Love conquers all! Inside the lavish wedding reception of Napoleon Bonaparte’s ancestor Napoleon and Countess Olympia von und zu Arco-Zinnerberg
- Jean-Christophe Napoleon Bonaparte is the great-great-great nephew of Napoleon Bonaparte I
- He married Countess Olympia in Paris the great-great-great niece of the French Emperor’s wife yesterday
- After the ceremony, the couple and their guests traveled to Fontainebleau Palace – a 12th century castle
- Guests shared a a glimpse of the beautiful wedding reception location – and the dinner table set for occassion
Guests of Jean-Christophe Napoleon Bonaparte and Countess Olympia von und zu Arco-Zinnerberg’s lavish wedding reception have shared snaps of the couple’s celebration.
London-based private equity manager Jean-Christophe Napoleon Bonaparte, 33, the great-great-great nephew of Napoleon Bonaparte I, Emperor of France, wed Olympia, 31, the great-great-great niece of the French Emperor’s wife in Paris yesterday.
After a beautiful ceremony at the Invalides – where his great-great-great uncle is buried – the descendant of Napoleon Bonaparte, his wife and their guests headed to the Fontainebleau Palace, where Napoleon Bonaparte I formerly resided, for a lavish dinner reception.
The beautiful 12th century Palace is located 34 miles away from Paris in the town of Fontainebleau. It’s been the dwelling of several French Kings, and was France’s grandest castles before Louis XIV dedicated his attention to Versailles in the 18th century.
Camilla de Bourbon, Jean Christophe’s aunt, and her daughters shared snaps of the beautiful evening on Instagram, giving their fans a glimpse of the beautiful dinner table set for the occasion.
London-based private equity manager Jean-Christophe Napoleon Bonaparte, 33, wedded Countess Olympia von und zu Arco-Zinnerberg, 31, in Paris
Guests shared snaps of the lavish wedding dinner reception which took place later in the evening
The reception took place at the 12th century Fontainebleau Palace, located 34 miles away from Paris
Camilla, 48, and her family attended the wedding ceremony in Paris before performing an outfit change and heading for the castle in the evening. Her daughters Maria Carolina, 16 and Maria-Chiara, 14 were also in attendance.
Maria-Chiara shared pictures of the beautiful dinner party that took place at Fontainebleau. Several rows of long tables had been decorated with the most exquisite taste for the occasion to cater for the countless wedding guests.
Orchids and candles faced almost every seat, set with the finest gold-plated china. Each guests drank in crystal wine glasses, one for water and another for wine.
Above the tables, lights were propped in beautiful flowers arrangements, which hung from the ceiling.
Maria-Chiara de Bourbon, one of Jean-Christophe’s cousins, 14, shared snaps of of the dinner table on Instagram
The long rows of tables were exquisitely decorated with orchids, candles and the finest china, while flower arrangements hung from the ceilling
The wedding seemed to be straight out of a fairy tale with beautiful flowers and intimate lighting
Left to right: Maria Carolina de Bourbon-Two Siciles, with her mother Camilla and her younger sister Maria Chiaria as they headed to the dinner reception in Fontainebleau
The beautiful palace was once the residence of Jean Christophe’s ancestor, Emperor Napoleon Bonaparte
A view of one of the corridors of the Fontainebleau Palace, which was refurbished in the New Renaissance style during the 16th century by then King Francis I
Camilla also shared a short video of her and her daughters heading out for the evening. They all donned beautiful gowns for the high-end event which gathered several members of European and French nobility.
Princess Beatrice was spotted at the wedding ceremony earlier during the day with her fiance property tycoon Edoardo Mapelli Mozzi.
It is unknown whether she attended the dinner party at the castle of Fontainebleau as well. The beautiful building, located in the Parisian region, was built during the 12th century and endured through France’s eventful history.
Initially a medieval building, Fontainebleau underwent intensive architectural updates during the reign of Francis I.
Prince Charles de Bourbon Siciles attended 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)
The Monarch asked architect Gilles le Breton to build a palace in the new Renaissance style, made popular in Italy. Le Breton incorporated the old structure of the palace into the new renaissance style.
Francis I also commissioned Italian painters to decorate the castle’s galleries and rooms.
All of the chateau’s original furniture was sold at auctions during the French Revolution.
The great-great-great niece of the French Emperor’s wife, 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 beam as they hold hands on their way out of the cathedral. The pair previously have said that their wedding is a love match and not designed to further any political ambitions
However, when Napoleon Bonaparte took control of the country and became its emperor in 1805, he had the entire chateau refurbished and decorated.
In his memoirs, which he wrote while in exile on the Island of St Helen, Bonaparte wrote of Fontainebleau: ‘The true residence of Kings, the house of the centuries.’
‘Perhaps it was not a rigorously architectural palace, but it was certainly a place of residence well thought out and perfectly suitable. It was certainly the most comfortable and happily situated palace in Europe.”
A bit of rain couldn’t dull the couple’s joy on their special day as the Prince drives them away
The couple leave the cathedral in a red convertible. The Prince opens the door for his bride as her sister carries her train into the car
The Prince grabs his new wife’s hand as her sister Countess Giorgiana von und zu Arco-Zinneberg helps to fix her long veil
The chateau is now a a museum as well as an UNESCO World Heritage Site.
The newlyweds are distantly related as Countess Olympia is the great-great-great niece of Napoleon’s wife, Archduchess Marie-Louise of Austria.
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, today’s pair have previously said that their wedding is a love match, and not designed to further any political ambitions.
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
The skies quickly cleared and the couple can be seen smiling from their car, a vintage DS Citroen
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.
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 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
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.
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’.
Princess Beatrice started dating the Italian property developer, 36, who is a father-of-one, in October last year. His powder-blue waistcoat matched the Princess’s coat
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.’
The bride beamed as she arrived for her wedding. Her demure gown had a long cape that cascaded over her shoulders and into a train
Look of love: The couple look thrilled as they celebrate their wedding. Louis, Prince Napoléon, said in his will that he wanted Jean-Christophe, then 11, to succeed him as head of the Imperial House
The couple are greeted with applause as they leave the cathedral. Jean-Christophe told the French newspaper Le Figaro that their marriage was ‘the fruit of European reconciliation and construction, which I believe in enormously’
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
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.
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