The daughter of an officer in the Spanish Army - Count de Montijos - the ex-empress Eugenie was born in Granada on May 5, 1826; her mother, Dona Maria Manuela Kirkpatrick, being descended from a Roman Catholic family of Scotland, who sought refuge in Spain after the fall of the Stuarts. The Empress's childhood was spent in Madrid, and, after attending school in Toulouse, she travelled much with her mother, residing for some time in London. However, in 1851 she paid a long visit to Paris, where her beauty captivated Napoleon III. His wedding with her was celebrated with much magnificence at Notre Dame on January 29, 1853. Until 1870, the year of the Franco-german War, the life of the Empress was comparatively uneventful. The war, however, resulted in another revolution in Paris. A Republican Government was again proclaimed, and the Empress was compelled to fly. She left Paris secretly, and, on September 4, entered Belgium. Subsequently she took up her abode in England, and in England, with the exception of occasional and short visits to Spain and France, she has remained ever since. Napoleon III. died in exile at Chislehurst on January 9, 1873, and, a few years later, the Empress was overtaken by another great sorrow, the death of her only son, the Prince Imperial. On February 27, 1879, the Prince sailed from England with an expeditionary force to take part in the campaign against the Zulus in South Africa. On June 1, however, a reconnoitring party was surprised near the Mozani river, and among those killed was Prince Louis Napoleon himself. The Empress, who now (1911) is in her 86th year, resides at Farnborough, in Hampshire.
The ex-empress Eugenie, widow of Napoleon III.
L. N. B. Fleet Agency