneur de La Laudanière

9. Renée Hardouineau de Laudanière

19. Renée Le Pays de Beauville

2. Alexandre, vicomte de Beauharnais

20. Jacques Pyvart de Chastullé

10. François-Louis de Pyvart de Chastullé

21. Madeleine de Beauchesne

5. Marie Anne Henriette Françoise de Pyvart de Chastullé

22. Pierre Hardouineau, seigneur de La Laudanière

11. Jeanne Hardouineau de Laudanière

23. Renée Le Pays de Beauville

1. Hortense de Beauharnais

24. Gaspard de Tascher, seigneur de la Pagerie

12. Gaspard Joseph Tascher de la Pagerie

25. Edmée Henriette Madeleine du Plessis de Savonnières

6. Joseph-Gaspard Tascher de la Pagerie

26. François Bourreau, seigneur de la Chevalerie

13. Françoise Bourreau de la Chevalerie

27. Marie Thérèse Jaham des Prés

3. Joséphine Tascher de La Pagerie

28. Joseph des Vergers de Sablons

14. Joseph François des Vergers de Sannois

29. Élisabeth de Maigne du Plat

7. Rose-Claire des Vergers de Sannois

30. Anthony Brown

15. Catherine Marie Brown

31. Catherine des Vergers de Sannois


^ a b Epton, Nina (1975). Josephine: The Empress and Her Children. New York: W. W. Norton & Company, Inc. p.51 ^ Epton, pp.99-100 ^ a b "Hortense Eugénie de Beauharnais
(1783-1837)" (in Dutch). 2013-10-16. Retrieved 2013-12-04.  ^ Mossiker, Frances (1964). Napoleon and Josephine: The Biography of a Marriage. New York: Simon & Schuster. p. 347.  ^  Chisholm, Hugh, ed. (1911). "Morny, Charles Auguste Louis Joseph, Duc de". Encyclopædia Britannica. 18 (11th ed.). Cambridge University Press. p. 849.  ^ Bonnet, Jules (1864). Mes souvenirs du barreau depuis 1804 (in French). Paris: Durand. p. 22.  ^ van Scheelten, W. F. (1833). Mémoires sur la Reine Hortense, aujourd'hui Duchesse de Saint-Leu. Canel. p. 230.  ^  Chisholm, Hugh, ed. (1911). "Morny, Charles Auguste Louis Joseph, Duc de". Encyclopædia Britannica. 18 (11th ed.). Cambridge University Press. p. 849. 

Further reading[edit]

Epton, Nina (1976). Josephine: The Empress and her Children. London: Norton. ISBN 0-393-07500-1. 

External links[edit]

Wikimedia Commons has media related to Hortense de Beauharnais.

Hortense de Beauharnais, Queen of Holland Hortense - La Reine d'Hollande Queen Hortense - A Life Picture of the Napoleonic Era - 1910 book by L. Mühlbach, as an eText from Project Gutenberg Spencer Napoleonica Collection at Newberry Library Free scores by Hortense de Beauharnais
at the International Music Score Library Project (IMSLP)

Hortense de Beauharnais House of Beauharnais Born: 10 April 1783 Died: 5 October 1837

Dutch royalty

Vacant Title last held by Maria Theresa of Naples and Sicily as Consort of the Austrian Netherlands Queen consort of Holland 5 June 1806 – 1 July 1810 Vacant Title next held by Wilhelmine of Prussia as Queen of the Netherlands

v t e

Dutch royal consorts

Máxima Zorreguieta Cerruti (2013–present)

Claus van Amsberg (1980–2002) Prince Bernhard of Lippe-Biesterfeld
Prince Bernhard of Lippe-Biesterfeld
(1948–1980) Duke Henry of Mecklenburg-Schwerin
Duke Henry of Mecklenburg-Schwerin
(1901–1934) Princess Emma of Waldeck and Pyrmont
Emma of Waldeck and Pyrmont
(1879–1890) Princess Sophie of Württemberg
Sophie of Württemberg
(1849–1877) Grand Duchess Anna Pavlovna of Russia
Anna Pavlovna of Russia
(1840–1849) Princess Wilhelmine of Prussia (1813–1837) Hortense de Beauharnais

v t e


Generations are numbered from Claude de Beauharnais, seigneur de Beaumont.

1st generation

François V, Marquis de La Ferté-Beauharnais Claude, 1st Count of Roches-Baritaud m. Françoise Mouchard

2nd generation

François François VI, Marquis de La Ferté- Beauharnais
m. Françoise de Beauharnais Claude, 2nd Count of Roches-Baritaud Anne, Countess de Barral Alexandre, Viscount of Beauharnais
m. Joséphine Tascher de La Pagerie (later Empress of the French)

3rd generation

Adélaïde Françoise Émilie, Countess of Lavalette Eugène, Duke of Leuchtenberg* m. Princess Augusta of Bavaria Amedee Hortense, Queen of Holland* Alberic Stéphanie, Grand Duchess of Baden* Josephine, Marquise de Quiqueran-Beaujeu Eugénie Hortense, Countess de Querelles Auguste

4th generation

Joséphine, Queen of Sweden and Norway** Eugénie, Princess of Hohenzollern-Hechingen** Auguste, Duke of Leuchtenberg** m. Queen Maria II of Portugal Amélie, Empress of Brazil** Théodolinde, Countess of Württemberg** Carolina** Maximilian, Duke of Leuchtenberg**^ m. Grand Duchess Maria Nikolaevna of Russia

5th generation

Alexandra**^ Marie, Princess William of Baden**^ Nicholas, Duke of Leuchtenberg**^ Eugenia, Duchess Alexander of Oldenburg**^ Eugen, Duke of Leuchtenberg**^ Sergei**^ Georgi, Duke of Leuchtenberg**^ m. 1st Duchess Therese Petrovna of Oldenburg, m. 2nd Princess Anastasia of Montenegro

6th generation

Nicholas de Beauharnais** Daria, Princess Leon Kotchoubey George** Alexander, Duke of Leuchtenberg**^ Sergei, Duke of Leuchtenberg**^ Elena, Countess Stefan Tyszkiewicz**^

7th generation

Nicholas de Beauharnais** Dimitri** Nadezhda, Mrs. Mogilevsky** Maximilian** Natalie, Baroness Vladimir Meller-Zakomelsky** Tamara, Mrs. Constantin Karanfilov** Sergei** Andrei** Michael** Constantine** Marie, Countess Nikolai Mengden-Altenwoga**

8th generation

Elena** Maria Magdalen, Mrs. Joseph de Pasquale** George** Anna, Mrs. Stout** Eugénie Élisabeth, Mrs. von Bruch** Xenia, Countess Dimitri Grabbe** Olga, Mrs. Ronald Newburgh** Olga, Mrs. Oleg Gaydeburov** Nicholas** Serge** Elizabeth, Mrs. John Craft**

9th generation

Nicholas Maxiliam Constantine

* also a Prince or Princess des Francais ** also a Prince or Princess of Leuchtenberg
and Eichstädt ^also a Prince Romanovsky or Princess Romanovskaja

Authority control

WorldCat Identities VIAF: 315678692 LCCN: n84078646 ISNI: 0000 0001 0911 7123 GND: 118553720 SELIBR: 300839 SUDOC: 034941010 BNF: cb12564000h (data) BPN: 03711530 ULAN: 500115687 HDS: 41453 SIKART: 13076187 RKD: 5358 SN