First son of Napoleon's younger brother Lucien Bonaparte. He was the second Prince of Canino and Musignano. After Pope Pius IX had given in 1847 a Constitutionto the Papal States, he was elected representative of the tiny city San Ginesio, in the Marks of Ancona. He was one of the first politicians who ardently opposed the pope's government and demanded his deposition as a sovereign. After the flight of the pope, he became a member of the new Legislative Assembly, and successively the Republican Assembly. He also became its President. In this capacity he tried several times to restrain his cousin, the French Emperor Napoleon III, from supporting the Pope. However, he did not succeed and thanks to the French the Pope was in 1850 reinstated in his secular dignities and could return to Rome. By that Bonaparte's tiny role in the so-called Risorgimento and realization of an Italian state was played out.
He now devoted himself entirely to his studies, since he was in the first place an eminent ornithologist. In this capacity he published several works in this field, in English, French, Italian and Latin. His brother Louis-Lucien Bonaparte (1813-1891) was a scientist as well. He was a gifted chemist and an expert on many unknown languages as well.
He married on 29 June 1822 in Brussels his cousin Zénaïde Bonaparte (1801-1854), a daughter of his uncle Joseph, the former king of Spain. They were divorced by a decree of the Emperor, in Paris on 6 February 1854.
Zenaide Laetitia Julie Bonaparte
Laetitia Christine Bonaparte Wyse
Jeanne Bonaparte Onorati
Marie Alexandrine Bonaparte Valentini
Charlotte Bonaparte Gabrielli