Pomp and Circumstance and the Trouble with Heirs

Today in History: May 18, 1804

Napoleon was a lot of things, but modest wasn’t one of them. This is something no better proved than that time he responded to being declared Emperor of the French by planning an elaborate ceremony that would see him stroll around wearing an 80 pound (37 kg) cape… No, that isn’t a typo.

Although Napoleon was formally declared Emperor of the French by the Senate on May 18, 1804, his coronation wouldn’t actually take place until December of that year,...

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