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Caroline Bonaparte
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Monarch
    (March 25, 1782-May 18, 1839)
    Born in Ajaccio, Corsica, France
    Birth name was Marie Annonciade Caroline Bonaparte
    Youngest sister of Napoleon Bonaparte
    Married Marshal Joachim Murat
    Grand Duchess of Berg and Cleves (1806-08)
    Queen Consort of Naples (1808-15)
    Great-great-great-grandmother of actor Rene Auberjonois
    She constantly tried to undermine Empress Josephine, even though Josephine had intervened to convince Napoleon to approve her marriage to Murat.
    She succeeded when she fixed Napoleon up with Eleonore Denuelle, who bore him a son out of wedlock. With this evidence that their failure to produce an heir had not been his fault, he proceeded to divorce Josephine.
    When she was given the task of escorting Napoleon’s new wife, Marie Louise, to France, she forced Marie Louise to leave her luggage, servants and pet dog behind in Austria.
    After her brothers were made kings of various lands under Napoleon’s rule, she complained endlessly to him about being outranked by her sisters-in-law, with one argument becoming so heated that she fainted at the end.
    She convinced her husband to make a separate peace with the anti-Napoleonic alliance that would allow them to retain control of Naples.
    After learning that Naples had defected to the enemy, Napoleon wrote, ‘It is [Murat’s] wife who is the cause of this defection. To think that Caroline, my own sister, would betray me.’
    Salon hostess Juliette Recamier said her skin was ‘as fair as a lily.’
    She was an able administrator of Naples when her husband was away on campaigns.
    Talleyrand described her as ‘Born with much grandeur of character, strong mind, and sublime ideas; possessing a subtle and delicate wit, together with amiability and grace, seductive beyond expression; she was deficient in nothing but in the art of concealing her desire to rule.’

Credit: C. Fishel


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