Sunday, December 09, 2007

French want Boney III Back

From the Telegraph:
He was the last emperor and the first president of France but for 120 years the Emperor Napoleon III's remains have lain in England.
Now the French want them back. Tomorrow Christian Estrosi, the secretary of state for overseas territories, will arrive in Britain to request the return of the remains of the exiled emperor and his wife, Empress Eugénie, which lie in a crypt in St Michael's Abbey in Farnborough, Hampshire.
Mr Estrosi said: "This trip will be for me an occasion to send a clear message to the British - to thank them for all they did for the imperial couple in exile but also to remind them that we have some rights over them."
But Father Cuthbert, the Benedictine monk who heads the abbey, is unlikely to agree to Mr Estrosi's request to return the remains of Napoleon III, who sought refuge in England with his family and a few faithful followers after his defeat in the Franco-Prussian war in 1870.
The monk said he hoped the minister was coming to ask forgiveness for having left the monastery so long without news or support.
Bravo Fr Cuthbert!


Little Gidding said...

Having recently read an extended and hair-raising account of the Revolutionary Committee's concerted, successful, and wholly insane attempts to dig up the corpses of all manner of French nobility--including kings as far back in history as they could locate them--and deliberately trash the bodies and loot their graves, I can only say that Mr Estrosi must have a finely developed Gallic sense of irony about him.

TheCrankyProfessor said...

And not to mention their amazing anti-clerical laws of the early TWENTIETH century, which would have exiled a Benedictine monastery like Farnborough anyway!

Chris Molter said...

I suppose he could always try to trade Napoleon III for Henry II or Richard I.