NAPOLÉON … 200 YEARS AGO HE DIED … BUT HE IS NOT FORGOTTEN …

On Saturday, May 5, 1821 – 2oo years ago – Napoléon Bonaparte breathlessly whispered ‘Josephine’ and with a sigh his life ended. No greater Frenchman has there been than this man – you may not agree with me though – but now a virus which originated in China has robbed him of the honour his […]

On Saturday, May 5, 1821 – 2oo years ago – Napoléon Bonaparte breathlessly whispered ‘Josephine’ and with a sigh his life ended.

No greater Frenchman has there been than this man – you may not agree with me though – but now a virus which originated in China has robbed him of the honour his compatriots have planned for him.

The French had organised a three-day commemoration to mark his death, and not only his death, but also his life.

However, because of Covid-19 the ordinary French man and woman here in Paris had been barred from participating in those three-day commemoration events.

The May 5 events were as follows:

At 10.30 a.m. heir to Napoléon, Prince Napoléon, laid a wreath at the late Emperor’s magnificent tomb in Paris’s Les Invalides.

At 11 a.m. a Mass was celebrated at the Cathedral of Saint Louis des Invalides. (The Invalides building, by the way, is a military hospital.)

At 4 p.m, French President Macron first spoke in honour of Napoléon at the Institute de France, 23 Quay de Conti in Paris’ 6th arrondissement (district), then he, accompanied, by his wife, Brigitte, drove to Les Invalides and there he laid a magnificent wreath of blue, white and red flowers – the colours of the flag of France – at the departed one’s tomb.

Napoléon’s tomb in Paris’ Les Invalides.

The above event which ended at 6 p.m. was televised live.

As for theSaint Helena, the remote South Atlantic Ocean island, the English, in 1815, had chosen as Napoléon’s place of exile, commemorative ceremonies were also held there yesterday (May 5) which included a minute’s silence at Longwood House, the house where Napoléon had spent his exile – and had died.  Silence fell at 5.49 p.m. the exact minute of Napoléon’s death.

Next on Sunday, May 9 at 3 p.m. there will be a ceremony on the island at the site where Napoléon had been buried on that day 200 years ago.  The site is still being spoken of on the island as Napoléon’s Tomb, but of course, it is today empty, the Emperor’s body lying in Paris in Les Invalides.

The house of exile on Saint Helena

Marilyn Z. Tomlins

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