Saturday, October 9, 2021

The Death of Tây Phuong, the "Last Empress of Vietnam"

Emperor Bao Dai and his wife Princess Vĩnh Thụy in 1992.
Photo (c) Raymond Reuter/Sygma/Corbis.

French journalist and royal researcher Frederic de Natal has reported the recent death of Empress Tây Phuong of Vietnam, the widow of Emperor Bаo Đai. The empress reportedly passed away on the night of 27/28 September at Paris. She was seventy-five years-old. 

Monique Baudot.

Monique Marie Eugénie Baudot was born on 30 April 1946 at Pont-а-Mousson, Lorraine, France. In 1969, she met the widowed Emperor Bаo Đai in the French capital. At the time, Monique Baudot worked in the press office of the Embassy of Zaire to France. The couple married in February 1972, with the bride taking the title Princess Vĩnh Thụy. Between 1972 and 1974, the emperor and princess lived in Hong Kong, before returning to Paris, which became their permanent home. In 1982, the couple visited Vietnamese communities in Los Angeles, California; Washington, DC; and Newark, New Jersey. The last residence of the imperial pair was a small apartment at 29 rue Fresnel in the 16th arrondissement of Paris.

The headstone of Emperor Bao Dai.

Monique in 2006 at the Passy Cemetery.

Aged eighty-three, Emperor Bаo Đai died in Paris on 31 July 1997. The funeral of the emperor was attended by his five children from his first wife, Empress Nam Phương; however, his widow was not present. Bаo Đai was buried at the cimetière de Passy. After the death of the emperor, Princess Vĩnh Thụy assumed the title Empress Tây Phuong. In 2006, the empress presided over the placement of a new headstone on her late husband's final resting place. 

 Princess Vinh Thuy and Emperor Bao Dai in 1992.
Photo (c) Raymond Reuter/Sygma/Corbis
Frederic de Natal has written that the funeral for Empress Tây Phuong will be held on the morning of 14 October at the chapelle Sainte-Bernadette, 4 rue d'Auteuil, Paris.

May the Empress Rest in Peace.

Sources:

Décès de la dernière "impératrice" du Vietnam (Frédéric de Natal on 8 October 2021)

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