Of Corsican origin, the Bonaparte (originally Buonaparte) family is the family of Napoleon I, who was elected as first consul of France on November 10, 1799 with the help of his brother, Lucien Bonaparte, president of the Council of Five Hundred at Saint-Cloud. Napoleon I was crowned Emperor of France 1804-1814; the Bonaparte family also provided kings of Spain, Naples, Holland and Westphalia, and a second French Emperor, Napoleon III.
The family originally came from Florence. The first Buonaparte to move to Corsica was Francesco Buonaparte, who moved there in the 16th century, when Corsica was a Genoese possession. The arms of the Buonaparte family were: Gules two bends sinister between two stars or. In 1804 Napoleon changed the arms to Azure an imperial eagle or. The change applied to all members of his family except for his brother Lucien, and the son of Jerome's first marriage.
Following his conquest of most of western Europe, the first Napoleon made his elder brother Joseph (1768-1844) king first of Naples and Sicily (1806-1808) and then of Spain (1808-1813), his third brother Louis (1778-1846) king of Holland (1806-1810) (subsequently forcing his abdication after his failure to subordinate Dutch interests to those of France) and his youngest brother Jerome Bonaparte (1784-1860) king of Westphalia, the short-lived realm created from the states of western Germany (1807-1813).
Napoleon's son Napoleon Joseph (1811-1832) was created king of Rome (1811-1814) and was later styled Napoleon II by loyalists of the dynasty, though he never actually ruled as Emperor. Charles Louis Napoleon (1808-1873), son of Louis Napoleon, was president of France in 1848-1852 and emperor in 1852-1870, reigning as Napoleon III; his son, Eugene Bonaparte (1856-1879), styled the Prince Imperial, died fighting the Zulus in Natal, South Africa. With his death, the family lost much of its remaining political appeal, though claimants continued to assert their right to the imperial title.
The family tree
- 1) Joseph (Corte 1768-Florence 1844), King of Naples and Spain, married Julie Clary, sister of Napoleon's childhood sweetheart, Desirée, who was to become the wife of Charles XIV of Sweden.
- 2) Napoléon (1769-1821)
- 3) Lucien (Ajaccio 1775-Viterbo 1840)
- 4) Maria-Anna or Elisa (Ajaccio 1777-near Trieste 1820), grand-duchess of Tuscany
- 5 children
- 5 children
- 5) Louis, (1778 - 1846) married Hortense de Beauharnais, Napoleon's stepdaughter
- 3 sons, including:
- Louis Napoleon
- 6) Maria Paola or Pauline (Ajaccio 1780-Florence 1825), married in 1797 to French general Charles Leclerc and later married Prince Borghese.
- 7) Maria Annunziata or Caroline, married Joachim Murat
- 8) Jérôme (Ajaccio 1784-Massy, Essonne,1860), King of Westphalia
The current head of the family is the prince Napoleon (Napoléon Joseph Charles Paul Bonaparte, born 1950), great-great-grandson of Jérôme by his second marriage; he has a son Jean (born 1986) and a brother Jérôme (Jérôme Bonaparte, born 1957), unmarried. There are no remaining descendants in male line from any other of Napoleon's brothers.