On This Day in Napoleonic History – 28 March 1814

12Joseph Bonaparte gives up Paris to the Allies

Joseph, who completely lost his nerve, convinced the regency council that Napoleon wished for the Empress and government to leave Paris and move to Blois, using as evidence a letter that was a month old and was twice superseded by different orders. He was supported by Talleyrand, who was already drawing up lists of ministers who would serve in his post-Napoleonic provisional government.

Hortense tried to convince Marie Louise to remain, saying, ‘In leaving Paris, you lose your crown.’ She was unsuccessful, however, and the next day the imperial convoy left the capital. Paris capitulated.

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