Alternative History

François-Napoleon is the heir apparent to the throne of the French, being the eldest son of Napoleon IV.


Early life

François was born in 1880 to Emperor Napoleon IV of the French and his wife Beatrice of the United Kingdom. François godfather is Pope Leo XIII. In the past decade France had proved itself to be a great power able to rival Britain by gaining influence in Germany after the successful War of 1866 and getting Jerome Bonaparte on the Spanish throne. With the ascension of the young Napoleon IV in 1873 it was clear that the Bonaparte dynasty was there to stay, and François was therefore given an upbringing suitable for an emperor. When the Fashoda War began in 1899 François was 18 years old and was appointed the regent of the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg, which his father was the Grand Duke of. He led Luxembourg against the Prussians and their allies in the German War.

Marriage and issue

Who would be the wife of the Prince Imperial was a question that raised interest all over Europe and his father had very early began looking for suitable candidates. At the time Napoleon IV had no major allies except his cousin Jerome I of Spain. He decided to try and strengthen the ties created with Austria during their cooperation in the war of 1866. Archduchess Elisabeth Marie was the daughter of Crown Prince Rudolf of Austria and only two years younger than François and at the behest of Napoleon IV they started exchanging letters in their early teens. They met for the first time 1898 in Paris, and the 15 year old Elisabeth and 17 year old François got along well. Their planned relationship was stalled by the Fashoda War, but they kept sending letters to each other. When the war ended in 1901 François was 20 and Elisabeth 18 and they got engaged. The wedding was held in 1902 in Paris and was the largest event at the time, with monarchs and important people from all over the world attending. Elisabeth is a woman with a strong personality who is not afraid to speak or do as she pleases, even if it may be controversial. She is known to have sympathies to the left side of the political spectrum, and people are wondering if she has any influence over her husband. They have so far had one child, Louis, born 1906.