Talk:Napoleon II

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I think this title should be altered to Duke of Reichstadt. Although Reichstadt was often referred to as Napoleon II, this was an informal designation and there was no such person as "Emperor Napoleon II of France". There was a I and a III, but no II.

Cheers JackofOz 02:56, 14 Apr 2004 (UTC)

I second that. This is a pretentious Bonapartist fantasy. Wetman 22:49, 23 Aug 2004 (UTC)

No, he was Emperor of the French. Briefly, sure, but he still held the title. Renaming this to a lesser title would be the same as renaming "Louis XVII of France" to a lesser thing. -Alex, 01:24, 6 February 2006 (UTC).

It's even better, as Napoleon II was actually recognized within France and by the French govt. as the Emperor, albeit briefly. No government ever controlled any party of France in Louis XVII's name. --Jfruh 20:30, 6 February 2006 (UTC)

Back on this topic again. The article says:

Despite his nominal reign, he is not normally referred to as "Napoleon II" except by Bonapartists who also call him the King of Rome.

Are we saying that Wikipedia is a Bonapartist conspiracy? JackofOz 20:36, 6 February 2006 (UTC)

I don't know. Does having an entry called Louis XVII of France make Wikipedia a mouthpiece of Bourbon legitimists? I'm not a Bonapartist (does anyone even need to say that anymore? Are there any active Bonapartists out there?) but the title seems to me to be fully in keeping with Wikipedia's styles for rulers. France was ruled in his name for two weeks in 1815. This was longer than, say, Dipendra of Nepal or John I of France; and, as I noted earlier, we have a "Louis XVII" page despite the fact that he never reigned at all.
The fights over his titlature are no doubt a legacy of the fight over Napoleon's legacy in the aftermath of the 100 days. The unsourced statement that "he is not normally referred to as 'Napoleon II' except by Bonapartists" seems to me to be a canard away from the obvious fact that he was the recognized sovereign of France for two weeks. --Jfruh 21:19, 6 February 2006 (UTC)
Recognised by whom? Opera hat (talk) 22:10, 14 November 2008 (UTC)


A recent edit changed a sentence to read:

The next Napoleon to come to the throne of France took the name Napoleon III in deference to the French custom of continuing to count regnal numbers even when a royal family is not reigning.

Can this really be said to be a "custom" at the point in history under discussion? Napoleon III was only the second to follow it (Louis XVIII being the first, at the beginning of the century). Perhaps France is like the American South in this regard; a friend of mine from Virginia once remarked that "once is a precedent, twice a tradition."

Finally, it should be noted (again) that Napoleon II did in fact reign (though of course he never ruled in the way that his father and cousin did). For two weeks in June and July of 1815, he was recognized as head of state by the French government in Paris. I know its brief, and that the anti-French coalition never recognized him as Emperor, but he wasn't like Louis XVII, who spent his "reign" in the Bastille and probably never knew that some exiles considered him to be king of France. --Jfruh (talk) 14:52, 31 August 2006 (UTC)

This is all quite true (except that Louis XVII was imprisoned in the Temple, and not in the Bastille, which had been torn down in 1789). In fact, having read up on this very period, this is exactly what Napoleon III' himself said. In explaining his choice of number to the suspicious eastern courts, who suspected exactly this, that Napoleon III was asserting a claim to some kind of legitimist succession, Napoleon's people said that if he was like Louis XVIII, he would have been Napoleon V, as his uncle Joseph and father Louis would've been Napoleon III and IV. This ought to be changed. On the other hand, the question of whether Napoleon II actually reigned is a somewhat involved one. I'm not sure if Fouché and company ever explicitly recognized him as Emperor. Of course, it was a moot point, as he was an Austrian prisoner and there was no way he was staying on the throne for long. I'll try to change the text. john k 21:43, 3 September 2006 (UTC)


Why does the succession box have a reference to the Prince Canino line? I thought that neither Lucien or his decendents claimed the French Imperial throne. Lucien wasn't even in the line of succession. Though Napoleon I made him an imperial prince, he did not officially place him in the line of succession. Besides, even if he was in the line of succession, wouldn't he come after Joseph, therefore even if he was the pretender, it would have been after Joseph, not Napoleon II. Because of this, I think that Lucien's name should be deleted from the succession box. Emperor001 21:09, 8 May 2007 (UTC)

As no one has responded to the above mentioning, I am going to delete Lucien from the sucession box as he was never the claiment to the throne. Emperor001 21:00, 9 May 2007 (UTC)

Emperor of the French[edit]

Perhaps in title only. Napoleon II never reigned, according to most historians (and encylopedias), we shouldn't be re-writing history. GoodDay (talk) 19:17, 16 December 2007 (UTC)

Did Louis XIV. reign as a child?Did Dipendra reign while in coma?The Chamber of representatives recognised him as Emperor and head of state of France and governed the nation in the name of the young sovereign.A similar case to Simeon II. and Fu'ad II. (talk) 21:15, 9 June 2008 (UTC)

Sometimes, history needs a little rewriting not because of inaccurate facts, but because of inaccurate interpretation of given facts. You can dispute whether someone like Louis XIX, being technically head-of-state for fifteen minutes for his father being through with his abdication document already and himself not, can be called king (I doubt it), but if all is true that is not doubted here, Napoleon II was as much an Emperor of the Frech as any four-year-aged child can possibly be. -- (talk) 20:37, 20 June 2009 (UTC)

King of Rome[edit]

Shouldn't there be a succession box for it? (talk) 11:33, 26 October 2008 (UTC)


What are the orders the Duke of Reichstadt is wearing in the article's illustrations? Opera hat (talk) 22:12, 14 November 2008 (UTC)

Napoleon of France ???[edit]

This article should be renamed. The title of the Bonapate dynasty was "Emperor of the French" not "of France". As there's no other monarch known as Napoleon II, "Napoleon II" is sufficient. DITWIN GRIM (talk) 15:24, 18 February 2010 (UTC)

Support move I agree that in this case disambiguation is unnecessary. DrKiernan (talk) 09:42, 26 February 2010 (UTC)

Support move for reasons given above, consistent with argument RENapoleon I. --Frania W. (talk) 13:27, 26 February 2010 (UTC)

Support move as per Frania W. AJRG (talk) 17:19, 31 March 2010 (UTC)

Move discussion in progress[edit]

There is a move discussion in progress on Talk:Napoleon III of France which affects this page. Please participate on that page and not in this talk page section. Thank you. —RM bot 15:45, 31 March 2010 (UTC)

Cause of death[edit]

Franz did not die from tuberculosis. The last ten months before he died he suffered repeated sub-lethal arsenic poisonings. The last few weeks the arsenic was partly replaced with antimony. The relatively large amounts of both arsenic and antimony was more than his body could cope with. Consequentially, Franz died from a combination of arsenic and antimony poisoning. This conclusion is based on contemporary eyewitness accounts. However, I have not read these myself and I don't have enough knowledge of Toxicology to make a proper diagnosis. I have only read a description written by Sten Forshufvud. (His statements on the times are rather fuzzy so if anyone have more accurate information please correct me.) He was a professional physician with two specialities: teeth and poisonings. His suspicions may well have been started by the fact that a previously healthy 20-year-old suddenly fell seriously ill. Please note that I don't think every royalty to have been poisoned to death. For example, Franz mother Maria Ludovica died a natural death at the age of 56. It is just her first husband and their son which I consider poisoned to death. Joséphine de Beauharnais may have died from either pneumonia or sub-lethal arsenic poisoning. I am not sure about her.

2010-12-29 Lena Synnerholm, Märsta, Sweden.

Portraits and “portraits”[edit]

There are only four portraits of Franz which are similar enough to each other for me to tell that they depict the same person. The first one can be found here, the second one here, the third one here and the forth one here. (This is the approximate order in which they where made.) In the early 19th century it was fashionable to portray people with shorter between their chin, mouth and nose than they really had. I call this “Empire style beautification” since it coincided with the Empire style period. Typically, the result was a shape of face which does not exist. What I mean is that the exact distances between the features of the face don’t occur among present-day people. Fortunately, different artists typically distorted peoples' faces to the same degree and some did not do it at all. Especially skilled artists could even choose if they would use this type of beautification or not. Out of the four portraits of Franz only the third lacks Empire style beautification. The shape of face it shows is essentially a more childish version of the one this portrait of his father shows. The other three portraits shows more childish versions of the non-existent shape of face depicted in this portrait of Napoléon with Empire style beautification. Furthermore, the distances between the features of the face depicted in the forth portrait of Franz seem to match this portrait of his youngest paternal uncle Jérôme. After reaching middle age Jérôme was depicted like this. (Of all portraits of Jérôme I have seen this must be the one with the slightest amount of beautification.) The portrait of him as middle-aged shows exactly the same distances between the features of the face as this portrait of his older brother. From all this I draw the conclusion that the third out of the four portraits of Franz is the one with the slightest amount of beautification. If I am correct Franz' death mask should have the same distances between the features of the face as Daniel Radcliffe has today. The first time I saw Dan I know that he would eventually develop distances between the features of his face matching the most realistic portraits of Napoléon. This has not happened yet but I expect it to happen in about 2015. This would have happened to Franz too if he had not been poisoned to death at the age of 21. Fore more information about that please read the discussion under the subtitle “Cause of death”. I have started it myself.

2010-12-29 Lena Synnerholm, Märsta, Sweden.


Surely he became Emperor (in name) after his father's first abdication in 1814? ( (talk) 02:31, 30 October 2011 (UTC))


At the start of the page, it is said that: He was widely known in France as L'Aiglon ("the Eaglet"), without any reference. This would suggest that he was known as l'Aiglon at the time.

The French wikipedia page however, states that Son surnom de l'Aiglon lui a été attribué à titre posthume [...] with a reference to the play by Edmond Rostand.

Somehow, the French article appears to be more believable. Should the English text be modified accordingly? — Preceding unsigned comment added by Pkvisualid (talkcontribs) 09:28, 15 April 2013 (UTC)