On This Day in Napoleonic History – 26 May 1805

andrea-the-elder-appiani-napoleon-bonaparte-1769-1821-as-king-of-italy-1805Napoleon is crowned King of Italy

The coronation in Milan was celebrated in the presence of eight cardinals and 30,000 spectators. ‘The church was very beautiful. The ceremony was as good as the one in Paris with the difference that the weather was superb,’ said Napoleon, referring to the coronation in Tuileries Palace on 17 March.

Once he became the Emperor of the French, it was only logical for Napoleon, who was already the Chief Magistrate of the Italian Republic, to become King of Italy. Writing to Emperor Francis, he blamed his decision on the actions of the British and Russians: ‘While they continue to occupy Malta and Corfu, the separation of the crowns of France and Italy is illusory.’

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