On This Day in Napoleonic History – 21 February 1800

First Consul moves to the Tuileries Palace

21Napoleon moved from Luxembourg to the Tuileries, becoming the first ruler to live there since Louis XVI was taken away to the Temple prison in 1792, an event Napoleon had witnessed as a young officer. The First Consul took Louis XVI’s first floor apartments overlooking the gardens, while Josephine occupied Marie-Antoinette’s suite on the ground floor. ‘I can feel the Queen’s ghost, asking what I’m doing in her bed,’ she told a chamberlain.

Napoleon didn’t share his wife’s apprehensions. Allegedly he picked her up and carried her to the bed, saying, ‘Come on, little Creole, get into the bed of your masters.’ As the Second Consul, Jean Jacques Régis de Cambacérès also had the right to live in the Tuileries but wisely decided against it. Napoleon and Josephine put the Tuileries to good use, throwing many balls and dinners.

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