Caroline Bonaparte

Caroline Bonaparte

Maria Annunziata Carolina (Marie Annonciade Caroline) Murat (née Bonaparte; 25 March 1782 – 18 May 1839), better known as Caroline Bonaparte, was the seventh surviving child and third surviving daughter of Carlo Buonaparte and Letizia Ramolino. Her complete title was "Princesse Française, Grand Duchess Consort of Berg and Cleves, Queen Consort of Naples and Sicily, Princess Consort Murat, Comtesse de Lipona" [An anagram for Napoli (Naples).] .

Early years

Caroline was born in Ajaccio, Corsica. She was a younger sister of Joseph Bonaparte, Napoleon I of France, Lucien Bonaparte, Elisa Bonaparte, Louis Bonaparte and Pauline Bonaparte. She was an older sister of Jérôme Bonaparte.

In 1793, Caroline moved with her family to France during the French Revolution. There she fell in love with Joachim Murat, one of her brother's generals, and they married on January 20, 1800. Caroline was 17 years old at the time. At first Napoleon did not allow them to marry, however his wife Josephine persuaded him to change his mind. Caroline had been a pupil at the school in St. Germaine founded by Madame Jeanne Campan. She attended the school at the same time as Hortense, Josephine's daughter and Caroline's brother Louis' wife.

Queen of Naples

Ambitious, extravagant, and power-hungry, she became Grand Duchess of Berg and Cleves on March 15, 1806. She became Queen consort of Naples on August 1, 1808. She was intensely jealous of her sister-in-law Joséphine and her children, as she felt Napoleon favoured them over his Bonaparte relatives. Caroline continuously plotted against Joséphine. It was Caroline who arranged for Napoleon to take a mistress, Eléonore Denuelle, who duly gave birth to his first illegitimate child. [Frances Mossiker "Napoleon and Joséphine, pgs282-84.] . This had the desired effect which proved that Joséphine was infertile as Napoleon showed he was clearly capable of siring children.

When Napoleon married Marie-Louise, Caroline was responsible for escorting her to France. After meeting her at the border of Austria and her duchy, Caroline forced Marie-Louise to leave all her luggage, servants, and even her pet dog, behind in Austria.

The birth of Napoléon II to her namesake brother and his second Empress Consort Marie Louise of Austria, destroyed any hope of her son Napoléon Achille Murat succeeding to her brother. So she allied with Napoléon's rival, Klemens Wenzel von Metternich. When he failed in his attempt to secure the throne for Murat, the latter was executed and Caroline fled to the Austrian Empire. She died in Florence. One of her direct descendants is American actor Rene Auberjonois.


Caroline and Joachim were the parents of four children:
* "Achille" Charles Louis Napoléon Murat, 1st Sovereign Prince of Pontecorvo, 2nd Prince Murat (Paris, January 21, 1801 - Jefferson County, Florida, April 15, 1847), m. Tallahassee, Florida, July 12, 1826 Catherine Daingerfield Willis (near Fredericksburg, Virginia, August 17, 1803 - Tallahassee, Florida, August 6, 1867), daughter of Colonel Byrd C. Willis (August 29, 1781 - 1846) and wife Mary Lewis, without issue
* Princess Marie Letizia Josephine Annonciade Murat (Paris, April 26, 1802 - Bologna, March 12 1859), m. Venice, October 27, 1823 Guido Taddeo Marchese Pepoli, Conte di Castiglione (Bologna, September 7, 1789 - Bologna, March 2, 1852), and had one daughter
* "Lucien" Charles Joseph Napoléon Murat, 2nd Sovereign Prince of Pontecorvo, 3rd Prince Murat (Milan, May 16, 1803 - Paris, April 10, 1878), m. Bordentown, New Jersey, August 18, 1831 Caroline Georgina Fraser (Charleston, South Carolina, April 13, 1810 - Paris, February 10, 1879), daughter of Thomas Fraser and wife Anne Lauton, and had issue; he was an associate of his first cousin Napoleon III of France
* Princess Louise Julie Caroline Murat (Paris, March 21, 1805 - Ravenna, December 1, 1889), m. Trieste, October 25, 1825 Giulio Conte Rasponi (Ravenna, February 19, 1787 - Florence, July 19, 1876), had issue


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  • Bonaparte — Bonapartean, adj. /boh neuh pahrt /; Fr. /baw nann pannrddt /, n. 1. Jérôme /jeuh rohm /; Fr. /zhay rddohm /, 1784 1860, king of Westphalia 1807 (brother of Napoleon I). 2. Joseph /joh zeuhf, seuhf/; Fr. /zhaw zef /, 1768 1844, king of Naples… …   Universalium

  • Bonaparte, Caroline — (1782 1839)    princess, sister of Napoléon I    Born in Ajaccio, Corsica, the daughter of maria letizia ramolino and carlo maria bonaparte and sister of napoléon i, Caroline Bonaparte, as she was called, married joachim murat in 1800. Quite… …   France. A reference guide from Renaissance to the Present

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