Joséphine de Beauharnais Biography
(Empress Consort of the French from 1804 to 1810)
Birthday: June 23, 1763 (Cancer)
Born In: Les Trois-Îlets, Martinique
Joséphine de Beauharnais is known in history as the first wife of the French emperor Napoleon I and in turn, the first empress of the French. Her first husband was Alexandre de Beauharnais, with whom she bore a son, Eugene and a daughter, Hortense. She was the maternal grandmother of Napoleon III by her daughter and by her son, she became linked with the future Danish and Sweden royal families. She was also one of the ancestors of the royal houses of Belgium, Norway and Luxembourg. During the Reign of Terror, her first husband was executed and she was locked up in the Carmes prison. Since she did not bear Napoleon any children, he divorced her in 1810. The famous love letters written by Napoelon to her, bear testimony of their passionate love affair. She was also known for her Château de Malmaison, the extraordinary rose garden full of uncommon species collected from all over the world. She looked after the garden with great interest. She was recognized as a kind and generous lady and an engaging hostess to her guests. Her elegance and beauty were highly praised. Joséphine died in Rueil-Malmaison on 29 May 1814.