Or y'know, Charles could just use his noggin and see that most of the opposition to his government is from newspapers which happen to be owned by politicians. So instead of cracking down on newspapers and censorship, just passes a law that says politicians can't own newspapers, and any politician who buys/inherits/whatever a newspaper is immediately to be turfed out of office.

@VVD0D95
 
I was thinking, if Metternich isn't as big as he was in the 1830s-1840s here - Reichstadt perhaps knocks him down a peg or two occasionally, maybe even reminds the chancellor of Napoléon's comment to his sister "entertain this idiot, I am needed elsewhere", favours Kolowrat and the Archduke Joseph over him - is Europe less "autocratic" during the period. I'm under no delusions about Frankie and he's not going to be some great hope of liberalism, but aside from a bunch of out-of-work students in coffee houses, nobody's really agitating for some massive liberal movement. Give them a few tokens of liberalism (that Metternich, Friedrich Wilhelm III of Prussia and Nikolai I consistently refused to do) like loosening the censorship laws - that's not to say anything is printable, just that there isn't the rabid police state type censorship that existed in the Austrian empire.

The way that Frankie's described as being towards his soldiers "harsh, but fair" makes me think that while he wouldn't be above using a whiff of grapeshot on those student rabblerousers if they decided to march on the Hofburg, but he'd probably also try to remove as much tinder from a potential fire as possible. After all, it's a proven method in politics that if you give a little, you can get the people to swallow far more than if you're consistently unbending.

These minor concessions , would then make it that the only ones agitating are the "extremists"/"radicals", and since nobody (who isn't a radical) usually wants to be in that group, it takes away a lot of the "mob" momentum. For instance (let's keep the freedom of the press idea), if he were to allow one or two opposition newspapers to openly criticize the government/Metternich/Kolowrat, so long as they stay within bounds defined by the government (him). Most average persons in Graz or St Pölten will think "wow, he's a liberal". And again, if he's anything like his dad, Frankie would be someone who has very fixed principles (the crown, order in the state, the family, the church etc) but be remarkably flexible/open-minded outside of those.

And, TBH, this pseudo-liberalism (or at least, as the one holding Metternich's leash - I think Frankie will occasionally defer to Metternich, if only to stop Kolowrat/Archduke Joseph from thinking he's "too" on their side), might make Frankie (and by extension, Austria) more friends than it did OTL. After all, if this "liberalism" isn't the chaotic, radical leftism of the Revolution, but (how I'm imagining it) more along the lines of Carlo Alberto of Sardinia, Leopoldo II of Tuscany, Ludwig I of Bavaria, Wilhelm I of Württemberg, Leopold of Baden...all men who were hardly the "Metternich club". If Angoulême becomes Louis XIX in France (thanks to no July Revolution), he might fall into this category as well. Which means Austria wouldn't be as diplomatically isolated as she was 1835-1848 in either Germany or Italy (where basically if you weren't part of the Holy League you were an enemy).

Fun random fact was that Prince Albert (Queen Victoria's husband) was originally supposed to serve in the Austrian army (alongside his brother and their Kohary cousins) but there was a "difficulty" and the application was rejected. The irony being that if Reichstadt's the one in charge of the army and approves Albert's application and Albert ends up running in similar circles in Vienna to Frankie. Albert liked Napoléon III because the man spoke German to him (so it was clearly a low bar to set) and there's an anecdote of Albert, Ernst and Napoléon III all gathered round the piano at Windsor Castle singing studentlieder (we won't discuss how drunk they possibly were by this point :p). So if Frankie - who, as we've established, could be very charming indeed if he wanted to - were to decide that "hmm, making friends with the future king of England isn't a bad idea" (after all, until 1913 most of the flour and wheat used by the English army/navy came from the fields of Hungary). Especially if, like Napoléon III, Frankie realizes that England was the rock his dad ran the ship of the French state onto time and time again. And Albert thinks Frankie is a charming fellow "not at all like you'd expect a Bonaparte to be", that can have a vast impact on Anglo-Austrian relations. I know Albert didn't have much say (officially) in state business, but he did have his wife's ear. So that could make things interesting.

I'm not saying Frankie likes all of those "liberal" monarchs (he'd have snobbery from both sides of the family tree), but like his dad, he likely sees them as useful chesspieces to keep around.
 
Albert and Franz beign brothers in arms? I really like that! Given that's how men bonded the most in those times it will indeed prove pivetal in Anglo-Austrian relations in that the Future Prince Consort and the Most influential man in Austria to be so close.
 
@Mecanimetales @John I of Brazil @Guilherme Loureiro @nandalf

Can anyone imagine what influence Frankie will have on his Brazilian nieces and nephew? Mean, Empress Leopoldine was practically his foster mom when he first arrived in Vienna. There's several anecdotes about the pair's relationship, and Dietrichstein noted to Marie Louise that he found it easier to get Reichstadt to correspond with his aunt than he did with his mother. And it would seem that as a child, warning him with Leopoldine had an effect on encouraging Frankie to behave himself . So to Leopoldine's husband, being a Napoléon fan boy like he is, the idea of his daughter (I know Maria da Gloria was in Vienna, but we're the others?) being in the same room as his idol's son probably is enough to make him scream like a teenage girl meeting her favorite rockstar.

Anyhow, if Frankie were to strike up a friendship with Maria (not like that, get your minds out of the gutter) maybe tells the little girl about her mom. More than that, he actually interests himself in she and her sisters' welfare (perhaps Pedro II as well after his dad dies). This would probably be - in the manner of Napoléon - Frankie bombarding his cousins with useful suggestions, opinions and upbraiding for them not agreeing with him. But lacking siblings of his own (he didn't regard Montenuovo as his brother the only time they met, and he certainly had no kind words about Walewski or Comte Léon), Frankie "latching onto" the Brazilians wouldn't be the craziest idea. Bonus if similar to he and Prince Albert he and Pedro II strike up a long correspondence but never actually meet. Perhaps to the point that when Pedro II is looking for a bride, Frankie is the one doing the matchmaking, and vouching for a man he's never met that "he's nothing like his dad". After all, coming from Reichstadt with a few years to build up his reputation as "nothing like his dad" would carry a lot of weight. Reichstadt acting as Pedro's "eyes" in Europe similarly to how the princesse de Joinville did for Pedro's daughters or Vicky did for Victoria OTL. That Frankie gives Pedro a candid opinion about each girl's qualities (he's Napoléon's son, drawing up lists and memoranda are in his DNA) like "this one's very pretty, but her teeth are all spoiled" or "how do you like this one? She's not very pretty but pious, rich and fluent in Sanskrit" etc. Perhaps even meeting some of the girls himself and (like his dad) being extremely critical of them[1].

[1] Hortense de Beauharnais heard Napoléon making a disparaging comment about one of his sisters and retorted: "Sire, since you think so little of women, it always surprised me that you married one!"
 
I know I posited the July Revolution being butterflied by how would the French government (Louis XIX/Henri V/Louis Philippe) see Reichstadt as de facto regent of Austria? Mean, on one hand they'd probably oppose it, but does France in the 1830s have the ability/might to force Austria to "reconsider"? And what do you think the ramifications would be in France if Louis Philippe were to take a stance against Reichstadt being in charge?
 
They would be really peeved that the son of their Arch-enemy is now ruler in all but name of the lands of their ancestral rivals, Fraco-Austrian relations would definitely cool down, but they'll have to deal with the revolutionaru vibes and hold onto their throne.
 
They would be really peeved that the son of their Arch-enemy is now ruler in all but name of the lands of their ancestral rivals, Fraco-Austrian relations would definitely cool down, but they'll have to deal with the revolutionaru vibes and hold onto their throne.
Exactly why its a conundrum: if Louis Philippe was swept into power by the liberals, him "hardlining" against Frankie alienates the Bonapartists while if the more conservative Louis XIX gets in, he might make a common cause with Frankie as a simple way of "soothing feathers" in the liberal camp/army. Not because either Louis XIX or Frankie necessarily like one another, but because a) Frankie being "gainfully employed" in Austria means he isn't going to be trying to launch a coup in France. And it might actually serve to "alienate" some Bonapartists (including his family) who see him as betraying the imperial cause by being a "bootlicker" for the Habsburgs.

Louis Philippe would be the one with the problem here. After all, if he's too liberal, he alienates his conservative base (losing them to either the Légitimists or the Bonapartists), too conservative and the liberals that swept him will sweep him out again.
 
Given how he's not gonna be welcomed in france and he won't be close to his "Austrianilized" Cousin, i can see him joining the Sardinian Army and fight for Italian unification.
 
Drunk on Bourbon
An idea:

Charles X: *gets out of the coach* *looks up at Hradeny Castle* *lip curls in distaste*
Marie-Thérèse, Madame Royal: well...its not Versailles...but at least its not the Tuileries.
Henri & Louise: *bickering and squabbling like siblings do*
Angoulême: *with hand on either child's shoulder* cool it, you two. -So this is Prague, eh?
Louise: *sticks her tongue out at Henri*
Henri: *silently pouts at his sister* I don't like it here. I want to go back to Paris.
Man in Habsburg uniform: that makes two of us, your Royal Highness. *Kisses Madame Royal's hand*
Madame Royal: and you are?
Man: at the moment, the one tasked with showing you inside. *Looks at sky* gonna rain soon. Don't want any of us getting sick, now do we. *Snaps orders to servants to take luggage inside*
Madame Royal: *stiffly* I don't go anywhere with people I don't know, sir.
Man: Madame la Dauphine- that is correct, isn't it? *Slight awkward* they gave me a chart. Said you're all kings and queen, but since that's confusing we just take Big Guy as the king, you and your husband as Mgr le Dauphin and Madame la Dauphine. And the little royal highnesses as well...what they were before all this...unpleasantness.
Madame Royal: *half sneering* and what do you know it, sir?
Man: of being a child who was driven from my home for no reason except who my parents were? Of being a young man who lost his father too young? Or who was torn from the arms of his mother? *Brightly* absolutely nothing. *Offers arm respectfully to Charles X to lead him into the palace*
Charles X: so the emperor has granted us this place?
Man: of course, sire. Rent free. Already furnished, we weren't sure what you all would have.
Charles X: *nods* your father was a Frenchman?
Man: soldier, sire. In the artillery.
Charles X: he was killed in action?
Man: he died imprisoned by the English sir.
Charles X: I'm sorry to hear that, what did you say your name was?
Man: I'm nobody important, sire *stops in the first room* certainly not someone that the king of France and Navarre should worry about who I am.
Henri: Is the emperor coming to see us?
Angoulême: *reprovingly* Henri, don't bo-
Man: its quite alright. The emperor is...currently delayed by official business. Although...there is someone else here who'd like to see you.
*Door opens*
Caroline, duchesse de Berri: *hurries forward to Henri and Louise* *falls on her knees* *hugs and kisses them*
*Charles, Madame Royal and Angouleme all frown disapprovingly*
Madame Royal: *hissed* what is she doing here?
Man: should a mother have no right to see her children?
Henri: *stiffly* *trying to get away from the kisses* this woman is not my mother.
*Pin drop silence*
Caroline: Henri-
Madame Royal: *smirks triumphantly at Caroline* *puts hands on Henri's shoulders like she's "claiming" him*
Caroline: *looks absolutely mortified*
Man: Madame la Dauphine...your behaviour especially surprises me.
MadameRoyal: *scoffs* some concierge would presume to lecture the dauphine of France?
Man: hardly. *Examines fingernails* however I would think that you...deprived of your father, mother, aunt and brother in the most...regrettable circumstances would be the last person who would seek to do the same to another child.
Madame Royal: *slaps the man through the face* don't you dare speak to me of them. Like you know what I went through. Like-
Angoulême: *restraining his wife* Marie, I'm sure he didn't-
Man: oh, but I did.
*Bourbons look horrified*
Man: what you have done to your niece and nephew is not so different to what was done to you, Madame. And can you honestly tell us that you would not give anything - perhaps even sell your own soul - to see them again?
Madame Royal: *looks at Caroline* this is not the same.
Man: *tone like "you silly girl"* of course it isn't. Madame Caroline is still alive and they, regrettably, are not. My father is dead, much like his Royal Highness *looks sympathetically at Henri* and my mother, well...she could just as well be. *To Henri* in fact, if I had had a Mama like yours, I wouldn't disown her. At least she fought for you. Mine didn't even do that.
Henri: *frowns at his mom*
Louise: *you can see she's torn between her mom and aunt*
Man: I wasn't sure who would be coming with you, so I took the trouble of hiring staff for you. Dinner is at eight. its not Paris, but at least the chef worked for Prince Talleyrand. His Royal Highness' tutor will be arriving in the morning-
Charles: *frowning* Henri has a tutor. *Motions for Jesuit to step forward*
Man: *frowns at Jesuit* tutor for what? To make him a cardinal?
Jesuit: *starts speakig*
Man: shut up, Padre. Vile creatures, the lot of you. *Turns to Charles* the new tutor arrives in the morning. His name is Camille de Pimodan, he has a son around his Royal Highness' age. I told him to bring him along tomorrow. Will do his Royal Highness some good.
*All the Bourbons -even Caroline - look horrified*
Man: this is not to your satisfaction?
Charles: hardly. This man is some stranger, some radical no doubt-
Man: *to Henri* he is a captain of the cavalry. He can teach you to ride, if you'd like.
Henri: I can already ride. I don't need a Austrian to teach me.
Man: I assure you, your Royal Highness, he is as French as you are. He and his son have both refused to take the oath of allegiance to the Emperor Napoléon and to the duc d'Orléans. *To Madame Royal* His father-in-law was one of your father's grooms.
Madame Royal: which one?
Man: Fauveau de Frénilly
Madame Royal: *somewhat mollified*
Man: *smiles* now, if you will excuse me. I have some urgent business I must still see to tonight. I'll leave you to get...reaquainted *kisses Madame Royal's hand, then Caroline, then Louise* *bows to Charles and Angoulême* *walks towards door*
Angoulême: *follows him* are you simply some benevolent genius of Prague or do you happen to have a name by which we can call you?
Man: *charming smile* for tonight, I am simply your benefactor. In time, I hope to be the honour of being your host when you dine with me. And in the time that the degree of formality will come to exist between us, that names are required, you may call me Monsieur François.
Angoulême: Monsieur François?
François: or Mgr le Duc de Reichstadt if you so prefer.
*Room is electrified as everyone looks at him*
François: and that, as they say, is my cue to leave. Adieu *walks out of room*

@Emperor Constantine @Basileus_Komnenos @The_Most_Happy @Dragonboy @VVD0D95 @DanMcCollum @Ramontxo
 
How would this affect the fate of OTL Napoleon III?
Considering Frankie's survival would mean he remains head of the family (technically, most of his uncles did regard him as that for his short life) , I don't think Charles/Louis Napoléon will feature heavily pre-Joseph's dead.

Even whether both take up arms against the Austrians in Italy is questionable. Its one thing to take them up against someone like the duke of Modena or the pope, but another thing to take them up against the head of your own house, even if he's sitting in Vienna and looks like an Austrian. It would...be political suicide for in the event of the empire ever being restored. As long as Frankie's around, the Louis and Jérôme branches of the Bonapartes can't really move against Austria without jeopardizing their positions in the imperial family. Frankie might even be the one picking up the bill for Uncle Jérôme - at Trieste - when his wife's pension runs short. Not to mention that as head of the family, Frankie would also have authority over people like Mathilde's marriage
 
Considering Frankie's survival would mean he remains head of the family (technically, most of his uncles did regard him as that for his short life) , I don't think Charles/Louis Napoléon will feature heavily pre-Joseph's dead.

Even whether both take up arms against the Austrians in Italy is questionable. Its one thing to take them up against someone like the duke of Modena or the pope, but another thing to take them up against the head of your own house, even if he's sitting in Vienna and looks like an Austrian. It would...be political suicide for in the event of the empire ever being restored. As long as Frankie's around, the Louis and Jérôme branches of the Bonapartes can't really move against Austria without jeopardizing their positions in the imperial family. Frankie might even be the one picking up the bill for Uncle Jérôme - at Trieste - when his wife's pension runs short. Not to mention that as head of the family, Frankie would also have authority over people like Mathilde's marriage
Damn, hadn't throught of that, So Napoleon III could, realizing this, offer his service to his cousin?


Don't mind me, just over here screaming over that fabulous scene
Ik right? awesome.
 
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