Eugène de Beauharnais, Herzog von Leuchtenberg

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Eugène Rose de Beauharnais, Prince Français, duc de Leuchtenberg et prince d'Eichstätt

Birthdate: (42)
Birthplace: Paris, Paris, Île-de-France, France
Death: February 21, 1824 (42)
Munich, Upper Bavaria, Bavaria, Germany
Place of Burial: München, Oberbayern, Bayern, Germany
Immediate Family:

Son of Alexandre François Marie de Beauharnais, vicomte de Beauharnais and Joséphine de Beauharnais, 1st Empress of the French
Husband of Louise Jeanne Nicole Arnolde, Comtess Dervieu de Villars and Princess Augusta of Bavaria
Father of Fanny Denis de Keredern de Tobriand; Pierre Louis Marie Auguste Denis de Lagarde; Josephine of Leuchtenberg; Eugénie de Beauharnais, Prinzessin von Hohenzollern-Hechingen; Auguste de Beauharnais, II. Herzog von Leuchtenberg and 5 others
Brother of Hortense de Beauharnais, Duchesse de Saint-Leu, Reine de Hollande
Half brother of Hortense de Beauharnais, Duchesse de Saint-Leu, Reine de Hollande and Alexandre de Beauharnais

Occupation: Herzog von Leuchtenberg, vicekung i Italien, , Prince Français, Prince of Venice, Viceroy of the Kingdom of Italy, Hereditary Grand Duke of Frankfurt, 1st Duke of Leuchtenberg and Prince of Eichstädt, Duke of Leuchtenberg
Managed by: Noah Tutak
Last Updated:

About Eugène de Beauharnais, Herzog von Leuchtenberg

Golden Fleece - Knights: Spanish Branch

  • Stepson and adopted child (but not the heir to the imperial throne) of Emperor Napoleon of France

His full name was Eugène Rose de Beauharnais. He was de jure Viscount of Beauharnais (1794), Colonel (1802), General (1804), Arch-Chancellor of State, Prince of the Empire, Viceroy of Italy (1805-1814), Heir Presumptive of Italy (16 February 1806), Prince of Venice (17 December 1807), Grand Duke of Frankfurt (1810), Duke of Leuchtenberg and Prince of Eichstädt (1817), and Premier Hereditary Peer of Bavaria (1818).

He was an important French military commander. He was created "Prince Français" by his step-father Napoléon I on 14 June 1804. He was adopted by his step-father and assumed the additional name "Napoléon" on 3 March 1806. He became Arch Chancellor of the Empire and Prince of Venice on 17 December 1807. He was installed as Viceroy of Italy on 7 June 1805, and governed until 1814 as Napoléon's viceroy. In a move that indicated he would not be Napoléon's heir in Italy, he became Hereditary Grand Duke of Frankfort on 1 March 1810, but his installation was deferred. In 1810 he refused the Swedish crown.

He remained loyal to Napoléon to the end. After Napoléon's fall, he was created Duke of Leuchtenberg and Prince of Eichstädt, with the qualification of Royal Highness ad personam, ranking as first princely house of the Kingdom of Bavaria with precedence immediately after princes of the royal family, by his father-in-law, King Max I Joseph on 14 November 1817. He became Premier Hereditary Peer of Bavaria on 26 May 1818.

Arms of Beauharnais: Argent a fess beneath three martlets in chief Sable (d'argent à la fasce de Sable accompagnée de trois merlettes du même en chef). Reference: Eugene de Beauharnais. Curiously, no arms were assigned to him by Napoléon (the letters patent of 1807 and 1810 do not assign any arms to him). Révérend, in his Armorial du Premier Empire, reports the following arms, which are undoutedly a Bavarian grant of arms: Écartelé, au 1, d'argent à la fasce d'azur; au 2, de gueules la porte de ville crénelée d'argent, ouverte de Sable, posée sur une terrasse de sinople, flanquée d'un mur sommé de deux tours créne;lées d'argent, soutenant chacun un chêne de sinople; au 3, de sinople l'épée haute d'argent en pal, garnie d'or, accostée de charque côté de trois étoiles du même, 2, 1; au 4, d'argent la fasce de Sable, accompagnée de trois merlettes du même en chef; sur le tout, d'azur à la couronne royale d'or. The 1st quarter is that of the counts of Leuchtenberg, a reichsständische family extinct in 1646; the 2nd is that of Eichstätt; the 4th quarter are the arms of Beauharnais.

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Eugène Rose de Beauharnais, Duke of Leuchtenberg was the first child and only son of Alexandre de Beauharnais and Joséphine Tascher de la Pagerie, first wife of Napoleon I.

He was born in Paris, France, and became the stepson and adopted child (but not the heir to the imperial throne) of Napoleon I. His biological father was executed during the revolutionary Reign of Terror. He commanded the Army of Italy and was Viceroy of Italy under his stepfather.

Historians consider him one of the ablest of Napoleon's relatives.

Eugène's first campaign was in the Vendée, where he fought at Quiberon. However, within a year his mother Joséphine had arranged his return to Paris. In the Italian campaigns of 1796–1797, Eugène served as aide-de-camp to his stepfather, whom he also accompanied to Egypt. In Egypt, Eugène was wounded during the Siege of Acre (1799) and returned to France with Napoleon in the autumn of 1799, helping to bring about the reconciliation of the General and his mother, who had become estranged due to the extramarital affairs of both. During the Coup of Brumaire, Eugène accompanied Napoleon to Saint-Cloud, where the legislative assemblies were brought into submission.

When Napoleon became First Consul following Brumaire, Eugène became a captain in the Chasseurs à Cheval of the Consular Guard. With his squadron took part in the Battle of Marengo where, though half his men fell, he led charge after charge.

By a decree of 1 February 1805 Eugène was created Arch-Chancellor of State the French Empire.

As commander of the Imperial Guard (successor to the Consular Guard), Eugène preceded his step-father to Milan ahead of Napoleon's coronation as King of Italy on 26 May 1805. Napoleon had originally intended to place his brother Joseph on the Italian throne and then, after Joseph's refusal, his nephew Napoléon Charles, the son of Louis Bonaparte and Eugène's sister, Hortense. However, both Joseph and Louis refused and so Napoleon instead placed the Iron Crown upon his own head. During the coronation Napoleon handed the royal ring and mantle to his stepson and on 7 June 1805 announced Eugène's appointment as Viceroy of Italy to the Italian Legislative Assembly.

During the War of the Fifth Coalition, Eugène was put in command of the Army of Italy, with General Étienne-Jacques-Joseph-Alexandre MacDonald as his military advisor. In April 1809 he fought and lost the Battle of Sacile against the Austrian army of the Archduke John, but Eugène's troops decisively won the rematch at the Battle of the Piave in May and the Battle of Raab in June. After the Battle of Aspern-Essling, Napoleon recalled the Army of Italy to Austria. After joining the main army on the island of Lobau in the Danube, Eugène took part in the Battle of Wagram.

During the Russian campaign, Eugène again commanded the Army of Italy (IV Corps) with which he fought in the Battle of Borodino and the Battle of Maloyaroslavets. After Napoleon and then Joachim Murat had left the retreating army, Eugène took command of the remnants and led it back to Germany in 1813.

During the campaign of 1813, Eugène fought in the Battle of Lützen. Napoleon then sent him back to Italy, where he organised the defence against the Austrians, holding out on the Mincio until the abdication in 1814. After the fall of Napoleon in 1814, Eugène retired to Munich and at the behest of his father-in-law King Maximilian of Bavaria, did not get involved with Napoleon and France again.

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Eugène de Beauharnais, Herzog von Leuchtenberg's Timeline

1781
September 3, 1781
Paris, Paris, Île-de-France, France
1805
June 5, 1805
- April 11, 1814
Age 23
Milan, Milan, Lombardy, Italy
1807
March 14, 1807
Age 25
Milano, Lombardia, Italia
December 20, 1807
- April 11, 1814
Age 26
Milan, Milan, Lombardy, Italy
1808
December 23, 1808
Age 27
Milano, Milano, Italy
1810
December 9, 1810
Age 29
Milano, Lombardia, Italia
1812
July 31, 1812
Age 30
Milano, Lombardia, Italy
November 9, 1812
Age 31
Paris, Paris, Île-de-France, France
1813
July 1813
Age 31