Flahault de la Billarderie, Charles de

BORN 21 Apr 1785, Paris: rue de Gramont - DIED 1 Sep 1870, Paris
BIRTH NAME Flahaut de Billarderie, Auguste Charles Joseph de
GRAVE LOCATION Paris: Montmartre Cimetière, 20 Avenue Rachel (division 02)

Charles de Flahault was the son of Charles Talleyrand and his mistress Adelaide Filleul, Countess of Flahault. His official father was Charles-François de Flahaut de La Billarderie (1728-1794). He showed bravery in Napoleon I's cavalry. Hortense de Beauharnais was his mistress and in 1811 their son was born, the future Duc the Morny. In 1813 he became aide de camp to the emperor. After the restauration he refused to work for the Bourbons. During the 100 days he resumed his position as aide de camp and he became a Pair de France. After Napoleon I's second abdication he went in exile and continued his relations with Hortense, who lived in Switzerland.

In England he had met Margaret Mercer Elphinstone, a heiress who was much impressed by his charms. He was still happy with his lover Hortense, but his mother stressed the advantages of a marriage. He finally informed Hortense that he wanted to marry Margaret and would live in exile in England. Lord Keith, who had received Napoleon I at Plymouth and told him he would be shipped to St. Helena, was opposed to the marriage of his daughter to a friend of Napoleon. He even threatened to disinherit her. But the marriage took place in 1817 in Edinburgh. Their union was a happy one and they had five daughters. In 1819 the government of Louis XVIII authorised him to return to France and his wife accompanied him there. In 1823 Mercer became 2nd Baroness Keith. In 1830 he and Margaret lived for a while at 26 Brunswick Terrace, Hove, East Sussex.

In 1831 he entered the chamber of pairs. In the same year he bought the Hôtel de Massa at 38, rue du Faubourg in Paris. From 1841 to 1848 he was ambassador to France in Vienna. After Louis Philippe's removal from the throne in 1848 he was sent into retirence, but after Louis Napoleon became emperor he was made a senator in 1853. In 1860 he was appointed ambassador to France in London. He gave up this post after a disagreement with Napoleon III in 1862. He died in 1870 during the night of the Battle of Sedan that resulted in the fall of the Second Empire.

• Son: Morny, Charles Auguste Louis Joseph, Duc de

Related persons
• was the lover of Beauharnais, Hortense de

16/8/1857Napoleon III awards the first Médailles de Sainte-Hélène. He gave the medals to his uncle Jérome Bonaparte, Comte Vaillant (Minister of War), admiral Hamelin (Minister of Marine), Duc the Plaisance (chancellor of the Légion d'Honneur), General de Flahaut, Comte Ornano (governor of the Invalides), Admiral Perceval-Deschênes and others. [Bonaparte, Jérôme][Napoleon III Bonaparte]


The grave of Charles, comte de Flahault at the Cimetière Montmartre, Paris.
Picture by Androom (20 Feb 2016)


• Boulenger, Marcel, Le Duc de Morny, Hachette, Paris, 1925
Miroir de l'Histoire 108, Paris, 1958
Winkler Prins Encyclopedie (editie 1909), 1909
Charles de Flahaut — Wikipédia

Flament, Jeanne

Published: 24 Sep 2017
Last update: 19 Apr 2022