Alexandre Colonna-Walewski

Alexandre Colonna-Walewski

Birth
Warsaw, Mazowieckie, Poland
Death 26 Sep 1868 (aged 58)
Strasbourg, Departement du Bas-Rhin, Alsace, France
Burial Paris, City of Paris, Île-de-France, France
Memorial ID 188696722 · View Source
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French Politician and Diplomat. The illegitimate son resulting from a love affair between French Emperor Napoleon Bonaparte and Polish Countess Marie Walewska, he was born in the family palace at Walewice, near Warsaw, Poland. At the age of 14, he refused to join the Imperial Russian army and fled to London, England and then to Paris, France. In 1830 he was sent to Poland, and later that year he became a diplomatic envoy to the Court of St James's by the leaders of the Polish November Uprising of 1830. Following the Fall of Warsaw, he took out letters of French naturalization and joined the French army, and saw action in Algeria as a captain in the Chasseurs d'Afrique of the French Foreign Legion. In 1837 he resigned his commission to begin writing plays and for the press. In 1840 he was posted to Buenos Aires to liaise with the British ambassador, John Cradock, 1st Baron Howden. Prince Louis Napoleon's accession to power in France as Napoleon III furthered his career with postings as envoy extraordinary to Florence and the Kingdom of Naples before London (1851–55), where he was charged with announcing the coup d'état to the prime minister, Lord Palmerston. In 1855 he succeeded Drouyn de Lhuys as Minister of Foreign Affairs and acted as French plenipotentiary at the Congress of Paris the following year. In this position he advocated entente with Russia, opposing his emperor's adventurous strategy in Italy which led to war with Austria in 1859. After leaving the Foreign Ministry in 1860, he became France's Minister of State, an office which he held until 1863. He served as senator from 1855 to 1865, before being appointed to the Corps Législatif in 1865 and as president of the Chamber of Deputies by the Emperor, who returned him to the Senate after a revolt against his authority two years later. He was created a duke in 1866, elected a member of the Académie des beaux-arts, appointed Grand Cross of the Légion d'honneur, and made a Knight of Malta, also receiving the Gold Cross of Virtuti Militari. He died following a stroke at the age of 58.


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  • Created by: William Bjornstad
  • Added: 10 Apr 2018
  • Find A Grave Memorial 188696722
  • Find A Grave, database and images (https://www.findagrave.com : accessed ), memorial page for Alexandre Colonna-Walewski (4 May 1810–26 Sep 1868), Find A Grave Memorial no. 188696722, citing Cimetière du Père Lachaise, Paris, City of Paris, Île-de-France, France ; Maintained by William Bjornstad (contributor 47016546) .