Paul Frecker
Fine Photographs


Prince Victor Napoléon

The elder of Plon-Plon and Clothilde’s two sons, Prince Victor Napoléon is presumably seen here with his nurse.

Born Napoléon Victor Jérôme Frédéric at Meudon on 18 July 1862, Prince Victor was eight when the Second Empire fell and he went into exile with the rest of his family. However, he was allowed to return to France in 1874 and in 1881 completed his studies at the lycée Charlemagne.

In 1884, the support of an important group of young Bonapartists, who favoured Prince Victor over his father as Imperial pretender to the throne after the death of the Prince Imperial (whose will had specifically by-passed the father in favour of Prince Victor), caused a schism in the Bonapartist camp between ‘Jeromists’ and ‘Victorians.’ After the death of his father in 1891, Prince Victor became the sole head of the Bonapartist party.

Living in exile in a town house on the Avenue Louise in Brussels, he travelled Europe, visiting Holland, Germany, and Sweden. In Russia, he was received warmly by the tsar, Alexander III.

In 1910, he was married to Princess Clementine of Belgium the younger daughter of King Léopold II, whom he had loved secretly for ten years. The couple had two children, Princess Marie-Clothilde, born in 1912, and Prince Louis-Napoléon, born in 1914.

Failing to obtain permission from the French government to enlist, he and his family spent the years of the First World War as guests of the Empress Eugénie at Farnborough.

Prince Victor died in Brussels on 3 May 1926.

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