Monday, October 19, 2020

Prince Charles and Princess Catherine: The Napoléon Twins Turn Seventy

Prince Louis and Princess Alix Napoléon with the twins.

On 19 October 1950, Prince Charles Marie Jérôme Victor Napoléon and Princess Catherine Elisabeth Albérique Marie Napoléon were born at Boulogne-sur-Seine. 

The first twins in the Bonaparte dynasty.

The twins were the children of Prince Louis Napoléon (1914-1997), son of Prince Victor Napoléon and Princess Clémentine of Belgium, and Princess Alix (b.1926; née de Foresta), who married in 1949. Charles and Catherine were the first, and so far only, set of twins born into the French Imperial House. 

The baptism of the Bonaparte twins at Les Invalides.

The prince and princess were baptised at the Invalides. Monsignor Roncalli, later Pope John XXIII, officiated over the ceremony. Prince Charles Napoléon wore the baptismal robe of the King of Rome while Princess Catherine Napoléon wore the baptismal robe of the Prince Imperial. The godfather  of Prince Charles Napoléon was Prince Charles of Belgium, Count of Flanders. The godparents of Princess Catherine Napoléon were Queen Elisabeth of the Belgians and Count Alberic de Foresta.

The Prince and Princess Napoléon with their children in 1962.

Charles and Catherine were eventually joined by two siblings: Princess Laure (b.1952) and Prince Jérôme (b.1957). 

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