WI: Louis XVII lives... what does Napoleon do with him?

What does Napoleon do with Louis XVII?

  • Execute Louis XVII

    Votes: 7 5.8%
  • Imprison XVII

    Votes: 34 28.3%
  • Exile Louis XVII

    Votes: 21 17.5%
  • Keep Louis XVII close

    Votes: 57 47.5%
  • Other

    Votes: 1 0.8%

  • Total voters
    120
Agreed. That’s why Option D is so interesting and fun scenario.

Imagine if Napoleon still gets defeated and Louis XVII is put on the throne, Louis XVII ends up keeping a lot of liberal policies from the Revolution & Napoleon. Like, if he sides more with the Doctrinaires over the Ultra-royalists, so now Second White Terror.

Heck, maybe he allows Napoleon to visit France from time to time.

Speaking of which, after some thought, there might not even be a Hundred Days, as I think one of the reasons why Napoleon tried to retake power was OTL Louis XVIII never gave him the promised pension

Although all of this would make the other European powers eye Louis XVII with suspicion for not suppressing Liberal ideals, and May ruffle the most extreme Ultra-Royalists feathers
Speaking of which, what would be an interesting question would be, assuming both minimal butterflies from his survival and that he's still a bachelor by 1814, who King Louis XVII marries here, especially with his uncles likewise childless (and in the case of the Count of Artois, a turbo-reactionary who such a Louis XVII would not want to succeed him).
 
I suspect he would kept close to Napoleon, married to a Bonaparte. Would eventually be given responsibility if aptitude is shown.
 
Speaking of which, what would be an interesting question would be, assuming both minimal butterflies from his survival and that he's still a bachelor by 1814, who King Louis XVII marries here, especially with his uncles likewise childless (and in the case of the Count of Artois, a turbo-reactionary who such a Louis XVII would not want to succeed him).
How about a still unmarried Marie Louise? Agewise they'd fit perfectly. Taking her aunt's fate into account, Marie Louise would likely not be all that eager to become Queen of France, but just like IOTL might in the end go along with a diplomatic marriage.
 
What would Directory have been doing with Citizen Capet between 1795 and 1799?
If the lurid anti-Jacobin rumors of OTL are to be believed, child abuse of the worst kind. More likely, house arrest and a rough but not openly abusive late childhood and adolescence alongside some half-hearted attempts at indoctrination. It would depend on the story one wants to tell, I think.
 
If the lurid anti-Jacobin rumors of OTL are to be believed, child abuse of the worst kind.
Jacobins fell in end of July 1794.
Louis XVII died OTL June 1795 - at the hands of Thermidorians, not Jacobins. His sister Marie-Therese-Charlotte had been separated from him shortly before execution of Marie-Antoinette... and was only in late August 1795 informed of the fates of her family (mother executed October 1793, aunt executed May 1794, brother died early June 1795). Yet on 18 December 1795, Marie-Therese was sent out of prison in exchange for 6 revolutionary politicians in Austrian imprisonment.
How did the negotiations go before Marie-Therese was sent out in December 1795? What would have happened if Louis XVII had been a live prisoner in Thermidorian hands in second half of 1795?
 
So, here's a hypothetical scenario: Say Napoleon did keep Louis XVII close to monitor him and treated him very well and even kindly, to the point Louis XVII willingly worked under Napoleon to denounce Royalist activity abroad...

How would the Bourbon Restoration go if Napoleon still falls? Would Louis XVII be put on the throne due to him being the son of Louis XVI (And if any previous renouncing of the throne, is seen as illegitimate because most of Europe views it as forced upon by Napoleon), or would it go to his uncle, the Count of Provence (Louis XVIII) if Louis XVII reiterates his renouncement to the throne or the Coalition deems Louis XVII too sympathetic to Napoleon.

And if Louis XVII is put in power, how would the Hundred Days go (If Napoleon still decides to return)
Things will be especially interesting if Louis XVII marries a Bonaparte and has kids. Obviously divorce isn't going to be on the table.

Wonder if Charles of Artois will be dumb enough to try and get Louis XVII's kids removed from the succession (which obviously isn't going to happen).
 
Things will be especially interesting if Louis XVII marries a Bonaparte and has kids. Obviously divorce isn't going to be on the table.

Wonder if Charles of Artois will be dumb enough to try and get Louis XVII's kids removed from the succession (which obviously isn't going to happen).
Divorce could be on the table--bishops could be found who would play fast and loose with canon law (Napoleon married Josephine in a civil ceremony, then had to religiously marry her when the Pope found out it wasn't sacramental, then invented a defect of form to justify both divorcing her and getting the religious marriage annulled). If you want to be ridiculous about it, I'm sure Talleyrand could be persuaded to put on the miter again long enough to annul the marriage.

Of course, depending on Louis' personality, that might be impossible. You can't really pretend the marriage is invalid if Louis refuses to go along with annulling it. And while pretty much everyone around him would pressure him to do so, Napoleon had a peculiar talent for inspiring loyalty in his adopted children (Hortense and Eugene, arguably, were the most loyal of all his family--and they weren't even relatives!).

So, which Bonaparte sister is available?

Paulette/Pauline married when Louis XVII, in this scenario, is 12. Conveniently, though, her husband General Leclerc died a few years later--Louis could become her second husband, though he'd only be about 18 and she 23. Since she was also Napoleon's favorite sister (to the point where his enemies circulated certain rumors about their relationship, which Josephine apparently believed, the gutter-mind), she's also interesting from this perspective.

Elisa was married to the Corsican Bacciocchi from 1797; she's out.

Caroline married Murat in 1800, and so unless she plays the long game (...dang, this is getting mildly creepy), she's out too.

And, as I suggested before, Hortense, though not technically a Bonaparte, is also available.
 
Divorce could be on the table--bishops could be found who would play fast and loose with canon law (Napoleon married Josephine in a civil ceremony, then had to religiously marry her when the Pope found out it wasn't sacramental, then invented a defect of form to justify both divorcing her and getting the religious marriage annulled). If you want to be ridiculous about it, I'm sure Talleyrand could be persuaded to put on the miter again long enough to annul the marriage.

Of course, depending on Louis' personality, that might be impossible. You can't really pretend the marriage is invalid if Louis refuses to go along with annulling it. And while pretty much everyone around him would pressure him to do so, Napoleon had a peculiar talent for inspiring loyalty in his adopted children (Hortense and Eugene, arguably, were the most loyal of all his family--and they weren't even relatives!).

So, which Bonaparte sister is available?

Paulette/Pauline married when Louis XVII, in this scenario, is 12. Conveniently, though, her husband General Leclerc died a few years later--Louis could become her second husband, though he'd only be about 18 and she 23. Since she was also Napoleon's favorite sister (to the point where his enemies circulated certain rumors about their relationship, which Josephine apparently believed, the gutter-mind), she's also interesting from this perspective.

Elisa was married to the Corsican Bacciocchi from 1797; she's out.

Caroline married Murat in 1800, and so unless she plays the long game (...dang, this is getting mildly creepy), she's out too.

And, as I suggested before, Hortense, though not technically a Bonaparte, is also available.
Elisa is too old in any case… Caroline could work but a widowed Pauline, while older work better than both her sister or Hortense… Five years of difference are not too much and Pauline was both a beauty and extremely loyal to Napoleon
 
Another Louis XVII, if he goes alongside Napoleon for at least some of the campaigns, he's going to be even more attached to any Bonaparte wife of his (fighting alongside Napoleon is likely to further cement feelings of affection and loyalty).
 
Another Louis XVII, if he goes alongside Napoleon for at least some of the campaigns, he's going to be even more attached to any Bonaparte wife of his (fighting alongside Napoleon is likely to further cement feelings of affection and loyalty).
Counterpoint: Bernadotte.
 
Keeping Louis XVII close is probably the smartest thing to do for Napoleon. It gives him a bargaining chip with Royalists forces and other European monarchies. It's also one more card on the table in terms of handling French internal politics.

Wether or not Napoleon would play General Moncke and install Louis XVII on the throne probably depends on the context at the time and how Napoleon and young Louis get along. Restoring the Monarchy isn't necessarilly an option most French revolutionnaries would be fine with, even if Napoleon was the real power behind the throne and pulled something somewhat similar to OTL (reform the country along revolutionnary ideals despite the country being a monarchy). And if Louis XVII proves not so sympathethic to the Revolution (which he would have more than one reason to be upset about if we're honest...), it's a bit dangerous for Napoleon to restore him on the throne since it involves placing someone above himself in the hierarchy theorically. After all it's Napoleon we're talking about: whatever you think of the man, sharing power wasn't really his forte...

The discussions about Louis XVII potentially joining the army and Napoleon on campaigns... are interesting, but I feel there is a bit too many risks in doing so. For one if Louis gets killed on the front, Napoleon will never hear the end of it. And two, a legitimate claimant to the throne/king that can actually lead armies... that's gifting him the possibility of actually rising in revolt to get his crown back. Even if Napoleon was to take Louis XVII as his personnal aide-de-camp or become his mentor, it's probably too dangerous unless we're in a scenario where the two really get along.

As for Louis XVII potentially marrying Hortense or Pauline... I think this wouldn't necessarilly go down very well with Royalists or Europe. That probably would be interpreted as Napoleon overstepping his rights, especially since the Bonaparte were more or less nobodies. Also it would definitely be interpreted as a way for Napoleon to cement his hold on power. That's not to say the marriage is an impossibility though: it really depends on how events play out. Hell, as cheesy as it sounds, even Louis XVII falling for Pauline or Hortense isn't impossible...
 
Counterpoint: Bernadotte.
Not a good comparison. Bernadotte was a fully independent person who already made an impressive career before Bonaparte came to power and, while being a member of the extended Bonaparte family, he was really friendly with Joseph and Lucien, not Napoleon. So this was more or less a business relation. But young Louis would be in a completely different position in pretty much all aspects.
 
So, bumping this thread a bit, but if Louis XVII lives and Napoleon hypothetically keeps him to by his side (Maybe even as a personal aide-de-camp on some campaigns), would Napoleon keep his identity a secret so Royalists don’t try to get to Louis and convince to support a coup, or use it as propaganda piece to support the House of Bonaparte rule of France?
 
What if Napoleon keeps him close and when General LeClerc dies in 1802 He marries Louis off to his sister Pauline.
 
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