Princess Alix Napoléon.
Photograph (c) Getty Images/Luc Castel.

Today, Her Imperial Highness the Dowager Princess Napoléon celebrates her ninety-fifth birthday!

Louis Napoléon and Alix de Foresta after their engagement in May 1949.
Count Albéric and Countess Geneviève de Foresta, 1949.

On 4 April 1926, Mademoiselle Alix Marie Joséphine Thérèse Henriette de Foresta was born at Marseille. Alix was the first child of Count Marie Joseph Albéric de Foresta (1895-1987) and his wife Geneviève Yvonne Berthe Hélène Fredet (1904-1994), who married on 17 April 1925 at Froges. Alix de Foresta had one younger sibling, a sister: Hedwige de Foresta (b.1935; married Marquis Hély de La Roche-Aymon). Alix de Foresta descended from a family that strongly supported the Legitimist claim to the French throne; they had been loyal partisans of the Count of Chambord. 

Alix, Princess Napoléon, in her wedding gown, 1949.
The wedding of Alix de Foresta and Prince Louis Napoléon, 1949.

On 16 August 1949, Alix de Foresta married Prince Louis Napoléon (1914-1997) at Linières-Bouton, France. Louis was the only son of Prince Victor Napoléon and Princess Clémentine of Belgium. The wedding of Louis and Alix took place in the strictest intimacy.
Louis and Alix Napoléon with the twins: Catherine and Charles, 1950.
Louis and Alix with their children (left to right) Catherine, Laure, Jérôme, and Charles.
The Prince and Princess Napoléon had four children. On 19 October 1950, the couple welcomed the arrival of twins: Prince Charles Marie Jerome Victor Napoléon and Princess Catherine Elisabeth Alberique Marie Napoléon were born at Boulogne sur Seine. Two years later, on 8 October 1952, the Princess Napoléon gave birth at Paris to a daughter, Princess Laure Clementine Genevieve Napoléon. The French imperial family was completed by the birth of Prince Jerome Xavier Marie Joseph Victor Napoléon on 14 January 1957 at Boulogne sur Seine.
The Prince and Princess Napoléon, Prangins, 1969.
Photograph (c) Getty Images/Philippe Le Tellier
The Prince and Princess Napoléon, Prangins, 1969.
Photograph (c) Getty Images/Philippe Le Tellier.
The Prince and Princess Napoléon with their four children, 1969.
Prince Louis and Princess Alix Napoléon raised their family between the Chateau de Prangins, Canton Vaud, Switzerland, and Paris. Their elder daughter Catherine studied social work. Their elder son Charles received a doctorate in economics. Their younger daughter Laure studied painting. Their younger son Jérôme became a librarian. 
Prince Louis and Princess Alix with Queen Fabiola of the Belgians at Prangins.
The Prince and Princess Napoléon with Princess Grace of Monaco and the Count of Barcelona.
Isabelle, Countess of Paris, and Alix, Princess Napoléon, 1990s.
The Prince and Princess Napoléon conducted themselves with discretion and dignity. They were close to a vast array of their royal European relatives, particularly the Belgian royal family and the Luxembourgish grand ducal family. In 1974, Princess Catherine Napoléon married Nicolò San Martino d’Agliè dei Marchesi di Fontanetto, a nephew of Queen Paola of Belgium; Catherine and Nicolò eventually divorced. In 1982, Catherine Napoléon remarried Jean-Claude Dualé, with whom she had two daughters. In 1978, Prince Charles Napoléon married Princess Béatrice of Bourbon-Two Sicilies; the couple had two children, Princess Caroline Napoléon (b.1980) and Prince Jean-Christophe Napoléon (b.1986), before divorcing in 1989. In 1996, Charles Napoléon subsequently married Jeanne Françoise Valliccionni, the mother of his daughter Sophie Napoléon (b.1992). In 1982, Princess Laure Napoléon married Jean-Claude Lecomte; the couple had one son. In 2013, Prince Jérôme Napoléon married Licia Innocenti. 
Prince Louis Napoléon, 1965.
In 1997, Alix was widowed when her husband Louis passed away at the age of eighty-three.
The Prince and Princess Napoléon at Prangins.
The Dowager Princess Napoléon continues to live at her Swiss residence. 
Princess Alix Napoléon with her grandchildren, Princess Caroline and Prince Jean-Christophe.


Many happy returns of the day to Princess Alix!

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