Paul Frecker
Fine Photographs

Princesse Clothilde

The daughter of Victor Emmanuel II, King of Sardinia and Italy, in 1858 Princesse Clothilde married Prince Napoléon Joseph Charles Paul ('Plon-Plon'), the troublesome cousin of Napoléon III.

Utterly self-contained, enveloped in the armour of her piety and endowed with a sullen superiority, Princesse Clothilde proved unpopular at the French court. Although the Empress Eugénie initially tried to help her, Clothilde's deliberate rudeness soon alienated her would-be mentor. She appeared more and more rarely at the splendid entertainments at the Tuileries, and when she did, seemed with her vague, dull eyes to be walking in a dream. Her humourless and priggish nature cast a damper over any festivity. Cordially disliked by the Empress and all but abandoned by her husband, a sombre piety took possession of her whole life.


code: pm0021
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