On This Day in Napoleonic History – 21 March 1815

Napoleon is in Paris following his return from Elba

21The previous day, his son’s 4th birthday, Napoleon arrived to Paris on his return from Elba 11 months to the day after leaving it. Since Louis XVIII fled the capital, Napoleon entered the Tuileries as de-facto Emperor of the French. He received a triumphant reception from the people.

He had achieved his aim and entered Paris without firing a shot, without spilling a drop of blood. Napoleon walked up the stairs of the Tuileries slowly, with his eyes half-closer, his arms extended before him, as if savouring every step. The headlines perfectly demonstrate the changing public opinion as Napoleon makes his way from Elba to Paris:

‘The Tiger has broken out of his den!’

The Ogre was three days at sea.’

‘The Wretch has landed at Frejus.’

‘The Brigand has arrived at Antibes.’

‘The invader has reached Grenoble.’

‘The General has entered Lyons.’

‘Napoleon slept last night at Fontainebleau.’

‘The Emperor proceeds to the Tuileries today.’

‘His Imperial Majesty will address his loyal subjects tomorrow.’

(source: Napoleon for Dummies)

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