The former Imperial House of France and the House of Hapsburg have united once again as Napoleon Bonaparte’s heir has married the great-great-great niece of the French Emperor’s wife.
London-based private equity manager Jean-Christophe Napoleon Bonaparte, 33, is the great-great-great nephew of Napoleon Bonaparte I, Emperor of France.
He has wed Countess Olympia von und zu Arco-Zinnerberg, 31, the great-granddaughter of Karl I, in a lavish ceremony attended by Princess Beatrice and her fiancé property tycoon Edoardo Mapelli Mozzi.
The newlyweds are distantly related as Countess Olympia is the great-great-great niece of Napoleon’s wife, Archduchess Marie-Louise of Austria.
The pairing is similar to Napoleon’s marriage to Archduchess Marie-Louise of Austria in 1810, which was designed to secure an ally in his war against Britain and Russia and bring conflict between the two countries to a halt.
However, the pair previously have said that their wedding is a love match, and not designed to further any political ambitions.
Jean-Christophe told The Times: ‘It’s a story of love rather than a nod to history. When I met Olympia, I plunged into her eyes and not into her family tree. Afterwards we were able to smile at this historical coincidence.’
The great-granddaughter of Karl I, Austria’s last emperor, Countess Olympia von und zu Arco-Zinnerberg, 31, married Jean-Christophe Napoleon Bonaparte, 32, French Emperor Bonaparte’s heir. The couple pose outside the cathedral after their wedding
The couple hold hands as they celebrate their wedding. Bonapartists view Jean-Christophe (right) as the head of the former Imperial House Of France
The couple married at Les Invalides, where Napoleon’s body was brought back from St Helena after his exile from France
The bride is escorted up the stairs into the cathedral as her sister Countess Giorgiana von und zu Arco-Zinneberg
Count Riprand von Arco-Zinneberg poses with his daughter (left). Right: Princess Béatrice de Bourbon Siciles walks into the cathedral with her son Prince Jean-Christophe Napoleon
Bridesmaids wearing floral crowns and white dresses attend the nuptials. Jean-Christophe told The Times : ‘It’s a story of love rather than a nod to history. When I met Olympia, I plunged into her eyes and not into her family tree. Afterwards we were able to smile at this historical coincidence’
Followers of the Bonapartist movement see Jean-Christophe as a kind of French hero, in a time when the country is losing faith in modern politicians.
Bonapartists view Jean-Christophe as the head of the former Imperial House Of France.
Indeed, his own grandfather Louis, Prince Napoléon, said in his will that he wanted his grandson, then 11, to succeed him as head of the Imperial House, after falling out with his son, Charles, for embracing republican principles and re-marrying without his permission.
Jean-Cristophe has played an influential role in public affairs, appearing alongside the royals of European countries such as Belgium and The Netherlands at official engagements, such as the anniversaries of the Battle of Waterloo.
The bride has a degree in Political Science from Yale, and is believed to have met her fiancé while spending a semester in Paris.
Princess Beatrice and her property tycoon fiance Edoardo Mapelli Mozzi attend the historic union. Bonapartists view Jean-Christophe as the head of the former Imperial House Of France (left). Right
The bride wore a stunning gown with a long veil that trailed behind her. The modern-day Bonaparte has insisted that echoes of the past in the French-Austrian alliance with his wife-to-be are purely coincidental
The couple married at Les Invalides, where Napoleon’s body was brought back from St Helena after his exile from France.
Jean-Christophe told the French newspaper Le Figaro that their marriage was ‘the fruit of European reconciliation and construction, which I believe in enormously’.
He went on to say he felt a deep commitment and sense of duty to France, and that he was keen to honour the legacy of his ancestors.
He said: ‘The Bonapartes have always been modern men in the avant-garde and helping their era to move forward, and figures who have built their own lives with an extraordinary freedom.
‘I firmly intend to pursue my heritage in this direction.’
Napoleon married Archduchess Marie-Louise, a niece of Marie Antoinette, in 1810 after divorcing his wife Josephine, when she failed to produce an heir.
Napoleon’s only son died young, leaving his sole successor Napoleon III, who ruled France between 1848 and 1870. Napoleon III was Jean-Christophe’s great-great grandfather.
The modern-day Bonaparte has insisted that echoes of the past in the French-Austrian alliance with his wife-to-be are purely coincidental.
Napoleon Bonaparte’s stormy marriage to Austrian Archduchess Marie-Louise who was 22 years his junior and had not met him before the wedding
Napoelon met widowed mother-of-two Marie Josèphe Rose Tascher de La Pagerie in September 1795, who was six years his senior, and was instantly smitten.
They married in March 1796, making her Empress Joséphine, the first Empress of France.
Jean-Christophe’s great great grand uncle is Napoleon I, who married Archduchess Marie-Louise of Austria to secure an ally of the country when fighting Britain and the Russians
Their relationship was stormy and in 1810, he divorced her after she failed to produce an heir, in favour of Marie Louise, 18, daughter of Emperor Francis I of Austria.
Archduchess Marie Louise was not happy about the union with a man 22 years her senior, who she had never met.
Her great-aunt Marie Antoinette had also been executed while she was Queen of France, and she feared for her own fate.
However, she had to bow to her father’s will, and the couple were married by proxy in a religious ceremony on March 11, 1810, which Napoleon did not attend.
Marie Louise had grown up against a background of continuous conflict between Austria and revolutionary France, and her home country had suffered a series of heavy defeats.
In 1809, the year before their wedding Austria and Britain were engaged in the War of the Fifth Coalition against France and Bavaria, which ended in favour of the French at the Battle of Wagram in July.
The resulting Treaty of Schönbrunn led to Austria losing more then three million subjects, after ceding territory to France and Bavaria.
However, the marriage of Napoleon and Marie Louise in 1810, signalled a temporary peace between Austria and the French Empire.
Despite her initial misgivings, Marie-Louise seemed to warm to Napoleon after the wedding, and became an obedient wife.
Napoleon meanwhile compared the shy and timid girl to his former wife Josephine, who was passionate and outgoing. The pair remained in close contact, which upset Marie-Louise.
She gave birth to a son in 1811, Napoléon François Joseph Charles Bonaparte, and was a devoted mother.
In 1813, Prussia and the UK joined Russia in declaring war on France, but Austria remained neutral due to the connection between the Imperial families.
As Napoleon set to battle in Germany, Marie-Louise was appointed Regent and, though she tried to convince her father to ally with France, Austria soon joined the opposition.
In January 1814, Marie-Louise saw Napoleon ride off into battle for the last time, as he attempted to stave off the Allied invasion in the north of the country.
Three months later, at the instigation of Talleryrand, the Senate announced the deposition of the Emperor and Napoleon abdicated.
While he was exiled to Elba, Marie-Louise retained her imperial rank and title, becoming ruler of the duchies of Parma, Piacenza, and Guastalla, with her son as heir.
She was dissuaded from contacting her husband, who was said to be distraught over the death of his ex-wife, Josephine.
When Napoleon escaped in 1815 and reinstated his rule, Marie-Louise was asked by her stepmother to pray for the success of the Austrian armies, but rejected this.
Later that year, when he was defeated in the Battle of Waterloo and exiled to Saint Helena, he made no attempt to contact his wife.
Napoleon died on 5 May 1821 having suffered a hard life in exile, and Marie-Louise went on to marry Count Adam Albert von Neipperg on 8 August, whom she had three children with.
She fell ill on 9 December 1846, with her condition quickly worsening, and died on December 17.
The bride walked under a huge floral arch on her way into the ceremony. She wore her hair in a sleek up-do with a jewelled tiara
Prince Charles de Bourbon Siciles atteded the wedding with his wife Princess Camilla de Bourbon Siciles and their daughters Maria Carolina de Bourbon Siciles and Maria Chiara de Bourbon Siciles. Princess Camilla’s mother Edoarda Crociani also attended (right)
Grand Duke Henri of Luxembourg arrives to attend the wedding at the Saint Louis des Invalides cathedral
Prince Paul de Grece and his wife Princess Marie-Chantal de Grece were on the star-studded guest list for the historic wedding
Portrait of Napoleon I (1769-1821) and Archduchess Marie Louise with their son, the King of Rome, Napoleon II, Duke of Reichstadt in the Tuileries Gardens
The family history that has led to the historic union between Countess Olympia and Jean-Christophe Prince Napoleon. Jean Cristophe is the great-great-nephew of Napoleon