Friday, July 23, 2010

Thanks to marriage, Louis Bonaparte may rule France

July 23, 1898

A profile of Prince Louis Bonaparte appears in today's Chicago Tribune. The writer, an ex-attache, has known the Prince since he was eight years old. The ex-attache believes that the prince's engagement to Grand Duchess Helen of Russia will bring great success to him. "This incalculable prestige which a match of this kind cannot fail to give him in France, where the classes, the well-to-do bourgeoisie, and the army are yearning for the appearance on the scene of some strong man to preserve them from the encroachments of the masses, and the specter of socialism, anarchy and revolution."
Prince Louis is described as being "so-self contained and self-controlled." He never "speaks a word more than he intends, and he weighs carefully every utterance before it is made." The prince has a "generous and a warm heart," and he has managed to "keep his name entirely free from any taint of scandal," unlike his elder brother, the "disreputable Prince Victor Bonaparte.
Another point in the prince's favor is how he has behaved toward his parents He holds his mother and father in "high filial regard and respect." His elder brother, Victor, was ,for several years before his father's death, "in open personal and political opposition," and was sued by the late Prince Napoleon's "most bitter enemies."
Prince Louis has served with the Russian army and with the Italian cavalry. He was granted a commission in the Russian army because the Russian czar liked him and considered him family. This was in direct contrast to how Alexander III treated the Duke of Orleans.
Prince Louis, 24is treated "as a near and dear relative" of the Romanovs, and is often invited to family events in St. Petersburg.
Thus, the impending marriage between Prince Louis and Grand Duchess Helen Vladimirovna comes as no surprise.
Grand Duchess Helen is an "exceedingly beautiful and brilliant girl." This may be a love match. If Prince Louis does "nourish at the bottom of his heart any ambitions with regard to the French throne he could not possibly have played his cards more cleverly than by first identifying himself with the Czar's army and then marrying into the Czar's family."
A husband of a Russian Grand Duchess will place Louis "in the circle of the sovereign houses beyond question."

Earlier this year, there were press reports that Prince Louis Napoleon was going to marry Queen Wilhelmina of the Netherlands.

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